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May 3

The town of Helper, Dead Horse Point State Park


On the way over the pass, we encountered snow and sleet. We stopped in the town of Helper, an old coal mining town that's dying off. There's an historical museum there with lots of artifacts from the era when mining actually required lots of miners (now it's mostly mechanized). A retired gentlemen who'd spent his life working at one of coal company stores volunteers there, and showed us around (we were the only visitors)


There was a very eclectic assortment of old stuff there. Here's an old dentist's chair Electric permanent hair wave machine...looks scary.


The cup on the left has a support for large mustaches. Don't play with blasting caps!


This is a rescue mask, used to retrieve miners (or their bodies) after cave-ins. Coal!


Hard to imagine--something this large, and all it is, is a radio. A self-rescue kit, in case the miner is trapped in a cave-in. It converts carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into oxygen.


The "Last Squad Club" was formed by World War One vetrans. They had a reunion every year, until all but 8 had died. At that point, they opened up a time capsule that had been stored since 1941, in which they'd all put in mementos. The last one to die , in his late 90's, had also been governer of the state and mayor of Salt Lake City. The town jail.


Helper itself is a sad little town. Lots of empty building on main street.


On our way towards the Canyonlands area of Utah, we encountered some cool clouds. We met an unusual guy at a rest stop. He was a transient on a bicycle, biking around the country. He gave us what seemed like a rehearsed speech about how he was a poet and a philosopher, traveling around the country working with alcoholics; had had 6 dreams about butterflies, which mean transformation. He seemed coherent enough until he approached us again, after we'd eaten lunch, with the exact same speech.


Our first glimpse of the red rock canyons, along the Colorado River close to Moab. According to the signs, these are supposed to be dinosoar tracks.


It was much more exciting to find some pictographs nearby on our own. It was sleety and cold at Dead Horse Point State Park campground that evening, but at least the campsite had a covered picnic table.


Later we went for a walk around the canyon rim, and found these cozy little caves... ...and lots of mule deer.
EricAndSylvia  |  Pictures  |  Canyon Country  |  May 3 © 2013 Eric Vasilik