Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Over Heartbreak Ridge

Thursday June 16th  Leaving the ranch where Heiner Canyon joins Echo Canyon to rejoin the direct line of the Pony Express trail..
This was at a point below the site of Halfway station, also known as Daniels or Emery, which as its name suggests was located about halfway down Echo Canyon.  From here on it was possible to follow Echo Canyon road, formerly US Highway 30-S, now an almost deserted side road parallel to Interstate 80.  As we travelled down Echo Canyon the scenery became more dramatic with huge sandstone cliffs soaring up on either side...
...and there really was a most amazing echo ringing round the rocks, unfortunately an endless one from the drone of traffic roaring along Interstate 80, so there was no chance of trying it out by voice. 
An optimistic buttress?.. 
 By the marker for Weber Pony Express station where Echo Canyon meets Weber Canyon....
This was where the landmark Pulpit Rock was located, destroyed by 1936 partly due to concerns about its stability, and partly to make way for an improved US Highway 30-S.
The station was located by Pulpit Rock, in fact on the other side of the railway line in the background of the photo, nearer the Weber river.  Weber Canyon which we were about to follow, leads off to the right.  James Bromley, the division superintendent for the stations between Pacific Springs (near South Pass) and Salt Lake City, ran this important station.  In addition to the stone station house, there was a general store, inn, saloon, blacksmith shop and jail at the site, and the station provided a good supply of hay and vegetables. The station house was demolished in 1931.

Supplication Hills overlooking Weber Canyon were so called after the first Mormon pioneer group led by a sick Brigham Young camped here.  Some of the group climbed the hills in the background to pray for the recovery of their leader and other members who were also ill...
...though apparently they were not so concerned as to prevent them amusing themselves by rolling rocks down the slopes.
I was definitely not grumpy to stop at Grumps in Henefer for an ice-cream...
 ..and proprietor and retired Salt Lake City policeman Kevin Joiner suggested I stop at his house up the road to rest and graze the horses at midday, an offer I readily accepted.   Here is Kevin with an Angus steer he is preparing for the show ring...
We now started climbing up over the first of the ridges of the Wasatch mountains to Hogsback summit..
 ....which has sometimes also been termed  'Heartbreak Ridge', as after months of hard travelling it must have been heartbreaking for pioneers to breast this summit and see even more ridges of the Wasatch Range lying ahead.    I have to say I had some sympathy!  However this also marked our entrance into Morgan County, the last county before Salt Lake City.
A view of East Canyon lake from the Highway 65...
The site of the East Canyon Pony Express station is now flooded and lies under the water at the end of this branch of the lake where it joins the East Canyon valley ahead.  
I was aiming for the head of the lake another few miles round the corner to the left, and found a spot at the back of a campsite to graze the horses and camp. 

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