Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Family History (No Moto content)

The Whetstone Family History Tour in Southern Utah.

So I had planned to ride to this event, but Beverly changed my mind at the last minute and we both traveled in our Adventure Touring........Buick.

I've posted before about my family ties in southern Utah and this is one more installment of that theme. My Great-grandfather, Hyrum Jackson Whetstone lived there. My Grand-father, Hyrum Edward Whetstone was born there, specifically in New Harmony, Utah. They seemed to use the same names over and over.... I would have preferred my progenitors be designated; GG1, G1 etc. It would have made things so much easier for me...

Be that as it may, I had been researching my history and coerced my family into making a trip to southern Utah to follow the footsteps of our name through that time and area.

First my Great-grandfather (GG1), I'll call him Jackson. He was born in 1847 and only lived 32 years. In that time he volunteered to fight in the Civil War (between 14 and 18 years of age) was eventually taken prisoner, made an escape from a POW camp in Texas and re-joined his regiment to finish the war.

He also responded to gold fever and traveled to California where he was successful in panning a small amount of gold. On his way to look for gold in California, along with the family he was travelling with, they nearly died of dehydration. Just the four of them somewhere in the desert they ran out of water. They were so dry, tongues swollen, mouths stuck shut, they stopped and resigned themselves to die. When the family he was with laid down to meet their end, Jackson, not wanting to watch the father, mother and baby die, mounted his horse to ride away from the others. After a short ride his horse started pawing the dirt, Jackson recognized that the horse might be smelling water so he dismounted and dug a hole and indeed found moist dirt. He was able to dig deeper and the water seeped enough that he gave his horse some water then himself. He then was able to take a canteen back to his companions. He was disappointed in the other man for drinking first, then sharing with his wife. They camped at the water seep, digging down enough to re-fill their barrels of water and re-hydrating themselves so they could carry on to California.

 When Jackson returned with his gold to New Harmony, Utah. He (being young) squandered a lot of his new found wealth. But before it was all gone he realized he needed to make an investment of some sort. So he bought a couple of wagons and eight horses and started a freight hauling business. He would haul timber from the mountains to the town. On his last trip to the mountain he suddenly found his wagon and team sliding sideways....he was in a rock slide! All he had time to do was jump off to solid ground, and helplessly watch his wagon and horses slide off a cliff. Just as the team was going over the side his favorite horse looked at Jackson and whinnied which nearly broke Jackson's heart. And just like that, his investment was gone. Jackson then went to work in the mines.

While working in the mine Jackson got lead poisoning, He went to the only healthcare choice, a local doctor, for treatment. Jackson still had some of his gold and apparently the doctor knew of this because Jackson didn't seem to be getting any better (he was staying at the doctor's house during his 'treatment') and in fact was losing weight and becoming more ill.  Finally one of Jackson's friends heard he was sick and visited him at the doctors house. The friend realized what was happening and went to the doctor and said to the effect, 'that he knew the doctor was milking Jackson for his money, and that if Jackson died he (the friend) would kill the doctor!' Well, the doctor apparently believed the friend because he went straight away to the store and changed Jackson's medication and in days Jackson was better and able to leave the doctors house.

The effects of the constant exposure to lead was finally to much for Jackson and he died at 32 years of age. His death occurred six weeks before the birth of my Grand-father, Hyrum Edward Whetstone (G1).

Since my Great-grandfather (Jackson) {GG1} died six weeks before my Grandfather (Edward) {G1} they never knew each other on this earth.

I've given Edward's history on a previous blog entry here:
So I won't go over that again, however, fast forward 135 years and here is my family trip the southern Utah to learn more about our progenitors;

Our housing for the weekend.
"Please Poppy, tell me more about your childhood...."

Dinner Friday night.

Saturday morning we make our way to the banquet room for breakfast.

"Brains......gimmee brains...."

Kaybi, Jacob and I prepare the brains...I mean scrambled eggs!!

Alyssa works up an appetite...

"Thanks for breakfast Poppy."


Will helps with cleanup.
And we're off to New Harmony. We first visit the library for some research.

Then the LDS ward house where this bell is kept. This bell was on the school house for almost 100 years.
We hear the same RIIIING that Jackson, and Edward heard in their day.

Will and Ryker.
Then we visit the New Harmony Cemetery.
Soon we are on our way to Mt Carmel Junction for lunch.

We go via Zion National Park - which means we get to go through the 1.1 mile tunnel there.
We have a delicious lunch at the Thunderbird Restaurant - "Home of the Ho Made pies".
It looks like some of us had Upside Down Cake instead of Ho Made Pies....

                                    IzleyRose and Poppy.

After lunch we visit the "Old Rock Church" in Mt Carmel.
Kennedy, Jaysie, Jocelyn.

 Sunday morning we meet in one of the condos for breakfast.
The cooks....
A rare shot of Ryker in motion....

Our route, (not showing our home.) B = St George, C = New Harmony D = Mt Carmel

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The all women fire department

Snow, snow, snow.
It's time to get out of the snow so I reserve a room in St George for a long weekend and ride south.
Just north of St George is the tiny town of Kanarraville, Utah. Kanarraville's claim to fame is their all women fire department in the 1960s.
 The next day I ride into Nevada and to the Valley of Fire State Park, about 30 miles north of Las Vegas.
I see this interesting bike at the end of the Mouse Tank road in the park. I never did see the owners, they must have been a  hike.
 And the rest of the pictures are in the Valley of Fire SP.


It was a nice trip, 945 miles, rode in some rain, sleet, and a little bit of snow. It's all good!