The remains of a homestead...
The remains of a homestead at Jacob’s Pool include a building and corral. This was one of the few places in the arid land where water could be obtained.
Ida arrived at Jacob’s Pool about midday. That natural spring was commonly used by travelers to fill water barrels and prepare for the arid stretch of trail to come. The convoy of four wagons had spent the last day and a half running along the base of the Vermilion Cliffs. They were averaging about ten miles a day.
In her trip log, Ida noted the temperatures being extremely hot and having trouble with a team of horses on another wagon. Teams used by such pioneers were often farm animals that had never been on any trip away from the farm where they were born. Their daily activities normally consisted of nothing more than working in the fields. If given the opportunity they might break away and head for home.
Wednesday, September 14, 2010
The Vermilion Cliffs tower...
The Vermilion Cliffs tower high above the Honeymoon Trail. The lands at the top of the cliffs are within the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.
Happy Jack led the way to Jacob’s Pool using his laptop maps and GPS. He turned off the highway and opened a gate for a two-track trail leading to the remains of an abandoned homestead. The pool was dry and the building was in bad condition. Some of the fences and gates were still standing.
After Jacob’s Pool, they followed the highway to House Rock Road. A short distance later, they were following historic markers for Honeymoon Trail. For a few miles, House Rock Road followed the floor of a valley between Paria Plateau and Kaibab National Forest. It then left the valley and climbed a high plateau covered in a dense forest. The long climb into the forest offered beautiful panoramic views of the valley and Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The trail meandered along within the forest on a westerly course. Markers for the Honeymoon Trail helped in selecting the right path when intersections were encountered. Although this route has long since lost its value for cross-country travel, it dates back to long before Arizona was part of the United States. It was the primary route used to cross the lands north of the Grand Canyon referred to as the Arizona Strip. Besides being used by natives and the settlers in Arizona, it was also used in 1879 by pioneers in reaching the four corners area of Utah. Prior to the building of the Hole in the Rock Road, it was one of two routes used to reach homesteads east of the Colorado River in Utah.
Happy Jack found a nice campsite along the way. We were a few miles east of Navajo Springs. That would have been close to the same place Ida camped on Friday, May 19, 1882. In her diary, she noted they were about four miles from that spring. We could not help but wonder how much the forest had changed in the past 128 years.
Ida arrived in Kanab, Utah, after spending two weeks on the road from her home in Snowflake. This was the first major town they had seen. Members of the convoy had friends and relatives living in Kanab so the next day was spent resting and visiting.
Thursday, September 15, 2010
Lone Writer, Happy Jack, and Muley pulled into Kanab and visited a campground for showers. They spent some time looking at maps at the BLM office, stopped for dinner, and then split up. They would meet again in a couple days to finish the Honeymoon Trail to St. George. Join us next month for part two of the Honeymoon Trail.
The tires on Lone Writer’s vehicle are provided by BFGoodrich. GPS mapping is provided by DeLorme. For more information visit www.Lone-Writer.com.
The Honeymoon Trail climbs...
The Honeymoon Trail climbs out of the valley between the Vermilion National Monument and the Kaibab National Forest.
In the early days after Arizona...
In the early days after Arizona became part of the United States, this route through the Kaibab National Forest was the primary wagon road across the Arizona Strip.