There are many beautiful parks in the U.S., but I am concentrating on the parks of Southern Utah in this post about parks, as I am from this area.  I would like to encourage all visitors to this post to travel to the area to enjoy the scenic wonders,

ARCHES NATIONAL MONUMENT  (partly from Wikapedia)

The Arches National Park is just a few short miles from Moab, Utah.  It is rather a remote area but it is worth the travel to see the awe inspiring beauty of the area.

More than 2,000 natural rock sandstone arches are located in the park, including the well known Delicate Arch, as well as many unique geological formations.

The park contains the highest diversity of natural arches in the world.

Arches National Park consists of 76,679 acres of high desert, located on the Colorado Plateau.

The highest elevation is 5,653 at Elephant Butte, and the lowest elevation is 4,685 at the Visitor’s Center.  It receives less than 10″ of rain annually.


Administered by the National Park Service,the area was originally named a National Monument in 1938,  and was re-designated as a national park in 1976.  The park received more than 1.6 million visitors in 2018.

The Arches area was first brought to the attention of the National Park Service by Frank A. Wadleigh, a Passenger Traffic Manager for the Denver and Rio Grande  Western Railroad in 1923.

George L. Beam visited the area in 1923, as the guest of Alexander Ringoffer, a prospector living in the area.

Designation of the area as a National Park was supported by the National Park Service.  In 1929, President Herbert Hoover signed a proclamation creating Arches National Monument.

In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a proclamation  enlarging the area.  Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon  also signed legislation regarding the park.

Recreational Activities

Climbing on named arches in the park is banned.  Recreational activities include auto touring, backpacking, biking,camping, and hiking.  Some of these recreational activities require permits.  Astronomy in the park is also popular..



Owachomo Bridge in Natural Bridges, Utah


I visited Natural Bridges (Bridges) many years ago when my good friend Betty  Holland (now deceased), was employed there.  I did not visit the bridges that often during y stay, but was impressed by the cheerfulness of the crew, and by their devotion to the “Bridges”.  They were all “happy campers” and did not even yearn for days off, to get out of the area, even though it was very remote area.

Natural Bridges National Monument is a U.S.National Monument located about 50 miles notrhwest of the Four Corners boundaries of southeast Utah, at the junction of White Canyon and Armstrong Canyon, part of the  Colorado River drainage.  It features the thirteenth largest natural bridge in the world, carved from the white Permian sandstone of the Cedar Mesa Formation.  Blanding, Utah is the nearest town.

The three bridges in the area are named Kachina, Owachomo, and Sipapu, all Hopi names.  There is evidence of at least two collapsed bridges within the Monument.


In 1904, the National Geographic Magazine publicized the bridges and the area was designated  a National Monument.   Few visitors visited the park until after the uranium boom in the 1950s,  which resulted in new roads in the area.   Bridge collapses and earthquakes are potential in the area.

Recreational activities include auto touring, camping, backpacking, biking and hiking.

Always bring, or wear, your hiking boots to these remote areas.


I have visited Z ion’s National Park many times.  I used dto have a friend there ,Michael Fatali.  Michael is a renowned photographer and he had a gallery in Springdale, Utah, the town which is the closest to Zion National Park.  While visiting Zion, I would stay in Michael’s “Rock House”.

Zion National Park is truly beautiful and magnificent, and a great place for hiking.

The following is partly from Wikipedia

Zion National Park is an American National Park, near the town of Springdale, Utah.  A prominent feature of the 229 square  mile par is Zion Canyon.  Zion canyon walls are reddish and tan Navajo sandstone, eroded by the North Fork of the Virgin River.  The lowest point in the park is at Coalpits Wash, and the highest peak is at Horse Ranch Mountain  (8726 ft.)  The park has a variety of of life zones that allow  unusual plant and animal life.  Numerous plant species as well as 289 species of birds, 75 mammals, (including 17 of bat)  and 39 reptiles inhabit the park’s four life zones, desert, woodland, riparian and coniferous forest.

Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons and natural arches.

Human habitation of the area started about 8,000 years ago with snall  groups of Native Americans, one of which was the semi-nomadic Basketmaker Anasazi.  Mormons came into the area in 1858 and settled there  On November 20, 1919, Congress redesignated the monument to Zion National Park, and the Act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson.

The park is located in Washington, Iron and Kane counties, in Southwestern Utah.  Streams in the area take rectangular Zion National paths because they follow jointing planes in the rocks.  The climate consists of hot summers and cold winters with a limited amount of precipitation throughout the year.

Zion National Park is a magnificent park to visit, especially if you are a hiker, so don’t forget your hiking boots.


Bryce Canyon National Park is an American National Park located in Southwestern Utah.  Its major feature is Bruce Canyon, which,  despite its name, is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural ampitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks.  The red, orange and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors.


Bryce Canyon was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850’s, and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded the area in 1879.  President Warren G. Harding designated it as a national monument in 1923, and it was redesignated a national park by Congress in 1928

The park encompassed 35,835 acres.  The location is rather remote, but visitors numbers are increasing.


Bryce Canyon National Park lies within the Colorado Plateau province of North America and straddles the southeastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. It is known as a canyon beause it was not formed by erosion from  central stream. stream.

Th hoodoos in Bryce are similar to those found in CEDAR BREAKS NATIONAL MONUMENT, which is 25 miles to the west.


Mormon scouts visited the area in the 1850’s,to gauge its potential for agricultural development and settlement.  Army Major John Wesley Powell surveyed the area in 1872.

Ebenezer Bryce, who was sent by the Mormon Church to homestead the area, reputedly thought the ampitheaters were “a helluva place to lose a cow.”

A combination of drought, overgrazing and flooding drove the Paiutes from the area.  Bryce moved his family to Arizona in 1880.

170 species of birds visit the park each year.  The mule deer, cougars and coyotes migrate to lower elevations each year.

Numerour hiking grails are provided in the park.  The park includes two campgrouinds, North Campground and Sunset Campground.  Bryce Canyon Lodge is also available.

Bryce Canyon, along with Arches, Zions amd Bridges are all excellent places to hike, so put on your hiking boots,and LETS GO HIKING !!!!!!




The answer to this question is, I USED to love to hike.  I am now looking at advancing years, and I have become handicapped and can barely walk, let alone hike !

My friends at Wealthy Affiliate, Do not feel sorry for me because of this, because I have had a wonderful, hike-filled life.

.I  was born and raised in Moab, Utah, and I really believe my friends and I discovered the hiking outdoor trails and the bike trails, and the beauty of the area before the outdoor lovers and the tourists did.

Even as a child, I  would get out and, if not hike, I at least walked in the wilderness of Southeastern Utah.   From the time I was a  toddler until I was in high school, we owned Brown’s Hole, in  San Juan County, Utah.  As a toddler, I loved to walk around the area.

My Dad, (The handsome Utah cowboy, Buck Kirk), used to let me accompany him to gather eggs, (I broke many),  and to irrigate the alfalfa.  There were many anthills on the property.  I guess, with  a sense of ownership, I asked him if I could be the owner of all the ants in Brown’s Hole. He chuckled, and answered affirmatively that yes, I could be the owner of all the ants.  I promptly forgot about the ants.

As I became a teenager and was in Junior High, my friends and I were constantly in the hills.  We called it rock climbing.  We even had a rock collection in a big sack we carried around, and probably had some stones that today, would be valuable.  We hunted and climbed, and in  those days, we did not even have hiking boots.  But living in Moab, that is what you did……you spent time in the red rocks and hills!

It helped that one of my school mates and girlfriends, Margie Stocks, lived in a home right at the foot of the red rocks surrounding Moab.  She had twin brothers, Lee and Larry, a little older than us.  Lee and Larry were also “rock kids” and they often were our guides around the hills.

***A Note about Margie:

Margie married the owner of a service station and store in the town of Thompson, Utah.  Thompson is 32 mile from Moab.   Early one morning, Margie went into the store to set up for the day’s work, and she was shot and killed by a person who had broken in to steal.  I do not know any more details, but I do know that the murderer  was caught and I did hear that he had killed others.  The murder of Margie was a great tragedy.  She was a wonderful person and was always helpful to others.

Anne Dalton was another member of our band of hikers.  Anne was a very good friend of mine when we were younger and remained a friend, But my interest in boys and her interest in the LDS Church e.ventually led to us becoming only casual friends.  I understand Anne passed away a few years ago, from a heart ailment.  Anne and I once took our rock collection dto show the renowned Dr. Williams.  We had in our collection, a historic skull.  Dr. Williams accused us of stealing the skull from him.  We left it there and never returned.  And, needless to say, we never visited Dr. Williams again.  I was our first lesson in false accusations; and a very unexpected one.

Lorna Lance often hiked with us.  I have not heard of Lorna for years,but I hope she is ok.  I do know that,  as Anne Dalton did, she married a returned  LDS  Missionary.  Lorna and Anne were devout Mormons, and both had strong moral convictions, and I respected them for it.  I have missed all my childhood friends and fellow hikers.

Well, that is it for our little band of hikers ,even though there were occasional guest hiker, such as Elessa  Jackson, , Dorlynn Day, Skippy Wmibourn and others..

We were young but we were wild rock hikes,  and we loved it @@

How many of you out there like to hike?  If  I had no one to hike with, I would go alone.  While living in Willow Basin, Utah, I knew my way around the hills and the mountains, and I would often hike alone.  While my cat, Timmy, was alive and at the cabin, he would always accompany me on my hikes.   When he got tired, he would sit down, and I would carry him until he was ready to walk again.  What wonderful memories I have of this time,and how fortunate am I to have these memories?

So, these are some of my special Moab Memories, and thank you for reading my post about them.  And put on your hiking boots and START HIKING !!



Locations and reviews of the best of the Phoenix area Farmer’s Markets, and there are many !!

I am preparing this post  as a guide to the best Farmer’s Markets in the Phoenix area.   I have needed a guide such as this for my own use.  I was raised with gardens, both in Brown’ Hole, Utah and in Moab, Utah.  If you were raised with fresh produce, nothing can take its place.  There is nothing like fresh tomatoes, fresh green beans, potatoes freshly dug, green onions, fresh garlic, and even fresh turnips were eaten whole from the gardens.  AND….HOW MANY OF YOU REMEMBER SHELLING PEAS AND SNAPPING GREEN BEANS?  And have you ever eaten beet greens?  Boiled until they are tender, with a ittle bacon, then eaten with a little vinegar poured over?  DELICIOUS !!

My daughter remembers, years ago, going to a movie theater with  me, and during the movie,  I pulled out a bag of raw turnips I had brought from home.  My choice over popcorn or icecream !


Ron and I had a great garden for awhile at the cabin in Willow Basin.  We raised lettuce, green onions, radishes, beets, and lots and lots of ARUGULA!!! Enough for all the neighbors.  I was in the habit of throwing the potato peelings into the garden to add nutrients…imagine my surprise when the peelings generated a Potato patch…and we enjoyed them!!

Let me tell you, it is a great pleasure to go into the yard and pick  your own fresh vegetables for the table.

I now live in the City, but we have great Farmer’s Markets in the area, and we like  to take advantage of them.


(Most of this information was found in YELP, but I have reorganized it, and have added some and deleted some of it, according to my specifications.


Open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Open Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

5757 N. Central Ave.  Phoenix, Arizona  602 758 4568 (Central & Bethany Home)

This Farmer’s Market is sponsored by the North Phoenix Baptist Church.  This market would not be possible without the beautiful grounds and continuous support of the North Phoenix Baptist Church.    This market donates extra food to the homeless and donates school supplies to Empower College Prep.  All vendors accept cash and many of them accept credit cards.  You can purchase fruits and vegetables from your favorite farmer and have them chopped, sliced  and diced onsite.  Uptown moves indoors for the hot summer months of June through August.  Indoor dining is available and 100+ vendors all summer long.  Uptown Farmer’s Market has an indoor fridge and freezer

Over 100 Arizona growers.Seasonal specialties and range free eggs.  Family friendly/ pets accepted.



1700 West Adams  1:30 a.m.

Phoenix, Arizona

623 848-1234                Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 1 30  Jan. 24 to April 6

If  you really want your food this close to politicians,  this is a small well-run locally grown Farmer’s Market.  Fresh baked bread , seasonal produce, herbs and flowers.



16820 N. 99th Ave.  Sun City,  AZ 85351   Thursdays

A good variety of vendors  featuring baked goods, locally  produced fruits and vegetables, local honey, and if you re lucky, polish sausage and pierogis.



721 N. Central Ave.    Phoenix

602 625 6736  Saturdays May thru September 8 to noon

Saturdays October thru April 8 – 1

Too cool for a Farmer’s Market?  Not this one….  This Farmer’s Market is THE place to grab. a cup of jo and star purusing.  There is jewelry, cothes, pretzels, etc



Saturdays October thru May 8 – 1

3806 N. Brown Ave.  Scottsdale, Arizona

480  330 4221

10 years strong with more than 100 local growers..  This Farmer’s market  features specialties such as apples, flowers, natural meats, bread and tamales.


5415 East High Street  Phoenix, Arizona

602 388 6424

Sundays 10 am to 1 pm

This Farmer’s Market is one of the largest in the valley.

Festive atmosophere with live music and  a large variety of locally grown produce and many choices of food, spices and vegetables


Thank you for reading my post about a few of the Farmer’s Markets in the Phoenix area.

Janice Gustafson  3/11/19



An explanation of the locations and desirability of hiking trails in Utah, with a preference to the southern part of the state, especially Grand and San Juan counties.  So put on your hiking boots and get ready to go hiking !!  This post also includes some personal information of the two towns.



Moab is the county seat of Grand County, in the state of Utah.  Moab was originally settled by LDS pioneers, and many of them were polygamists.

Monticello is the county seat of San Juan County, in the state of Utah.  There has always been much visiting  between the towns, as would be expected in such close proximity.  The towns share much of the same history and heritage.  Monticello has not the beauty of national parks that Moab encompasses and therefore, has not been the boom town that Moab is.  However, the Uranium discoveries in the area made  a big impact on Monticello.

I, personally did not have a “boyfriend  in Monticello, as many of my friends did, but I I did have a boyfriend in Blanding for about a year.  BUT, we both decided that the long distance (80 miles) relationship was not very desirable.  However, I did go to the Jr. Prom in Moab with him when I was  a sophomore.

Brown’s Hole is in San Juan County, and many  of the occurrences in the book “Bill Tibbetts, the Last of the Robber’s Roost Outlaws”, by Tom McCourt, took place in San Juan County.


When I was about a junior in high school, I was pretty good at playing the clarinet.  If you can play a clarinet, you can play a saxophone, as one register of them is the same.  (Right, Spencer, my music teacher Grandson?)

Because I was good on the clarinet, the members of the local (he only band in town besides Ag and Krug) decided I could play in the band if I would get a saxophone.  Ag and Krug played great music, but our band was more appropriate for the younger crowd.

My parents sent out to Montgomery Ward (or Sears) catalog and soon I was the proud owner and player of a beautiful King saxaphone.  The case was lined with orange velvet, and I thought it was exquisite and I took very good care of it.  AND I became quite proficient in playing it.  My grandson, Spencer, is now the proud owner of the saxophone, and he is also the owner of some of the other instruments played in this band.

I did become a member of the big band, which consisted of my sister, Dorothy on the piano, (later it was Lily Ann Hoffman, (after Dorothy went off to college), Dorothy Mc Dougall Markle and myself on Saxaphones,  Jerry Walker, (my future ex-husband), and his brother, Jimmy Walker on trombones, and Wally Somerville on cornet and Freddie Markle on drums.  We were quite the musical group, and played the music of the day, which included Big Band numbers and ballads.

One number we played and one the dancers loved was Glenn Miller’s arrangement of “In the Mood”  However, there was one measure that was a little difficult for all of us.  So we would yell it:  Zip a Doo Dee Ay (thump, thump from the drums), zip a Doo Dee Ay (again thump, thump) then it was on with the arrangement.

When my sister, Dorothy, wanted to dance, I had to fill in on the piano for her.  I was not very good on the piano,( in spite of my Grandmother, Mamo, paying for years of lessons from Mrs. Baldwin.)  The only number I could manage very well was “Spanish Eyes.”  To this day  Dorothy says she was a good dancer, but she could only dance to Spanish Eyes.  We made a few of old time recordings, and had them stored in cupboards of the house in Moab, but they were thrown away during one of our mother’s house cleanings

Another memory is the name of our Big Band.  Because the Markles ( Dorothy and Freddie), were often “expecting” we started calling the band Wally Somerville and his 7 1/2.

Monticello had a colder climate  than Moab, and travelling there and over the icy Blue Hill was a nightmare.  There were usually 7 of us in a little coupe, with all our instruments, including drums.  But we all loved music, and we loved playing it, and we each made $10.00 for each “gig”.  We had a monopoly in Southern Utah, and also played in Greenriver, Thompson and Blanding.  We even played once in the Silver Moon in Thompson.  (A long forgotten landmark.)

                             The La Sals

THE  BLUE MOUNTAINS  (partly from Wikapedia)

The correct name for the Blue Mountains is the “Abajo” Mountains.  Abajo is a fitting name for them, because Abajo means “small” in Spanish. The Abajo (Blue) mountains are a small mountain range west of Monticello, Utah, south of Canyonlands National Park, and north of Blanding.  The highest peak is Abaj0 Peak, at 11,360 ft.

The Blue Mountains are part of the Colorado Plateau, and are not considered part of the  Rockies.


Approximately half way between Moab and Monticello, you will pass Church Rock, a huge sandstone formation that does definitely resemble a church.

Travelling from Moab to Monticello, about 15 miles into the trip, you will pass Kane Springs Park, a  great place for hiking, with only a short walk to a big sandstone rock with footsteps carved into it.  A great hiking location, and children love it.

Drive a little farther and on the left you will pass the Brown’s Hole dirt road, and it ends at a dead end at the foot of the La Sal’s.  You will soon pass the Wilson Arch.  My son, Kirk Hawley, has written great lyrics and published a CD about the Wilson family.  It is titled “Left for Dead” and is available on Amazon.

This concludes my post about Moab and Monticello, Utah.  It is my hope that the post has given you some further knowledge of the history of Southern Utah, and also has broadened your interest in the many hiking trails of the area.

Thank you for reading “The Hiking Trails of Utah”.

Janice Gustafson