In January, the Wasatch Cruisers (the Utah chapter of the Toyota Land Cruiser Association) held an adventure rally near Delta, Utah. The purpose of the rally was twofold:
- Accomplish a set of objectives or task oriented activities, and
- Visit specific checkpoints using GPS coordinates.
Some of the objectives included identifying the name and location of each checkpoint, record a track using GPS coordinates, submit a way point, take a photo of a certain landmark and a number of others. Participants were provided GPS coordinates of locations beforehand and encouraged to plan their routes in advance.
I teamed up with another club member and though it was intended to be a two-day event, we accomplished all the objectives and visited all the checkpoints in one day. Overall, it was a fun event since I had not been to many of these places. Below are some of the photos and places of interest from the rally.
The Gunnison Massacre site is the place where Captain John W. Gunnison, leader of the 38th Parallel Railroad Survey, and seven others were killed by Indians of the Pahvant Tribe on October 26, 1853. Gunnison was appointed to lead a survey expedition exploring a route for a railroad to the Pacific Ocean.
From the Gunnison massacre site we headed towards Marjum Pass to visit Bob Stinson’s hermit cave. According to Utah Outdoor Activities, shortly after World War II,
While making his way through the Marjum Pass just 45 miles from Delta Utah; Bob’s house on wheels broke down. Looking for shelter Bob located a small natural cave in the side of a canyon. By using local rock, he enclosed the front of the cave which is now known as the Hermit’s Cave House, or Hermit’s Cabin. Bob was often called the Hermit of Marjum Pass.
The government paid him to keep the pass clear of debris, as it was at the time the major east/west highway from Delta to Nevada. To earn extra spending money he trapped bobcats and coyotes, mixed poisons for the government to kill grasshoppers, and he even raised a handful of sheep. When Bob would have visitors, out of the greatness of his heart, he would offer them a glass of home brew.
Hermit’s Cave Marjum Pass
The Delta Solar Power Project was a “Rube Goldberg-ian solution to harnessing the sun’s energies.” The purpose of the project was to harness the sun’s rays using low-cost materials. The project apparently failed due to the desert’s high winds which destroyed the collectors.
The Topaz War Relocation Center was an internment camp created by an executive order by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1942. The camp housed Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. Visiting the camp and the museum later that day was particularly troubling. It was “was one of the worst violations of civil rights against citizens in the history of the United States.”
Next, we visited the Baker Hot Springs area. The temperature in the tubs is controlled by hot water running down one side of the tubs and cold the other side, a rather ingenious method.
A short distance away is Fumarole Butte, a “shield volcano” that sits approximately 680 feet above the horizon.
One of the striking displays in the Topaz museum contains flowers made out of fossilized seashells. According to the docent, one of the internees was an artist and taught others how to create these beautiful works of art.
From the museums, we headed out of town to visit the last few checkpoints before sunset.
Our last stop was Paul Bunyan’s Wood Pile, “a cluster of lava logs formed about 30 million years ago” according to the trail sign.