“Greatest Earth on Snow”Posted: March 13, 2010
This past week I took our traveling science museum to Orderville, a town of almost 600 people nestled alongside the Muddy River. We were out of range of cell phone service, but we were just a short drive from some of the most spectacular land in the nation: Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Escalante National Monument, Cedar Breaks, Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon… in fact, some 96% of the county is public land. I also learned that after Brigham Young established this city in the 1870’s Orderville become one of the most successful and long-lasting examples of the United Order in Utah. It was a completely self-sustaining, egalitarian community.
It’s still quite the lovely place. The custodians (who cordially helped us unload and re-load our science carts from our ice-covered cargo trailer) knew every kid in the high school by first and last name. AND, get this: the town is participating in a DONKEY BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT in 2 weeks. They will ride around on their donkeys right inside the high school gymnasium! That might just merit another drive to the bottom of the state.
I just wanted to share some pictures from some hikes my coworker and I took after our school visits were over. They include snow-covered Zion, Moqui Cave, and Coral Pink Sand Dunes. I was most struck by the latter. I had no idea there where pink sand dunes right outside of Zion National Park. It was amazing to traverse the fine-grained sand, knowing that millions of years ago the surrounding cliffs of pink Navajo Sandstone were once just as free-flowing. I love how the wind writes its history in the cross-bedding. This land carries the tag line: “Greatest Earth on Snow” – my footprint here showed that it is absolutely true.