Monday, April 15, 2013

thompson springs petroglyphs and ghost town

Because I hadn't seen enough petroglyphs that day, I convinced my parents to stop in Thompson Springs on the way home from Monument Valley.  My mom had never seen them, and since it was just a few miles from the road on the way back to Grand Junction, it really wasn't a big deal.  As we were walking towards the really big ones next to an unused cattle area, an old man in a truck drove down the hill towards us, and told us that we were trespassing on private property.  Apparently, the petroglyphs on the left side of the road are on public land, but on the right side, they're on private.  Luckily, he happened to be the owner of the land, and with a camera in hand, we didn't look like we were up to no good.  He stopped his truck and ended up talking to us for over an hour, telling us about growing up in the area, the old inhabitants of where we were standing, and stories about Butch Cassidy passing notes and hiding out inside of the house that used to be built into the rocks where we were standing.  WHOA!  

He was kind enough to give us permission to head up the road to see the ghost town in the hills, and the old cemetery that was on his land.  It was getting dark, so it took a little arm twisting on my part to get my parents to agree, but we got his card, thanked him for his time and memories, and went on our way up the mountain.

This man was amongst the first people to discover the Great Salt Lake (or so we were told)!

See the little rectangular area in the rock?  This was where an old couple (whose name I can't remember, darn it!) lived, and also where they hid Butch Cassidy!  The man we met used to play on the rock ledge above their house, and when one of the presidents died when he was younger, he told us about hearing the news on a radio station that had come in from Salt Lake, and carving the president's name into the rock while everyone cried.  I tried to get up there, but it was a little high for me, and I'm not as graceful as I wish I was.  Maybe next time?

Anytime she needed a place to put a trinket, she carved a little piece out of the rock wall.  All of the holes and black spots are from candles!

Old and abandoned homes.  This was from the owner of a restaurant.

An old wall from where the railroad came through the canyon . . . 

The old cemetery . . . 

I totally made a friend!

And back in Thompson Springs, these were their old trail station and cafe.  The cafe was featured in Thelma and Louise!  No matter how many times I go, I just love it more and more.


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