Tour of Utah: Hole in the Rock

In case you didn’t know already, Utah is home to some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In case you also didn’t know already, I am LDS. As such, I’ve been taught about the history of the church’s founding, the persecutions the early members faced, their various relocations in order to build their Zion, and the fun they had settling Utah.

By Charles William Carter; American (London, England 1832 – 1918 Midvale, UT) – Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum, Historical Photographs and Special Visual Collections Department, Fine Arts Library, 119.1976.1501

Upon reaching the barren, harsh, dry, uninhabitable area now known as Utah, the Mormon pioneers knew they’d found a winner. Not long after establishing Salt Lake City, Brigham Young (their leader) sent groups off to set up nearby areas. I learned that he sent those groups about a wagon’s ride away from each other, but can’t find a source for that information. Whether he did or not, there are towns all down our interstate and this makes present-day gas station stops very convenient.

What does that potentially-inaccurate history have to do with a hole in a rock? I’m glad you asked!

Sometimes, the early settlers of Utah faced challenges. Hordes of crickets threatened crops in the Salt Lake Valley in the first full year of planting. Tropic, Utah could only get irrigation after building a ten-mile long canal. And, weary members of the San Juan Expedition attempting to find a route to the southeastern corner of Utah found impassable cliffs -then, miracle of miracles, stumbled upon “a narrow, steep, and rocky crevice and sandy slope that led down to the river” (Wikipedia).

By G. Thomas at en.wikipedia – Own work, Public Domain

They named it Hole in the Rock. Promptly thereafter, they began chipping away in order to move 250 PEOPLE, 83 WAGONS, AND OVER 1000 HEAD OF LIVESTOCK through this hole. I kid you not.

Six months later, they were “ready;” for, the wagons still needed assistance. They used ropes, plus wooden beams supported by posts jabbed into holes they drilled in the rock walls to carefully lower the wagons.

This is another famous site I have not visited, but my son has. His youth group camped nearby and hiked the area, reimagining and experiencing what their pioneer ancestors did. If you want a similar vacation adventure, Hole in the Rock is about seven hours south of Salt Lake International Airport (or 100 hours if you walk).

Author’s note: there is also a tourist destination called Hole N” The Rock, located near Moab. It’s worth a kitschy gander.


Here’s this week’s breakdown:

Wednesday, September 16: “Tour of Utah: the Great Salt Lake.” It’s iconic!

Thursday, September 17: Wrote an example of funny poetry for that week’s contest: “Chuckie Bob and His Award.”

Friday, September 18: Announced the winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest, Hobbo.

Saturday, September 19: Opened the A Mused Poetry Contest! The subject is seasonal haiku (senryu). Results to be posted soon!!!

Sunday, September 20: Scratched a nagging discomfort with “R.B.G. and Why It’s Difficult to Be a Woman.”

Monday, September 21: Shared a quote about not worrying about The Joneses.

Thursday, September 24: Wrote my own seasonal poetry, “A Mused Seasonal Haiku…” for this week’s theme.

The winner of the A Mused Poetry Contest will be posted by this evening!

©2020 Chel Owens

31 thoughts on “Tour of Utah: Hole in the Rock

    • Chel Owens September 25, 2020 / 11:07 am

      Did you *see* how many wives he had. Everyone’s related…

      (Okay, seriously, we are not.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • RuthScribbles September 25, 2020 / 11:09 am

        Ha ha. One branch of my ancestor (hovey) were Mormon I believe.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens September 25, 2020 / 11:28 am

          …and I could totally send a relative down that trail and come back with your heritage… Kevin confirmed that we are not descendants of Mr. Young.

          Liked by 1 person

          • RuthScribbles September 25, 2020 / 11:40 am

            Does your history talk about Daniel Hovey? (I think that is his name)


            • Chel Owens September 25, 2020 / 11:46 am

              Ha! I typed that into FamilySearch, and there are 9,420 records. You’ll need a date range and geographical region.


            • Chel Owens September 25, 2020 / 11:47 am

              (E-mail me if you want to jump farther down this rabbit hole.)

              Liked by 1 person

  1. Heather Dawn September 25, 2020 / 11:46 am

    Interesting post! Reminds me of some of our Mennonite tales about rough land and hardships, but miraculous provision. It’s neat how two totally different people groups have such a similar stories!

    Liked by 2 people

    • rts - Facing the Challenges of Mental Health September 25, 2020 / 12:22 pm

      Around Kitchener, Ontario there is a quite big settlement of Mennonite people.
      In some ways I admired their way of living. Some others ethnics could learn from them, working together. I remember when a barn burned down how the community worked together to build a new one including livestock.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Heather Dawn September 25, 2020 / 12:36 pm

        I admire many things about my Mennonite heritage! My grandparents and relatives are some of the most admirable people I know. Sadly, many people in my generation are loosing the community helping and hard work ethic traits that we were once known for. But I’m glad to hear there are other Mennonite groups still known for this! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • rts - Facing the Challenges of Mental Health September 25, 2020 / 4:46 pm

          Yes there are still some around.
          In a way some of my ancestors came from Mennonite roots. My grandmother(maternal) called them “Pennsylvania Dutch”. They were from around Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Her parents migrated and settled near Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The world is really quite small… lol

          Liked by 1 person

  2. robertawrites235681907 September 25, 2020 / 12:00 pm

    How interesting, Chelsea. It is a bit like the history of the Afrikaner people here in South Africa. They travelled into the interior of South Africa looking for a safe place of their own.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Frank Hubeny September 25, 2020 / 12:14 pm

    That hole in the rock looks like a nice place for a hike.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rts - Facing the Challenges of Mental Health September 25, 2020 / 12:20 pm

    Utah has such a rich history.
    The settlers showed what can be done if you persevere.
    If I could I would love to take several weeks just to explore your state.
    I went through it once on my way to California from Alberta, Canada but time schedule did not permit doing any site seeing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kat September 25, 2020 / 2:15 pm

    What a view! Haha, I’ll go for the Hole and my husband will go for the Rock. Seriously looks like a nice hike, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 25, 2020 / 6:22 pm

      It’s fascinating, isn’t it?


  6. petespringerauthor September 25, 2020 / 8:05 pm

    I love history lessons such as this one, Chelsea. The determination of people when they want to get something done is inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 25, 2020 / 9:47 pm

      I’ll say! Sounds crazy to me, but a good kind of crazy.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jules September 29, 2020 / 2:36 pm

    There is rich history in almost every rock in the world – and the states too.
    I was watching a show that was talking about maps and how they are somewhat distorted not showing the true shapes of the contents.

    That aside… I can only imagine the maps that we follow via the trails of our ancestors be it between the rocks or via the stars above 🙂

    Thanks for the history 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 29, 2020 / 3:06 pm

      Thank you for reading, Jules! I often look at rocks or cliffs or rivers and imagine the people who walked before, and will walk after me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. H.R.R. Gorman October 3, 2020 / 2:00 pm

    My, that looks like “not easy to get a cow through” to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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