Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Movin’ South

Sunday June 19, 2011
Zion National Park
South Campground Site 121

And move day it was.
But before I get into that.
Happy Father’s Day to everyone
who has children to whom
he has been a great father!!
And most especially to my
father whose 90th birthday in
October was the subject of a
few blog posts.
And to David who continues
to be a wonderful father to

On to today.
Here are the pictures of our
new site at the walk-in, no hook ups
South campground.  Also VERY nice.
And the only thing I ever miss when
boondocking is my laptop when
I run the battery down.  :-)

Not sure but I think this is the same
peak that was behind Winnona
at Watchman.

South Campground 001

Duckie’s view on Father’s Day.

South Campground 002

It was actually chilly and windy today.
GREAT weather for no electricity.
Thank you SO much!!

Not nearly as much to set
up with no hook ups.  So
after leveling and getting out all
the things inside that we’d stored
for safety’s sake,
it was about time for lunch.
Salmon Salad today.

David had the first of his two nearly daily naps.
Don’t think he knows I took this.
Tough life isn’t it??

South Campground 003

I took a chance and put my contacts back in for
the first time in over a month.
So far so good.

We spent the rest of the day reading
except for walking over to the Nature Center
since the South Campground is so close to it.

The nature center is in the old Cafeteria
which may have been a CCC building
It seems the right age and looks like their
work but neither of us is sure or thought to
ask at the time.

Just look at that setting.  WOW!


As you can see, it is not a large building but it is well
partitioned and has a lot of information
and exhibits in the space.
They have examples of many of the
animals and birds in the park
including a great chubby beaver and
a gorgeous mountain lion.
Bugs, butterflies, birds including a
great Northern Oriole.

There is a section on the history of
the park and great pictures of some
of the original settler’s farms.
And the original road into the canyon.
Sure glad I didn't have to take Winnona down that.

There is a lot for children in
this museum and I would HIGHLY
recommend it to parents.
They have a tent full of plush birds
that when pushed will do their songs.
A shelf of books for reading in the tent is along side.
Most are about the Southwest and some
are in Spanish.  Books for all ages of children

There is a table inside the door with all kinds
of coloring, puzzles, games things for kids to do as well
as a section where they can dress up in
ranger hats and clothing, forest fire fighter gear.
That little section also has some great hand puppets
Looked like a lot of fun to me.
I was wishing I could borrow a child to play with.

We grilled burgers outside for dinner
and then David went over to Zion Lodge
to hear the campfire program on the CCC.
If you follow this blog you’ll know this
is a particular interest of his.
So he was willing to walk over to the
Visitor’s Center bus stop (about 10 minutes)
and take the bus 4 stops up the road (another 20 minutes)
to hear this talk.  He got back about 11:00
after having forgotten his flashlight and
using his camera as a light since it was
totally and completely dark outside.

Too late for me, but sounds like the talk was
GREAT!  I’ll let him describe it.

The evening's ranger talk
"That's How it Was in the Cs"
sounded like a veiled reference to the days of the CCC
or Civilian Conservation Corps of the 30s. 
This is a fascinating topic for me
so that got my attention. 
Unfortunately it was being held at the
Zion Lodge Auditorium
which meant walking all the way back to the Visitor Center
to catch a bus, which is about a 10 minute walk
and then 20-25 minute shuttle bus ride up to the lodge. 
The talk would end by 10 PM
so we could be back by 10:30 or so. 
Sherry was not interested, too late, too far,
so I went by myself.
I got over to the bus stop in 8 minutes
and thought "perfect" as a bus just pulled in as I walked up. 
Then just as quickly, the bus driver
turned the bus off, took the keys
and left for what turned out to be a 7 minute break. 
I'm watching the clock now because
I know he has to make three stops
before he will get to the lodge,
and all of these stops are at places
that have no people at this time of night (9 PM),
because they are either closed
(like the Museum of Human History)
or the spectacle at the overlook
is in the dark
(like at Court of the Patriarchs and Canyon Junction). 
And of course going up canyon
they must play the information tape
so they do not arrive at the next stop
before the tape finishes all the blah blah
you have already heard 50 times this week. 

We FINALLY arrived at 9 PM sharp
and I jumped off the bus and ran. 
Then stopped when I saw this guy doing clean up
at the outdoor cafe.


Took several pictures but that was the best one. 
Not bad for being in the dark. 
After he/she left, I rushed into the lodge
and asked directions to the auditorium.

Brian Forist (great name for park ranger)
was the speaker and he had just started when I came in. 
I found a front row seat,
whipped out my camera and caught his first slide
before he moved on. 
Fortunatety my camera takes pretty decent pictures
of projected slides without using a flash.


It turns out that he found this journal
in the park archives. 
It was written by Beldon W. Lewis,
one of the first young men to come to Zion
with the CCC in 1934. 
Ranger Forist then selected pictures
from the parks' archives from the same time period
to go along with the entries from this journal
that he chose to read to tell the story
of how the CCC came to the park
and what they did while they were here.

He backed up and set the stage for those
of us not old enough to remember
(including him) or those who were sleeping
in history class (who, me?)
about the roaring 20s,
the stock market crash,
the depression,
the 25% unemployment,
the dust bowl,
the Grapes of Wrath,
the election of FDR and his creation
- within his first 100 days of the CCC -
with little or no political opposition apparently. 
One thing I did not know was
that you could not be in the CCC
unless your family was on 'relief'. 
The basic deal was they worked 6 days a week
for three square meals (7 days a week)
and $30 a week pay,
$25 of which was sent home to their family. 
Here is a recruitment poster
from the days of the CCC.


The journal entries really personalized the story
of the lives and work in these CCC camps.
To bring it even closer to home,
they built many of the very trails
we have hiked this week,
including the Angel's Landing,
Weeping Garden and Hidden Canyon. 
Here is a nice shot from the air
of the Angel's Landing trail showing Walter's Wiggles
- the zig-zag just to the right of center in the bottom half.
Here is what happened after they got roads into the park
- tour bus jam.

Here is one of the camps they built in Zion. 
They built three in Zion
and at that point they were so good at it
so they were sent to build one elsewhere. 
The camps included bunk houses,
restrooms, showers, mess halls, library,
recreation halls and a movie theater. 
Of course things were not so lovely
when they first got here.  There were
no buildings at all, they lived in tents
and ate outside with no place to sit! 
But after they built the camp,
which was all intended as temporary structures,
they went on to more serious, permanent structures
like stone buildings, as well as roads, bridges and trails. 

This building was the original visitor center
and is now used for housing visiting scholars
and researchers.


In addition to the amazing contributions
they made to our National Parks,
the CCC also did amazing things for many of the state parks . 
Those of you who have been reading this blog
will recall that we stayed at
Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia,
Cumberland State Park in Tennessee
and Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas
- all first state parks and all initially done by the CCC. 
The CCC rocked!


  1. I don't think I realized that the CCC worked so far west, but then I haven't really been west much. How big was the Corps?


    P.S. Thanks for having your word verification and comment box on the same page. When connection is bad, clicks matter!

  2. Glad to see you got to stay in Zion and that the weather has cooled down for you!!

    David, really enjoy reading about the CCC and learning as you share the info with us:o))

    We have never boondocked and aren't sure how to manage our resources. We hope to meet up and learn from you two in this lifetime;o))

    NAP ON.... You are soooo lucky!!

  3. I agree with David. The CCC's did ROCK! Love reading about them.

  4. I have always been impressed with the work of the CCC, and it wasn't all parks & recreation either. They built retaining walls that are still in use along Columbia Parkway overlooking the Ohio River in Cincinnati, as well as many other civil works structures.

  5. Really glad that the weather cooperated for you while you're boondocking. Hope it continues for you.

    David, thanks for the info on the CCC. Fascinating.

  6. According to "Utah History to Go"

    'Utah generally had a higher percentage of its manpower quota employed that did most of its neighbors. There were 16,872 junior enrollees from Utah, 746 Indian enrollees, and 4,456 supervisory personnel. In all, there were 22,074 Utah men who were provided employment by the CCC during the nine-year period, plus an additional 23,833 individuals from out of state who worked on projects in Utah.'


    See http://www.uen.org/utahlink/tours/tourFames.cgi?tour_id=13597

  7. Very interesting about the CCC. They did lots of work on the state parks in New Mexico.


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