May 7

Rockland Ranch, Salt Lake City

The next morning we climbed to the top of one of the rocks next to the campground. It looked steep, but the rock isn't very slippery.Most of the rocks have sinkholes like this on top.

The view from the top.

Last night the volunteer campground host had told us about a polygamist excommunicated Mormon family that had blasted out holes in nearby rocks, and built homes in them. Bob Foster was the patriarch, and was supposed to be very friendly. He also operated a bed and breakfast there--Rockland Ranch. Bob has had 4 wives, and 38 children. He has a 50 year lease on the land, which is a patch of state land in the middle of BLM lands. He didn't come right out and tell us that he was a polygamist, but did get around to telling us eventually. Interesting guy.
Bob Foster and EricThis is the bed and breakfast.

These huge holes are being blasted out for another excommunicated Mormon family. Two of their sons married two daughters of the Foster clan.

One of Bob's daughers invited us in their house. Cozy, but dark, especially in the inside rooms.This is the bed and breakfast

Bob told us that this is the room he would have put us in, had we spent the night there.They're pretty self-sufficient here, with a water pump, diesel powered generators, windmills, and a huge stash of food, mainly leftover from the Y2K scare.

This is a new house Bob is building for one of his wives. It goes all the way through the rock, so there's both morning and evening light. The temperature inside stays at 65 degrees all year round.

Here's another hole going through the arch. The wind through this tunnel was amazingly strong.

A storage hole blasted into the rock. The bumper sticker on the cabinet says "Don't steal--the government hates competition". Bob is not a big fan of the government.Bob took us on a tour of the top of the rock. He's incredibly agile, for someone 74 years old. These ladders and ropes were quite rickety.

The view from the top.

This is an airstrip as well as the road out.One of the many sinkholes on top of the rock. One of Bob's sons ran around the inside of this hole this 45 times, using centrifugal force to keep him from falling in.

The windmills on top of the rock produce enough energy to run some power tools.Heading back down was scarier than going up. Bob was amazing. Apparently one of his daughters climbed up and around the whole rock in 30 minutes every day, as a workout.

On our way back to Salt Lake City, we stopped and took a look at Temple Square, which seems to be the hub of Mormonism. Young women, in pairs and dressed extremely conservatively were walking around, available to give tours of the grounds. These were our guides.

The main temple, which you can only enter as a card-carrying Mormon.