Fun Utah Facts

The name Utah comes from the Native American Ute Tribe and means people of the mountain. Utah has five national parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef. Utah has seven national monuments: Cedar Breaks, Natural Bridges, Dinosaur, Rainbow Bridge, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Timpanogos Cave and Hovenweep. Utah has six national forests: Ashley, Dixie, Fishlake, Manti-Lasal, Uinta, and Wasatch-Cache. Utah has two national recreational areas: Flaming Gorge and Glen Canyon. Utah covers 84,900 square miles of land and is ranked 11th largest state. The Great Salt Lake, which is about 75 miles long and 35 miles wide, covers more than a million acres. Of the 50 states, Utah has the youngest population; one of the highest birth rates; the second lowest death rate; the heathiest population; the hightest literacy rate; the highest percent of high school graduates; and the highest number of people with a college education.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A birthday blog

Great mind think alike, if anyone else had this idea brewing.
My Amanda Mayberry is a year older today. 1981 . My long
walker Wendy and I used to fight over her. Wendy usually
won. The first time Amanda ever got sick was when she was
6 months old. Wendy brought that baby sprite and crayons ?
She can't have sprite and she will just eat the crayons, I
said. Wendy gave me the "look" and she got the sprite and
ate the crayons.

All ( yes, every single one ) of her school teachers said
at parent teacher confrences, just pack her bags and let
me take her home with me. One gal that took care of her
after school in Sandy said, she is the perfect child. I hope
mine are half as great as she is.

Sooo, I could write all day about her virtue's, but to
sum her up: She is down to earth, and non-judgemental.
She is calm and relaxed, she sings when she picks
up one of her kids, she is happy and always makes me

It was hard to pick just one short story of her, but here
is my favorite. We were taking her to her dads out her
in the basin and we were driving a brand new shiney red
truck. Christmas was a few short days behind us. We gased
up at a station and got a bonus free car wash . SWEET, lets
use it before we hit the road. Great idea, she agrees. While
in this high powered, brush spinning wash, we here a terrible
loud noise! What...... all her christmas loot was in the
BACK of the truck !!!! I am a self described air head. New
rollerblades and clothes etc......... She could have been mad
or sooo sad, but no, we laughed all the way to Roosevelt and
still laugh at the memory today. I have lots of thoose stories.

I choose two picks of her and wish I had thought of one other.
We went to the Mayan for her birthday one year and they made
her wear a ballon hat. She just has a great smile.

Picture # 1 - She and my sis and baby Connor (which is exactly
how I remeber him) on my wedding day. I choose this picture as
one of my favorites but also because Aunt Jodi is VERY special
and very good to Amanda.

Picture # 2 - One of our crazy rock hounding trips. There were
so many fun trips it was also hard to pick just one.

See you friday My Mayberry !

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The long walkers

My long walker is leaving. Oh it's only for 18 months they say,
but for me thats a lifetime away. Besides my canteen, Wendy is
the only one who understands and joins my passion for long walks.

I met her in 1980 and over the years we were inseparable. As our
kids grew and left, there was a time only a check-up phone call
was made once a week. But in the summer of 2002 we walked. All
summer long. During the week she came at 6am monday, wed and fri.
She was a perky - happy little thing on our morning walks. Me, not
so perky. I had a graveyard part-time job and got home around 3 am
and took my snooze til she came and kicked me out of my naptime.
Some mornings the best I coul'd give her chatty banter was Uh - huh.

Saturday's however was our long walk days. We set off at dawn and
strolled back in late afternoon. some days 12 miles, others 20.
My best story of the long walks is one saturday we parked the
Trooper across the street from Hogle Zoo. There is a trail head
( I forget the name ) that winds around the Red Butte Gardens -
the U of U hospital where we watched life flight lift off - then
goes around and into City Creek Canyon and finally emerging into
the State Capital grounds. This is were Dean and Terry ( our
hubbies ) were to pick us up and wisk us off to a great dinner
at T.G.I. fridays. Well they weren't there, so we start walking.
The only good thing about walking down town Salt Lake City in the
middle of dead heat summer is there is a 7-11 on every city block.
We were sore but fine eating candy, chewing gum and walking. Yep,
you guessed it, we walked ALL the way back and as soon as I stuck
the key in the door the guys drive up. It was a great walk and a
great dinner.

I only remember the year "cause" it was the year we all rock
hounded and camped at Topaz mountain, and the same terrible year
Terry died sept 6th. He had found a cool twisted up stick and de-
barked it, sanded it, wrapped a cord around it and gave it to me
for my birthday that same summer. Someday I may blog all our many
memories of him, his steel art work in our home, our fun wednesday

We have seen Wendy more since our move to the Basin, She (by chance)
became the steel lady sales rep. for this area and her and Eli have
some kind of special connection. She is being transfered to Idaho!
Idaho, where is Idaho, Canada? Just kiddin all my Idaho-an cousins.

We have snow shoed in and back out the next morning. We took Eli
sledding the roads and ate many bowls of popcorn up here. Dean had
laid a pine floor, sanded and finished it while Eli and I stayed in
S.L.City. He had put everything, even the kitchen sink in a small
area of the livingroom. We had a long walk planned for over a month
but Wendy helped instead put it all back in order, even the kitchen
sink. It was just as fun as a long walk.

Enjoy your Idaho adventure Wendy, I love your alter identity Idea -
buy a pair of wranglers and cowboy boots.

Pics not nessesarily in order.
Me as a kid, I was ready to walk at the first sign of spring. I only
now understand why my mom didn't let me hike in winter and walk alone.

Wendy and I at Topaz mnt. May 2002

Wendy, Eli and I at Cowans Cafe Duchesne, March 13, 2009. Dean is the
camera guy.

I found a picture of us Christmas day 1980. I decided not to post it,
we looked like a couple of kids. I guess we were.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ben, The wind generator tower and the battery bike ?

Our Rim Rock adventure would never have been as fun or gone
as far without our son Ben. He has put alot of time and
muscle into this place and the best most pratical - generous
gift ever, came from him and his wife Shelly (hole-in the-belly).
A wind generator. Ben and Dean built a 60 foot tower, not an
easy task, but up it went. It whirled - twirled and generated
alot of power. It was the best thing ever.

We had waited all spring, summer and into fall for the water
well drillers to punch a hole in our mountain. They finally
came in October and hit dust. 800 feet of a probably dry well.
22 thousand dollars. Circumstances can sure alter how we live.
Plans can be made, but life can throw a few hardships.. Even
with solid plans and finances in place. We are what legends
are made of. Everyone knows of us from the wind generator
tower and deep, dry well. We should have enough water to bathe,
launder, (pretty sure thats not a real word) have our garden
and greenhouse growing, 33 and 1/3 chickens or compairable
(spelling ?) stock, and or enough flowing H20 for a water

We were still in deep shock over our water situation, when one
night a few weeks later a storm with high winds blew in and
blew down our loved wind generator tower. It smashed both
generator and tower and both un-repairable. Ben, in frustration
over our situation took solid action. The next day a new more
efficient wind generator was on it's way. Ben also went into classifieds and wondered how much a tower may be, if
even available. A shocking, unbelievable, most amazing thing
he found - a free ( yes FREE ) industrial strength, massive,
galvanized steel tower with all hardware included (crates of
u-bolts & clamp etc.) again for free. She could have sold it
for thousands of dollars, yet she was very grateful to just get
it off her property. She had just listed it that morning.
Things may work in mysterious ways but Ben takes action. We
have to wait for spring to put it up with a cement base. Also
Dean has worked soooooo hard on so many other things. We still
have limited power but solar panels that Ben hauled 23 feet up
to the roof work good too.

The old generator has been promised to me. I want to see if
Ben can wire it up to a stationary pedal bike and I can keep
our batteries charged for Eli's toys, camera, etc, and it
will help me stay fit. I am excited for the battery bike.
Maybe a great invention ?

I don't believe so much in bad luck. I believe our choices
have ripple effects on our future. We are just a family that's
trying to put a home and new life together. We all just do the
best that we can. It's just life after all.

The Duchesne county library ROCKS !

I want to say " hi " to goodbyes. She is my special cousin
and I couldn't wait to see her when we were kids. " hi "

Look close at the generator pic and you will see the moon
during the day.

I got an awesome e-mail from Dorothy Galyean's granddaughter
( check out one of my old posts )and sadly I am losing my
long walker. Not sure which one to blog first. I loose the
net and suddenly I got all kinds of things to say!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Living Off Grid - Part 1

An article in our local newspaper sparked this blog. Also a blog that I
have had written for a while, Titled: Ben, the wind generator and a
battery bike falls right into perfect place as part 2.

Cheryl Mecham writes for our local news paper, The Uinta Basin Standard
and in this one article asks her husband what is off grid? Off the map?
Outer space? The top of a mountain peak? Where? He explained that that
it meant some folks choose to live without electricity, water or sewage
systems. That is not quite how I would explain it but she goes on to
write it was a real "Jaw-dropper". She had heard of the Cedar-billie's,
a popular derisive term in the Uinta Basin for those who live in
substandard housing (lean-to's and even vehicles) amoung the vast acreage
of Cedar forests. There was more to her article and it was favorable to homesteaders/Ceadar-billies having pride and satisfaction when saying we
live off grid. It does bring up the question of the quality of life.

We are homesteaders and have had many set backs on our utilities. That
struggle goes into more detail in part 2. I personally did not set out
to be self sufficient. I wanted to live on Main street, any small town
Utah with Sheriff Andy Taylor, Aunt Bea and Opie as neighbors and friends.
I am not SURE that this remote mountain is the best place to raise an only
child. But, I do know that our old residence of 20 years was NOT a good
place. Living off grid is certainly not an easy way of life. We have a
farmer friend and his wise words are: To make a life out here, you have
to be 1- rich 2- very tough and 3- stupid. Two outta three, not bad.
We are almost out of cash!

Quick basics on how we do it: We drive off the mountain every other day
to collect water and the mail. Aprox 7 miles round trip. We drive to
town once a week to get grocery and clean clothes. Aprox 50 miles round
trip and round town. Everything takes alot of time. We get all cooking
and drinking water from our daughters house in Roosevelt, and keep it in
seprate containers. A few people have drank the well water we use for
washing and without names they all seem fairly normal, but in my family
I can't rightly say what normal is. Sorry Pa .

We heat the water each night for dishes and the baths. I was so worried
about this and taking care of Eli. I never want it said the he is not
clean, happy and healthy under the circumstances that we live. But just
the opposite is true. More needless worry . He gets the best care and
the same care as any home with running water and modern conveniences.
He gets a bath every night, we prepare food the same and our home is
clean and comfortable. It just takes a little extra special care and
work. We have an outhouse and a chemical "potty" in the house bathroom
for after dark.

My husband Dean has put everything into this homestead. Our small 900
sq. foot cabin house is beatiful inside and on a solid foundation.
We have spent the last two years on it and the loft divided into two
rooms. I have a lot of creativity and Dean has alot of muscle. He is
the brains behind it all. There was nothing here but the shell of our
house, no pipes, only basic outlets for power. Dean has designed and
built it all. From the make - do for now - power supply, to the cistren
and underground water lines. He had jack hammer in 80 feet out of
300 feet of water lines, buried 3 feet deep for frost protection.
They don't call this place Rim Rock for it's great soil. We have
been denied a septic sewer twice. Bad soil out here. He had to put
in bathtub, sink, wash and dryer hook-ups, and all lines , water heater
to put in place and plumb it in to the tub, sinks, washer. How do you
set up a fully functioning home with limited power? He has done it.
We are almost there. Dean put in propane lines and we have a
cook stove and a propane fridge and the water heater will be the insta -
hot - power saving one. All lights have energy efficient
low watt bulbs.

Once the cistren is in (1200 gallons) we will fill it with a 300 gallon
tank that sits in the back of a pick-up truck. Dean will go into Duchesne
to fill it prob 3 times per week. We can buy a water card for a nominal
fee of $35.00 per 8000 gallons. Part 2 will explain why the cistren and
a monthly water bill was not a part of the master plan. But things they
do change. Also the cost of gas will be greater hauling water.

Dean likes to collect things and this adventure would never have been
possible without his knowledge - determination - and all the "stuff"
he has gathered. LOL . It may look bad but it works good.
Dean can fix - learn - and - do everything. I have heard (by many)
that I am also a rare breed, as not many women like to camp and would
never consider this style of living. We have had our struggles, but no
more than anyones and certainly less than alot of people. Amazingly,
I miss television shows more than water, power and sewer. Oprah, Dr.OZ,
Dr. Phil, Little House (yes - for real), Law and Order, A- Idol ! All
things are possible and with permanent power station maybe satellite dish ?

This is a very challenging place and way of life. We must be up for the
challenge, we are still here. Any one can ask questions about our
"Hill- billie's ways by sending an email from my profile page (I think)
and I welcome all questions. I no longer have internet so it may take
time before I reply, but I will get back to you. Also I shall blog part
2 from Amandas house on saturday.