Hi:  My name is Janice Gustafson and I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate.  This  post is aimed at engaging members of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   I am already a member of each of these social networks, but I am seeking friends.

I am a native of Moab, Utah, and Moab is my niche.  I  do not live there now, but it is my hometown and my  memories of it (the way it used to be), are vivid.   I was raised on a cattle ranch about 20 miles from Moab.   Moab is in Grand County, but the ranch was in San Juan County

Many of y.ou are familiar with Moab, and many of my friends are current or former residents.  Aren’t we lucky to live or have lived in such a beautiful

As I stated before, this post is aimed toward  meeting and engaging new friends.  You are invited to comment and/or ask questions;

.I would like to invite you to comment on my post, and please feel free to ask questions.  I will be very  happy to get back to you.

Thank you.

Janice Gustafson, May 4, 2019,  moabmemories.com




It has been 30 years since I lived in Australia with my family.  We loved living there, and the memories we have are still active and alive for us.


We were met in San Diego by my cousin, Mike Woods, (since deceased).  Mike and I were very close, even though we were distant cousins, and he was serving in the Navy there.  We were also joined by friends Jean Morley and children. The Morley family were good friends from Phoenix whose husband and father. Dick Morley, was also employed by the same company.  The boys were Tom and Troy.  My children (now, of  course, adults, ) were Jo, Kirk and Tarie.

We were traveling with five children, and it was challenging, but fun.  We had a day’s stopover in Honolulu and we used the time for sightseeing and the children were well behaved and we enjoyed the time  there.   We were, however, greatly relieved when we reached Canberra, and we were anxious to get settled there.

Bob, of course, already had many friends.  He had hired the chef away from the hotel where he had been staying. The chef was Axel Nielsen, and he and his wife Jo, became very good friends, and I miss them to this day.  I am friends with their son Mark, on Facebook and I really enjoy communicating with him and reminicing.

THE FIRST WEEK (The Dinner Prarty and the big goof)

I was settled in  a few days, so I hosted a dinner party for some Australian friends and the Nielsens, who were from England.  Sometime during the meal, we began talking about the rodeo which was going to take place soon in Canberra. 

 At the time, I was a big rodeo fan, but was beginning to have sympathy for the mistreated animals.  I made the statement, “I plan to go to the rodeo and ROOT  for the cowboys.”  Well, I got some very strange looks and it was explained to me that “root” in Australia is the worse word you can say, and it is like the “f” word here.  I was quite horrified, and it was my first introduction to Australianese.


I feel (and hope) I am qualified to write a post on this subject, as we have owned, and traveled in,  5 small travel trailers over the last 20 years.  Some have been perfect, some have had problems for one reason on another, and I will try to review them for those of you thinking of becoming RV ers !


The first travel trailer my husband, Ron, and I owned was a small hi-lo trailer.  We bought it in Mesa, Arizona, and shortly thereafter, pulled it to  Snowflake, Arizona, and parked in a nearby casino.  This little trailer  is good for camping, and that is about all. I remember having both the couch and the table made into beds.  My husband sat on one and I sat on the other, and played games on the internet.  Eventually, we walked to the casino and had dinner.  The hi-low trailers PULL EASILY with no swaying, and my husband seemed to have no trouble with the hook-ups, even though he was new at it.

We eventually pulled the Hi-Low to my mountain property in Utah, and parked it close to the cabin.  We ended up selling it to a resident of Moab, and it was his plan to use it for hunting trips with his son.  I think it was probably perfect for him.


Our next purchase introduced us to the Coachman Trailers.  We saw this trailer advertised in the Moab paper, and we traveled to Grand Junction, Colorado and purchased it from a former Moab resident.

It was a great trailer and we enjoyed it.  We did not travel in it too much, but used it for extra sleeping space for cabin visitors. It had a small kitchen,  a table and chairs, and a double bed in the front space, and a bathroom in the back.  My husband remembers this as being around 26 ft.

We sold this Coachman to a young man who was marrying a girl whose family owned extensive property in Texas, and he planned  to park it on their property and stay there on their infrequent visits.

This trailer was great.  The only problem was a leak in the ceiling when it rained.  Rather than have it repaired, we decided to sell it.  We were now hooked on The Coachman, and started shopping for a larger one.


We first saw this trailer at an RV Show in Glendale, Arizona.  The RV Show was held next to the stadium where the next Super Bowl will be held.  The Coachman had a large kitchen, wood floors, a bar with stools ,a good sized bathroom. and individual reading lights above the bed.  it was very modern in design and decor, and I was hooked on it.  I was so thrilled when Ron said we could afford to buy it.

The first place we pulled it was to Laughlin, Nevada. AND IT SWAYED.  It was a scary trip both to Laughlin and back.  Anyone who has driven from Phonix to Laughlin, knows the roads are narrow, and there is no freeway.  There are also canyons along the route, which look menacing.

When we got home, we immediately began researching the reason for the swaying.  We could not find out the reason, but we bought sway bars, etc., but nothing helped.

We ended up parking it next to the cabin in Utah.  It was great for extra beds and our guests seemed to enjoy staying out there.

We decided we missed having a travel trailer but we did not want to take a chance on another swaying one, so Ron found one he liked at Sun City RV, and we put The Coachman up for sale there.

I felt Ron was working too hard hooking and unhooking the trailer, so we decided to look at the Coachman small motor homes.  Thy seemed a little crowded to me, as I was not used to having the driver and the mechanisims in the trailer with me.

Ron came home one day and said he had been to Sun City RV and found a motor home he really liked, so we arranged to buy it.


This was a great little motor home, and we took some fun trips in it.  Daisy was red and white, and very stylish.

I liked the fact that I could rest, work, or fix lunch in the motor home while Ron drove.  There was no swaying and no leveling, and these were HUGE pluses!


I was missing the summers in Utah after I sold the cabin, so I arranged for us to stay the month of August in Sedona, Arizona.  We stayed in a trailer court right next to the river that runs through Sedona.  It was a beautiful location, but not that luxurious.  It was not too clean, and it was next to impossible to get laundry done.  The laundromat was busy from  daylight ’til after my bedtime.   We miss rainstorms while in Phoenix, but the rain in Sedona got to be too much for us.  And the spirits of the Vortex escaped us.

When I was a child and lived in Brown’s Hole, Utah, we had many, many juniper berry trees, and they were all crooked and  twisted…but it was from THE WIND.

Around this time, we decided to get out, but “Daisy” would not start.  Being long time members of AAA,  we immediately called them.  I  had the Tracker there and decided to come on home to Phoenix.  Ron moved in with a neighbor for a couple of days.  Triple A sent a semi to get the motor home out, and they could not get down the narrow, muddy road too haul her out.  Ron eventually hired a company to move her and do the repairs, and he was compensated by Triple A for the move.

By the time I got home to Phoenix I was thinking of selling “Daisy” and when Ron got home, he was having the same thoughts, so he put her up for sale at Sun City RV, and she eventually sold.  Than we were TRAILERLESS !!!


We are  now the owners of a Coleman Lantern travel trailer.  We just returned from 4 days in Sedona and it was great.


We loved the fact that i has a private queen sized bed, and also double sized bunk beds.

We also are excited about the outside bbq and refrigerator.  It is great for sitting outside, having a little vino, cooking and eating.

The bunk beds are plenty wide enough for one person and their personal items.

The wood floors and the venetian blinds are a plus.

We think the securing and the hook up will be easy when new habits are formed.


The bathroom is VERY small, especially for a handicapped person.

There is no ladder provided for the bunk beds, and they are difficult to make up.

Some of the venetian blinds lack wands for closing.

I can find no place to put a litter box.

The 3 steps provided for entry into the trailer are not adequate, and should be 4 steps, and another handle should be installed, for children and the handicapped.

RV parks are known for being dog and animal friends.  Many of them have areas just for dogs.


To summarize, I would say that, if you are thinking of purchasing a travel trailer, study and research for one that meets your needs.

We are senior citizens, so we need one that is non-sway  and maintenance free.

Make sure your significant partner is “handy” and strong enough to hook  up the sway bars and a good enough driver to back up the vehicle to hook on to the trailer.  (I would hate to think I would have to do it.)

Make sure it has the features you like, such as floors, drapes, blinds, microwave, and KNOW THE SIZE OF BATHROOM YOU LIKE AND NEED.

Make sure it has a wide wheel base to eliminate swaying, BUT get sway bars anyway.

All trailers I have seen have gas stoves;  so, if you prefer electricity, as I do, get used to microwave cooking.  Make sure you have a toaster and an electric coffee pot.  I also have a George Foreman Grill for when I do not want to BBQ outside.

More and more people are enjoying travel trailers, many are selling their homes and living full time in them.

Good luck and I hope I have helped you a little in your search for the perfect travel trailer for you.

Please comment or leave any questions below.

Thank you,

Janice Kirk Gustafson



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 St.to  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



A few years ago, I was diagnosed with Edema, and was told to take Lasix and/or wear compression hose.  Who? Me?  Wear those ugly hose that old ladies (and old  men) wear?   NOT ME  ! ! !

I therefore, decided that if I have to wear compression hose, I will find some pretty, more youthful ones.  After all, I am only 86 years old, and cannot be expected to wear “old ladies”  clothes.

I began my search in Ebay, and I discovered, just as I expected, that there are actually some pretty and functional compression hose available.  I ordered a pair from Ebay, I think the pattern was denim stripes.  I loved them and I was hooked.  I chose this pattern because I wear a lot of denim.</h2

I think, at the time, that I paid $16.99 for the pair.  I began researching what else was available.

I found what I was searching for in the Walter Drake catalog.  They were $14.99 a pair if you ordered 2 or more pair.

I now have a collection of 25 pairs of patterned compression hose.  I have several Denim Stripe, also, pairs of Blush Lace, Midnight Lace, Meg, Butterfly Garden, and many more.   I also have plain burgandy, brown and yes, black…BUT not white.  Now I have a desire for a pair of black and white polka dot.

Since this is a product review post, I will mention what other compression hose I have tried.

I tried the zippered compression hose , and the zippers quit working after a couple of wearings.  I tried the toeless compression hose, and they were not comfortable.  I have tried several brands of regular panty hose, and had trouble keeping them pulled up.

After all this research, I find my choice is the Celeste Stein patterned compression hose; and I order them through the Walter Drake catalog, either on the internet or from the actual catalog.

Unless your swelling problem is very, very severe, always get the 8 – 15 strength, and please remember, when putting them on, ALWAYS PULL FROM THE BACK!   Good luck !!!!!!

I tried several other brands of the patterned compression hose, but did not like the patterns as well as the ones I am going to show you:These compression hose are now available in several catalogs, and on the internet.  They are easy to put on.  Always remember to PULL FROM THE BACK,  and smooth out all wrinkles.  

These compression hose do a good job of controlling the swelling in my legs, due to Edema.  I am now planning to buy some black/gray compression hose to add to my collection.  If we must wear them, let’s wear some pretty ones.

Thank you for reading my product review of pattterned compression hose.

Janice Gustafson 2/21/19




My mother, the glamorous flapper,  Neva Clark, and my father, the handsome Utah cowboy, Buck Kirk, were relative newlyweds, when they purchased land, range rights, and a broken down old cabin in Browns Hole, San Juan County, Utah.  They must have been very excited to have survived the depression.  (which my father accomplished by driving truck for the Moab Transportation Company.}  They now had their own ranch and cattle, even though they had  acquired Brown’s Hole with borrowed money.  It is my understanding, that the borrowed money  came from both my maternal Grandmother, Elberta  Clark, (Mamo), and partly from the probably ill-gained finances of a former Texas Outlaw and Moab resident, John Jackson.

I remember my mother boiling the laundry over an open fire, and also making soap outside. (Guess they, or somebody must have butchered a pig, for the soap-making.)  Neva was, at the time and I remember it well, boiling laundry and making soap like the  true wife of a pioneer cowboy.  We had a cow, milked by  Grandad Kirk, and we had chickens for eating and for eggs.  A PERFECT LIFE, YOU WOULD SAY???


The coyotes got the chickens.

The worse thing that happened though, was that Grandad Kirk was killed when struck  by a pick-up truck driven by a friend of ours.  It was early in the morning, and he had come in from Brown’s Hole to spend a few days at the home of his son-in-law, Dr. I.W. Allen.  It was his habit to get up early and walk down to the local Drug Store.  I often ran into him there, and we always gave each other hugs. Grandad died the next day after being struck, and I was inconsolable.  I knew it was the end of my life at Brown’s Hole, and it was.  At this time, I was around 13 years old.

Neva did not seem inclined to spend much time at Brown’s Hole after these events.  My sister, Dorothy, seemed to prefer staying in Moab, with Mamo.  I really think my mother had had enough of the glamorous (?) life as a cowboy’s wife, and preferred playing bridge in Moab, with occasional trips to Salt Lake City to visit her sister, Ethel.


Buck persevered at Brown’s Hole, alone, in the cattle business,  and he had the loans paid off in short order.  He eventually became a large land owner in the area, and expanded his holdings into the North side of the La Sals.  He sold Brown’s Hole, it is my understanding, to Charlie Redd, with whom he had a friendly rivalry for years.  During the negotiations for the sale he was heard to say, “The only reason I would not want to move to the other side of the mountain, where my friends are, is that I WILL HAVE TO START EATING MY OWN BEEF”.

Excerpt partly from “Last of the Robber’s Roost Outlaws – Bill Tibbetts, by Tom McCourt.  Published by Canyonlands Natural History Association. 2010

This book tells a true story.  James William (Bill) Tibbetts was a real cowboy, a good man, and a real outlaw. His father, Bill Tibbetts Sr. Obtained land near Old LaSal, Utah.  There was s spring of bubbling cold water, and he built a 2 room cabin there.  He married a much younger woman, a teenager at the time, Amy Moore, and she was charmed by the handsome cowboy who owned his own spread.  They had 2 sons, Bill and Joe.

On March 19, 1902,  Bill Tibbetts, Sr. was shot and killed by Charles Booth, who was drunk and on a rampage, looking for his wife who was being hidden in the cabin at Brown’s Hole.

He drug his young wife from the cabin and also shot her.  He was found guilty of the murders and sentenced to death by gunfire.


NOTE;  This cabin was where I was raised as a child.  There is a picture of the cabin on page 14 of the book, and I can confirm that this is where the murders took place.  i checked with Kenny Allred, grandson of Amy, and he confirmed it.  I went back to Brown’s Hole a few years ago with 2 of my grandchildren, Layla Murphy and Spencer Hawley.  We had been to my cabin in Willow Basin, and we already had on our hiking boots.


I feel I have a personal relationship with the Colorado River.  I was raised very close to it and, as a teenager, it was our playground.

As teenagers, we were, of course, all very good swimmers.  Our “crowd” used to hang out at the bridge area; and the boys, then young men, who were all excellent divers, would climb to the top and swan dive into the current below.

This is an image of the bridge near Moab, as it was in the 1950’s.  this is the bridge from which the “boys” would dive.  The bridge is no longer  there, and I believe there have been 2 new ones since then. I think  I am wrong.  In looking at the image, it looks like an image of one of the newer ones.

The river could also be romantic, and it had a silvery glow, especially at night and especially when there was a full moon.

Moonlight on the river Colorado     How I wish that I were here with you     As I sit and pine, each lovely site takes me back to days when you were mine.    Moonlight on the Silvery Colorado.   How I wish that you were still mine.

Well, these are  words to a beautiful song about the Colorado River.  My Dad used to sing this song. Last night  I listened to and  watched the video by the Sons of the Pioneers on You Tube many times; but today, I received a message that the video was no longer available.  Darn !!!  So, last night I was so enthralled with  the video, that I did not bother to write down the lyrics.  That  is why they are not exact.


The Colorado River is one of the principal rivers in the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico.  The 450 mile long river drains an extensive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states.  Starting in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the river runs generally across the Colorado Plateau and through the Grand Canyon, reaching Lake Mead, on the Arizona-Nevada border, where it turns south towards the international border.  After entering Mexico, the river approaches the mostly dry Colorado River Delta At the tip of the Gulf of California, between the Gulf of California and Sonora.

Known for its dramatic canyons, whitewater rapids and 11 U.S. National Parks, the Colorado river and its tributaries are a vital source of water for 40 million people.  The river and its tributaries are controlled by an extensive system of dams, reservoirs, and aquaducts, which in most years, divert its entire flow into agricultural irrigation and domestic water supply.  Its large flow and steep gradient are used for generating hydroelectric power, and its major dams regulate peaking power demands in much of the Inter mountain West.  Intensive water consumption has dried up the lower 100 miles of the river,  and water has rarely reached the sea since the 1960’s.  Native Americans have inhabited the Colorado River basin for at least 8,000 years.

Between 2000 and 1000 years ago, the watershed was home to large agricultural civilizations – which eventually declined due to a combination of severe drought and poor land use practices.  Most native people who inhabit the region today are descended from other group that settled there beginning about 1,000 year ago.  Europeans first entered the Colorado Basin in the 16th century, when explorers from Spain began mapping and claiming the area, which became part of Mexico after its independence in 1821.  Early contact between Europeans and Native Americans was generally limited to the fur trade in the headwaters along the lower river.

After most of the Colorado River basin became part of the U.S.in 1846, much of the river’s course was still the subject of myths and speculation.

Several expeditions charted the Colorado in the mid-19th century-one of which, led by John Wesley Powell, was the first to run the rapids of the Grand Canyon. (end of Wikipedia)

Every year, my Dad (Utah cowboy Buck Kirk), and his best friend, (Utah cowboy Jim McPherson), (both deceased), Moved their cattle (or part of them,) from their range on the other side of the river.

This was quite an endeavor, and quite a spectacle, and there were always many  observers to the production.  I didn’t hear of them losing any cattle, but they did lose a horse, one year.

Buck and Jim were quite large landholders in the area.  During the “uranium boom”, they were quite often approached by promoters from the city to lease their land for prospecting purposes, and occasionally for a ski resort.  Or, perhaps it was for inclusion in the “penny stocks” which were very popular during the time; I am not sure.  I am sure that the two were raised for the cattle business, and that was what they would both do for their remaining years.

Anyway, the story goes that there were 2 of these promoters watching the crossing of the Colorado by the cowboys and the cattle.

Upon completion of the task. Buck and Jim, exhausted, found rest and relaxation  under a tree, where they dropped their horse’s reins, and  reclined, using the tree a a pillow.  

Soon, they were approached by the big city promoters.  One of them ask Buck: “How come you can drop the reins of the horses.   They are not tied up.  Why don’t they run off?”  Buck answered in a slow drawl:  “Tiirred”.

This has been a recollection of just a few of the memories of the Mighty Colorado River.  It has changed considerably since I was a youth.  The old White Ranch is now Red Cliffs Lodge, the home of the Castle Creek Winery.  This is where part of the Moab Music Festival is held, and it was the center for the Utah Primal Quest.

.”The great John Wayne movie, “Rio Grande.” was filmed mainly at the Old White Ranch.

There are numerous places to hike and picnic on the Colorado, both up river an down river from Moab…do not forget your hiking boots; and we have not forgotten the beauty of the Grand Canyon.  

The Colorado River also runs through Laughlin, Nevada and the large casinos there make good use of the recreational opportunities of the river.

Thank you for reading my post about the Mighty Colorado River.


Janice Kirk Gustafson