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 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



My small Aroma Instant Pot

Thank you for reading my review of my Aroma Inststat Pot.  I am enjoying experimenting with it very much.  And since there are just two of us, I am glad I purchased the small one.

Last year, after spending a very nice day at the U.S. Air Fore Museum, we became TOTALLY lost.  We were attempting to return to the RV Park on the base, where our trailer was waiting for us, and we were tired!. At that time, we only had cell phones, which were no help to us.  We knew only that we were staying at the “Fam Camp” and it had no actual address.

We passed many gates at Wright Patterson Air Force Base; many of them more than once, when we suddenly saw, in the distance, the welcome sight of R V’s!!!!!   IT WAS THE FAM CAMP!

At this time, we realized we were very close to the BX, and I felt the need to BUY SOMETHING.  Upon entering the BX, we saw a display of the Aroma Instant Pots.  I did not realize, at the time, that they were the small ones, so I happily  pulled out my charge card and purchased one.  Then on to the Fam Camp to spend the night before travelling again the next morningl

The new purchase remained packed away until I suddenly remembered it a few weeks after we returned to Arizona.

I was totally afraid of it the first time I used it.  Luckily, my daughter-in-law, Janetta,  was there, and she showed me how to use it and how to clean it.  The next day, I looked for recipes for the pot.  It was then I realized that I had a small instant pot, but all the recipes I could find were for a large one.

So I improvised.

The main thing I make in my instant pot is soup, and here is how I make it:


1/2 chicken breast, (frozen or thawed)

2 cans chicken broth

2 med. carrots

1 med onion, chopped

a handful of rice.

salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients in pot…(I add garlic here)

Close the lid.  Press the Keep Warm Button, Then Press the Poultry Button.  I let it sit awhile after the 15 minutes are up, and let the steam dissipate.  Shred the chicken, and you will have delicious soup.

What  else do I make in my instapot?  Not much, as we are big soup eaters.

As I said.  All the recipes I have found are for the BIG pots, but I am a good cook, and I can and will improvise.

Here is one recipe I have cut in half and plan to cook: (Soup again)


Ingredients:   (I cut recipe in half, because of small Instant Pot.)

1 TB Olive Oil

1 bell pepper, choppe

1/2 med. onion, chopped

2 clove garlic, chopped

1/2 ts dried oregano

1/4 ts cumin

1/4 ts chili powder

3/4 lb chicken breast

Salt and pepper

2 cups chic ken broth

6 or 7 oz can diced tomatoes

6 0r 7 oz can black beans

1/2 cup corn


1/8 cup Cilantro (chopped)

1/2  tb olive oil

1/2 cup shredded Monterey cheese

1 avocado, sliced

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350

Turn Instant Pot to Keep Warm, then to Saute, add bell peppers and onions,

Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables tart to soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in garlic, oregano, cumin and chile powder. Season sicken with salt and pepper, then add to instant  pot.  Add remaining ingredients and close lid.  PRESS POULTRY BUTTON.

Meanwhile, on a large baking sheet, toss tortilla strips with oil and a pinch of salt.  Bake about 20 minutes.  When cooking is completed, and when steam has been naturally released from Instant Pot carefully, remove lid, and use tongs to remove chicken breasts onto a board.  Using 2 forks, shred chicken replace into soup.

Garnish with tortilla strips, avocado strips, and cheese, to serve.

I will try this soup, and I will search for other recipes that can be cut in half for the  small Instant Pot.

Thank you for reading my post – “A product review of the Small Aroma Instamt Pot.”

Janice Gustafson    2/7/19

















At one time my father, Utah cowboy Buck Kirk, owned a “spread” in Southern Utah, the last home in the ghost town of Castleton, Utah.

This is not a religious post, it is about a beautiful red rock formation in Southern Utah.

                                                       The Priest and the                                                             Nuns

At one time, my father, Utah cowboy Buck Kirk, owned a “spread” in Southern Utah, near Moab.  The ranch was the last house in the ghost town of Castleton.

I remember well eating dinner (the dining table was a picnic table with benches) on the big screened-in back porch.  There was  a beautiful view of Castle Rock from this point.  Did we appreciate it….the view and the atmosphere of the area?  No  !!  Sometimes, as we get older, there are memories we would like to relive.  This is a good example of one of those memories.

The town of Castleton is a memory now, and all that is left is a small cemetary.  BUT, the town of Castle Valley is a thriving community of 360 residents.

Are you a rock climber? (partly from Wikipedia)

Moab is undoubtedly the outdoor adventure capitol of Utah.  Surrounded by a multitude of National Parks, including Arches and Canyonlands, as well as the majestic Colorado River, its no wonder why so many outdoor enthusiasts descend into Moab to get their desert adventures fix.  The Moab area boasts some of the finest desert climbing in this area Its a great place to hone your climbing skills,  or tackle a desert classic like the Castleton Tower.

Castle Rock was featured in “Utah Primal Quest”  I believe it was 2010.

The best seasons to climb in Moab are in the spring and fall.  The weather during this time lends itself to optimal climbing during these periods, with warm daytime temperatures and cool, clear evenings and nights.

Circling the base of the monument are weather worn cedar trees, tumbleweeds, wildflowers, and of course, some weeds.  SORRY SEDONA, BUT IS THIS THE VORTEX?

Sunflowers line both sides of the road from the town of Castle Valley into the mountains, and it is a beautiful sight, the red of the hills and the yellow of the sunflowers, make a spectacular panorama.


*    The Colorado River

*    The old White part of Red Cliffs/where Rio Grande was filmed

*    The museum at Red Cliffs Lodge.  Castle Creek Winery

*    The dinosaur tracks at Fisher Point

*    The LaSal Mountains

The massive beauty of Castle Rock will live on in our memories and will continue to beckon us to return,  just as drinking the water from the River Spring will guarantee  our return to these beautiful spots.






Are we experiencing a little lull?  I hope so, because I could use one.

I have read in several comments, that it usually takes a matter of months, before we see much traffic to our sites.  I am willing to wait, as I have worked hard on my posts, and I hope they are adequate.

At this time, I will try to write an article every day.  I will work on the lessons, both old and new, and I will be thinking, creatively I hope, about writing new articles.

I love to write,but I have had some reservations about writing reviews.  I have written a couple, and they are not so difficult.  I find it much easier to do a review of a single article, then a comparison.  I guess I write better from personal experience than I do of research and comparisons;  I wonder if anyone else has these feelings.

I have tried to include my niche in my articles, my niche being my home town of Moab, Utah.  It is my understanding that hiking would be a good keyword, and also,  hiking boots,  which I have also tried to include, but not too often, as I do not want to risk the wrath of Google.   There is certainly a good amount of hiking done around Moab, and hiking boots abound.

So I will try to seize each day as they come, and take this time to brush up on the classes.  I will also try to wait patiently for the elusive “traffic” to find me.

Maybe I will eventually earn more on Amazon than my current $3.91.  That would be Amazon amazing,

Working and Learning !!!!.







A few years ago, my sister, Dorothy Guinand and her daughters, Tracy and Debra, gave me a Kitchen Air Stand Mixer for my birthday.  A very extravagant gift, and greatly appreciated.

I have certainly made use of this gift, as cooking is fun for me, and a great hobby 

At the time I received the gift, I owned a cabin in the LaSal Mountains near Moab, Utah, (my home town).  I hosted many family members and friends at the cabin, and the cooking I did seemed to be very much appreciated.  After a day of hiking, my visitors rushed in to partake of my home made chocolate chip cookies, which were made with the aid of my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer.

The recipe for these cookies is on the package of the chocolate chip package.  

MY SECRET:  Very simple:  I always double the recipe, and I use only 3 squares of margarine, or butter, instead of 4.  AND I add LOTS AND LOTS OF PECANS.  These are the only changes I make to the recipe, and I bake them for 10 minutes, which is the correct time for my oven.  But check the cookies while baking, and make sure the baking time is correct for your oven.


The mixer comes with several attachments, including the bowl.

The WIRE WHIP is the attachment I use the most often.  I use it for almost all the mixing, including the cookies.  It is strong and it is easy to clean.  I clean it by just mixing it around in the bowl when the bowl is full of soapy water.

I use the dough hook for mixing and kneading pie crust.

I always keep my good spatula handy, for scraping the bowl as I mix.

The only attachment we have added is the FOOD GRINDER.

We bought the Food Grinder to make breakfast sausage, and after trying many recipes, and after purchasing a book of sausage recipes, I find this is the simplest and the best:

Mix together and process in the Kitchen Aid Food Grinder attachment:

2 lbs of pork, trimmed of fat a much as possible

1 ts of salt

1 ts of black pepper.

(This simple recipe seems to be the best one for us.)

My husband’s favorite: the sweet rolls I make in the mixer:  I have made changes to an old.recipe; leaving out the egg seemed to be the best change:


1/2 cup sugar

2 packets Rapid Rise Yeast

1 1/2 cup water

6 TB butter or margarine


1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 ts cinnamon, 3 tb  butter or margarine


2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tb butter or margarine

2 to 3 tb milk

1 ts vanilla


Combine 2 cps flour, sugar, dry yeast, and salt in the bowl of the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, and mix until well blended.  Place water and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on high in 15 second increments until very warm but NOT HOT.  Butter will not melt completely.  Add to flour mixture in bowl.  

Beat 2 minutes at med speed of Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, scraping sides of bowl often.  Add 1 cup of flour, beat 2 minutes at high speed.  Stir in just enough remaining flour, so that the dough forms into a ball.

Knead on lightly floured board until smooth and elastic and until dough springs back when lightly pressed with two fingers, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Roll out dough into a 15 x 10 inch rectangle with  a rolling pin.  Spread 2 Tb butter or margarine over dough, stopping at least 1/4 inch from the end of the long sides.  Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and brown sugar.  Beginning at the long end, roll up tightly, and pinch seams to seal.  Cut into 12 equal pieces.  Place, cut side down, in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan.  Cover with clean towel.  Place in a warm  place and let rise for at least 45 minutes, or until double in size.  BAKE in preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes,or until rolls are golden brown.  Cool for at least  20 minutes.


Combine all frosting ingredients, (start with 2 tb milk and add more if needed,) Mix in a large bowl and beat with Kitchen Aid Electric Mixer until creamy.  Spread over cooled rolls.

This has been a product review of MY Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer,  and I love it !!  They come in many different colors, and mine is RED.

Thank you for reading my review of the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer.

Janice Gustafson








It’s a Beautiful Day In Phoenix

                                             Camelback Mountain

The temperature this morning at 8:00 it is 53 degrees outside and 74 degrees inside.  This is why we endure the 100 plus degrees in our summer days!  at 3 o’clock this afternoon, it wa 76 degrees inside and 76 degrees outside.  Perfect !!!!!

The only heat we have in our condo is a small electric fireplace, and it is adequate.

There are many benefits of                                                         Luke Air Force Base
living in Phoenix, apart from the beautiful winters.  We are close to the mountains, and we have several lakes in the vicinity.  It is only about a 5 or 6 hour drive to the ocean, and it is only a 4 hour drive to Mexico.  

We have wonderful shopping centers in both the heart of the city, and in the surrounding areas.

For sports fans, we have the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Cardinals.  The city is already preparing for the 2000 Super Bowl which will be held here, in the beautiful new arena.

Did I mention Casinos?  I believe, at last count, there were 21 casinos in Arizona.  There is one only 4 miles from my home and it is being enlarged.  Personally, I am looking forward to the buffet and the other 4 new restaurants in the re-vamped casino. 3%

The population, according to the last census report, is 1,445,000.  

Demographics  (approximate figures)

White:                     60%

African American  6%

Native American    2%

Asian                         3%

Hispanic                  40%


I have been accepted by Amazon and I have made my 3 ales

Two of my posts are indexed by Google

I have made 98 cents !!!

As previously stated by another Wealthy Affiliate member:  “NOW I KNOW THE SYSTEM WORKS !!”

Now I am looking forward to more indexing, more traffic, and more money!

AND I am happy living in this city.  Another great thing about living in tis area is Luke Air Force Base.  My husband is retired Air Force, so we can take avantage of the many facets of the Base.


Luke Air Force Base was named after Second Lieutenant Frank Luke, who was a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor and was the #2 United States Ace in World War I.

Lieutenant Luke was killed when his plane was shot down in the skies over France.

Luke Field, Oahu, Hawaiian Territory was previously named in his honor.


In 1940, the U.S. Army sent a representative to Arizona to choose a site for for the first building at what was then known as Litchfield Park Air Base.  an Army Air Corps training field.  The City of Phoenix bought 1,440 acres of land, which they leased to the government at $1 year.  Del E. Webb Co. began excavation for the  afirst building of what was then known as the Litchfield Park Air Base.

Soon after combat started in Korea, Luke Field was reactivated in February of 1951,  Luke Air Force Base, part of the Air Training Command (ATC), under the reorganized United States Air Force.

When 1at Lt. Joshua Padgett completed the F-16 basic training course on March 8, 2000, he became the 50,000th fighter pilot to graduate from Luke AFB, since the Army Air Forces started training there in July 1941.


The Desert Botanical Gardens:

A 140 acre Botanical Garden located at 1201 N. Galvin Parkway in Phoenix, in central Arizona.  Closes at 10  pm.  480-941-1226

Camelback Mountain:

Camelback Mountain is a mountain in Phoenix  Arizona,  its name is derived from its shape, which resembles the hump and the head of a kneeling camel.  The elevation is 2,704.

Two hiking trails ascent 1280 ft to the peak of Camelback Mountain.

Arizona State Capitol

The Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, Arizona, was the last home for Arizona’s Territorial Government, until Arizona became a state, in 1912.

Initially, all 3 branches of the new state government occupied the 4 floor of the statehouse.  A the state expanded, the branches relocated to adjacent buildings.  It is an old building with unique architecture.

1720 W. Washington

Phoenix, Arizona  85007

Nearby restaurant: La Canasta Capitolo, 1733 W. Van Buren

I hope, that if you are not a resident of Arizona, that you  will visit soon (in the spring or fall), and visit some of the unique places The valley of the Sun has to offer.

I would not recommend visiting in the summer, as it takes years to get used to the heat….but the winters are worth it !!!




            The Day Cabin

This article is a description of the Day Cabin Road, which is located in Willow Basin, Utah.

This well traveled, well worn road has been used by miners, hunters, hikers, skiers, and a few residents for over 100 years. It is mainly used now as a trail to Bachelor Basin and Mineral Mountain. It has been badly worn out and contains many ruts and crevices and is probably only good to be used by jeeps and 4 wheelers, and, of course, horses, bears and cattle.

My sister, Dorothy Guinand and her daughters, Tracy and Debra, are frequent hikers on the road, and I hope to add some of their comments.


To get to the Day Cabin Road, if beginning from Moab, Utah: Go out of Moab, towards Salt Lake City.  Just before you get to the bridge over the Colorado River, take a right turn up the “River Road”.  You will pass the entrance to Grandstaff Trail on the right.  Travel about 10 more miles and you will come to the Castle Creek Lodge.  This is the home of the Castle Creek Winery.  The Castle Creek Winery has frequent wine tastings and a unique gift store.  So stop and have a taste and a look!

There is also a museum in the Lodge.  There is a section in the Lodge describing the settlers of the area.  My family, (the Kirks) have a section there, and we are very proud of it.

After visiting the Castle Creek Winery, make a left turn coming out and continue on to the sign that directs you to the village of Castle Valley.  You will pass the town of Castle Valley on the right.  On the left will be the famous Castle Rock formation, depicted in the famous Chevrolet car commercial.

Continue on past the 7th  day Adventist Academy; and you will travel over some rather dangerous switchbacks, (I know them well, as I was in a 4 wheel accident there once).  Very soon after the switchbacks, you will see a dirt road to the right. You are now on the road to Willow Basin.  Keep bearing right on all the dirt roads and you will come to the Day Cabin Road.

On second thought, watch for a local, (always in a pick-up) and you will receive friendly directions to the Day Cabin Road.


When I was a young mother of three, we visited my mother’s cabin in Willow Basin for a few days.  This cabin was, and still is, connected to the road, and partly owned by the family.  (I know, it IS complicated!)

I had a Siamese cat that had disappeared, so I went looking for him.  I was hiking up the Day Cabin Road, with my dog, Sambo.   Sambo suddenly froze, and looked up and there was a bear cub not far up the tree.  I remember the bear running up the road, and the dog and me running down the road!!  The cat came home !!

At one time, a bear, or bears, broke into the Day Cabin and created havoc in the cabin.  It was not too long after this, that the Day family gave up mining, therefore losing their claims and their use of their cabin.  BUT THEY DID NOT GIVE UP HUNTING !!


I was a young girl of about 10 when the local store, The Co-op burned.  It was brick, and did not burn completely, but the apartments in the upstairs of the building were gutted.  At the time, there was an elderly man living there.  I don’t know what his story was, but it was common  knowledge that he disappeared after the fire.  There were no bodies found in the remains of the fire; so he must have lived on.

The story goes, (and apparently some residents claimed seeing him;) that he ran nakedly around the mountains (the Manti LaSals).

There was a rumor around town that he was sighted around Dark Canyon Lake.

The only description I heard of him, was that he had long black/gray hair and no clothes on.

Well, I remembered the fire, and the residents throwing possessions out the windows, and the story of The Mountain Man haunted me.  Every time I walked the Day Cabin Road, I expected to see him peeking around at me from behind a tree.

I will continue this post after I hear from my sister and my niece

My niece, Debra Guinand, reminded me of one occurance regarding the Day Cabin Road.  One summer day, and I think there may have been a party going on at my mother’s cabin, she was challenged by my brother in law, Jerry Guinand.  Jerry bet her $10.00 that she could not make it to the top of the grade in the               .  The year was  1976 .  Neva made it to the top of the grade in her 1964 VW Bug and WON!!!

A little side note about the VW:  My mother ended up giving the VW  to my husband, Bob Hawley, (deceased);  Bob left it overnight at the neighborhood service station for repairs, and it was stolen.  He received a very small sum from the service station’s insurance.  (Not nearly what the family believed it was worth).

So we are hoping the best for the Day Cabin Road.  While she will probably never be restored to her former glory, she will always be remembered with affection and awe.  We hope the few hikers, hunters and residents will show reverence to:


Thank you for reading my post

Janice Kirk Gustafson





In 1993, my mother, Neva Kirk, passed away and left extensive property in Willow Basin, Utah, to myself and my sister, Dorothy Kirk Guinand.

It is now 2019. and I have sold all the property, including the cabin I had built on one of the 10 acre plots. Building and maintaining the cabin plus living expenses has depleted my income, but I am still self sufficient.

Memories of the cabin are bittersweet, as selling it was devastating and I will never go back to the area, as I know going back there would make me too sad

To any of my family members and friends who visited me at the cabin, I hope you remember the good times and bonding we experienced there, and I hope the reading of this post brings only good memories.


My first visitors I had at the cabin, were Jo and Steve. I worked very hard preparing for their visit. I remember the day before they arrived, I was upstairs on the roof, (SO excited they would be there the next day,) washing the windows. Suddenly I realized I had closed the windows and they locked up on me. I panicked, and was sure Jo and Steve would find me dead on the roof when they arrived the next day. After trying everything, and even though I was on a sloping roof, I got on my back and kicked the windows, thinking they would break, but they finally opened. After this experience, I climbed through the window and continued my cleaning and planning menus

The cooking and planning menus for visitors was a joy for me. When expecting company, I would make a menu for every day they would be visiting,  then I would make an extensive grocery list.  I loved this procedure, and the cooking, but eventually, it became too much for me.

I told my visitors if they wanted anything before I cooked brunch, around 10 or 11, to help themselves to coffee, toast, or anything they desired. Then I would cook a large brunch;  then, very often, would begin making preparations to cook dinner, which was served around 6 pm.


July 4th was always a special event at the cabin.  We usually had family visiting and this alone made it special.  We always had a great barbecue lunch (or dinner) serving salads and my special sun dried tomato and onion hamburgers.

The main 4th of July event, eagerly anticipated, was:  my sister, Dorothy Guinand, and myself,  always led the singing of patriotic songs.  This usually led to more raised eyebrows than joined singers,  BUT we knew the words !!  I have a special CD of patriotic marches which were used to accompany us !

Dorothy, Ron and I are joined in being patriotically conservative.


The days at the cabin were full of activities. Other than eating, there was hiking, bird watching, star watching, bear watching and, of course, a card game almost every night.  Yes, BEAR WATCHING,  but that is good information; good for another article.

The most important thing, to me,  that took place at the cabin, was the bonding that took place.  Spencer Hawley and Layla Murphy, who were siblings, but   barely knew each other, became close friends

  This is only one example of the bonding that took place,  but  one out of many.

I had always wanted a garden, and my husband, Ron, made that dream come true. What a joy it was for me to bring in an arm full of lettuce, arugula, spinach and onions. We had a habit of throwing potato skins out in a bare space in the garden. Suddenly we had a potato patch !  And our ferinds and neighbors also enjoyed the garden.  My sister, Dorothy Guinand was always a welcome visitor, and we would see her coming down the road.  Dorothy usually left with an arm full of arugula, as she hiked down the road to  her  cabin.

Having a garden was always a dream to me, and I thank my parents, my husband, and John Bizak, for making it possible.  I now have a small growing space in our condo in Peoria, Arizona, but I grow whatever I am able.

The cabin is now owned by “Tom”,  a bachelor from the town of  Castle Valley, and I heard rumors that it may be for sale again.  BUT I invite, and will listen to, no news of it, as I have my memories, and I do not want new news of the cabin to bring regret and sadness.

I, and my friends and family, will always remember the good times at the cabin.  And, we will always have pictures.


As I said, these memories are bittersweet, but I will always be grateful to my parents for making it possible to occupy such a SPECIAL PLACE!

Thank you for reading my post about THE CABIN

Janice Gustafson