National Geographic : 1952 Jun
731 Rough Going Ahead! Only Horses and Mules Can Conquer Some Utah Trails After an aerial survey (page 723), the author and party decided to use a pack train for the perilous descent into Monument Canyon. "I've done it before-it can be done again," said rancher Roy Holyoak. From Moab the animals were trucked to Grand View Point to begin a hair-raising trip down the face of a 2,500-foot cliff. Here Holyoak unloads a horse, assisted by Earl Worthington, Swanee Kerby, and Russ Mahan. What this has meant to sleepy San Juan County can more easily be imagined when it is recalled that maps of this, the largest county in Utah, have up to now contained blank spaces as large as Rhode Island, spaces never even surveyed and barely explored. A few Mormons and a few "Gentiles" (non-Mor mons) have farmed patches here and there and run cattle over its sparse range. Now they are awakening to find themselves sud denly at a focal point in the Atomic Age. Zeke's Best Friend Was His Mummy From Monticello we continued southward to Blanding and over the Bears Ears route to Natural Bridges National Monument.* First custodian of the monument, and its greatest enthusiast, was Zeke Johnson. He served his first eight years for wages of $1 a month, picking up what he could on the side by renting horses and acting as guide. Finding an Indian mummy once, Zeke care fully reburied it in a small cave. When visitors came to see the bridges, he would sometimes suggest they climb up to this cave and scrabble for arrowheads. Invariably, with enormous ex citement, they would "discover" the mummy. Zeke pulled this stunt so often he wore out the mummy. Thanks to Zeke's more serious labors, it is now possible to drive a car within sight of the first and most spectacular of the monument's three bridges: Owachomo, a slender 180-foot span now worn to a mere nine feet thick (pages 736-7 and 738). From Owachomo a trail leads three miles down Armstrong Canyon to the massive Kachina Bridge, christened to honor the pic tographs, found on an abutment, which so much resemble the Hopi masked dancers, or kachinas. By far the thickest of the bridges, 93 feet, Kachina is steadily being scoured to more shapely dimensions by the White River. * See "Colossal Natural Bridges of Utah," NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, September, 1904.