Friday, September 16, 2011

Pipe Spring

The second day of our labor day weekend trip was more fascinating to me than the first. I've been in other slot cayons so Antelope Canyon was enjoyable but not unique. We had planned on breakfast in Page, Arizona, mid-morning coffee in Kanab, Utah, and a late lunch on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon before returning north to spend the night in Jacob Lake. After leaving Kanab we rode south through Fredonia, Arizona. As we left town we saw the sign to Pipe Spring National Monument, a site that we researched for this trip and have wanted to visit for a few years. After a discussion of 30 seconds we changed our plans, made a U-turn and set our next destination as Pipe Spring.
Winsor Castle.
Winsor Castle, the fort named after the first resident. The fort was built because the previous owner of the property and the ranch foreman were killed by Native Americans. Sadly a group of Paiutes were hanged for the killing though they were innocent.

Pipe Spring was a Mormon tithing ranch constructed in the late eighteen hundreds. Mormons living on the frontier has little cash so they paid their tithes with cattle and goods. The ranch was established to collect the cattle and care for them until they could be taken to St George, Utah. This history was fascinating and the lady who led the tour was knowledgeable, entertaining, pleasant, experienced and well suited for her task. She communicated enthusiasm. We stayed about three hours during which time we took a tour of the fort, toured the garden, petted the horse and long horned cattle, watched an excellent video and strolled around the museum and grounds. I highly recommend a visit to Pipe Spring to learn the intertwined history of Mormons, Paiutes and the American Government.

Inside the fort.
The fort is two buildings facing one another connected by gates on each end.

Gun ports.
Note the gun ports high on the walls in this bedroom. The fort was never attacked. The women who lived at the fort stuffed rags in the gun ports during winter to keep out cold winds.

Telegraph station.
The first telegraph station in Arizona was installed in one of the upper bedrooms at the fort. A fifteen year old girl was the first operator.

The spring.
The fort was built over the spring and the water was piped into a lower room where it flowed through a wooden trough before exiting the opposite wall. The temperature outside was near 100 degrees but the water and the room were cool and comfortable.

Food rack.
Near the wooden trough a post and cross pieces provided a location for cheese and other foods to be kept cool.

Spring fed ponds or tanks.
After exiting the bulding the water flowed into two large ponds or tanks.

Looking down on Pipe Spring.
I walked to the top of the bluff behind Pipe Spring to see the oasis created by the water. The rest of was last was barren of trees. Before cattle were introduced the area was a prairie with grasses that "tickled the bellies of horses".

Paiute Exhibition.
Pipe Spring is on the Kaibab Paiute Reservation. There are about 240 Kaibab Paiute. I asked one of the interpretive rangers about the population in the previous century. At that time there were around 5,000. The loss of the spring marked a point in their decline. A young woman was working at this interpretive center but, unfortunately, left for lunch before we could talk with her.

Jacob Lake Cabin.
Home for the night. Julie made reservations for one of the historic cabins at Jacob Lake. We had one-half of the cabin which had another entrance and room with bath on the opposite side. Small and comfortable with character.


Blogger Buffalo said...

If I believed in envy I would seriously consider putting you on my "to be envied" list.

Since I don't, I won't. Great piece. Great pictures.

("Reading Zen and Now" by Mark Richardson. It is about a journalist following the tire tracks of Pirsig.)

9/16/2011 10:02:00 PM  

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