one day at a time…
Friday 29 August 2003

Pix Of The Day: Beltway Builders Bowser Backwash
CREDITS: © Ian Scott-Parker/PishTush.com
MAPS: St. GeorgeTravelWest.net) & South West UtahMapOfUtah.net)
Click any of the thumbnails to popup enlarged versions of the images.Beltway Builders 1 © Ian Scott-ParkerWashington City © Ian Scott-ParkerRed Ridge Earthworks © Ian Scott-ParkerBeltway Builders 2 © Ian Scott-Parker
Earlier this month we featured the picture on the left, curious about the purpose of the earthworks. We can now reveal that the City of St. George, UT, is building a beltway, elsewhere called a ring road or orbital, and delightfully in Italian, a tangenziale. We sent a camera crew up onto the ridge above Red Cliffs Drive to record any further developments in the last two weeks. Two weeks is what we knew as a fortnight back in the UK, but in the USA that expression attracts blank stares of incomprehension. Sadly this is another experience to which we have had to become accustomed.

The other pictures show Washington City, and Washington Fields. When the LDS (Mormon) church sent Pioneers to this area they named it 'Utah's Dixie'. As part of a long term policy of diversification and territorial self-sufficiency, and the short term shortages caused by the Civil War, basic agricultural products were needed, primarily cotton. Many other crops requiring warm climates, which could not be raised in the north of the territory, were also needed. These products had hitherto been obtained from the Old South, the original Dixie, hence the name for the new settlement.

The twin cities of Washington and St. George have now grown to become a single conurbation, but the picture of the Fields clearly demonstrates how any agricultural aspirations were totally dependent on irrigation. In turn irrigation needed the control of water running from the Colorado Plateaus, but that is a subject too complex to be discussed here. The work of John Wesley Powell, explorer, geologist, and campaigner against western expansion, is increasingly relevant to the ever more urgent water problem as desert populations continue to expand.

The picture on the right shows current progress with the beltway earthworks. One vital piece of equipment for the workers is a giant water bowser, which runs ahead of the earth movers to damp down the surface. Without the water, the dust raised by the disturbances would choke man and machines, and probably cause accidents on the nearby interstate because of reduced visibility. Side by side comparisons of the two beltway pictures are available, for both medium and large resolution monitors.

From Our 2002 Archive: Snowy Kolob - Thursday 29 August 2002

Snowy Kolob in Zion National Park © Ian Scott-ParkerKolob is the western side of Zion National Park. It was named by the LDS (Mormon) Pioneers after the planet described by Abraham. The earthly version is usually as hot as hell, though. This picture was taken in January 2002 when the park received a light shower of snow, so the burning blue skies usually seen are missing from this picture. A keen wind was blowing, so temperatures were considerably lower than we have come to expect.

Away to the right the trail leads to Kolob Arch, which at nearly 400 feet of span is possibly the longest natural arch in the world. If you want to hike there it's 7 miles in and 7 miles back over rough terrain. There is a more familiar picture of the Kolob Fingers to be seen at AmericanSouthwest.com and NaturalArches.org. has another article. Dale Meier has some closeup pictures of the Fingers, and details of the hike to the arch can be found at OneDayHikes.com along with other hikes in the area. Y'all come and visit sometime!

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)