ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH 

Arches National Monument lies in the redrock country north of Moab, between the Colorado River and US 160. … In the Monument proper, the wind has carved these canyon walls into forms that, even in a region noted for spectacular erosion, are remarkable. Here are arches and windows through solid stone, from a size that can scarcely be crawled through to immense spans that would accommodate a troop of cavalry; monoliths measured in hundreds of tons balanced on decaying bases; chimneys, deep caves, and high, thin, sculptured walls of salmon-hued rock
—Utah, A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH 

Arches National Monument lies in the redrock country north of Moab, between the Colorado River and US 160. … In the Monument proper, the wind has carved these canyon walls into forms that, even in a region noted for spectacular erosion, are remarkable. Here are arches and windows through solid stone, from a size that can scarcely be crawled through to immense spans that would accommodate a troop of cavalry; monoliths measured in hundreds of tons balanced on decaying bases; chimneys, deep caves, and high, thin, sculptured walls of salmon-hued rock
—Utah, A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH 

Arches National Monument lies in the redrock country north of Moab, between the Colorado River and US 160. … In the Monument proper, the wind has carved these canyon walls into forms that, even in a region noted for spectacular erosion, are remarkable. Here are arches and windows through solid stone, from a size that can scarcely be crawled through to immense spans that would accommodate a troop of cavalry; monoliths measured in hundreds of tons balanced on decaying bases; chimneys, deep caves, and high, thin, sculptured walls of salmon-hued rock
—Utah, A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH 

Arches National Monument lies in the redrock country north of Moab, between the Colorado River and US 160. … In the Monument proper, the wind has carved these canyon walls into forms that, even in a region noted for spectacular erosion, are remarkable. Here are arches and windows through solid stone, from a size that can scarcely be crawled through to immense spans that would accommodate a troop of cavalry; monoliths measured in hundreds of tons balanced on decaying bases; chimneys, deep caves, and high, thin, sculptured walls of salmon-hued rock
—Utah, A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH 

Arches National Monument lies in the redrock country north of Moab, between the Colorado River and US 160. … In the Monument proper, the wind has carved these canyon walls into forms that, even in a region noted for spectacular erosion, are remarkable. Here are arches and windows through solid stone, from a size that can scarcely be crawled through to immense spans that would accommodate a troop of cavalry; monoliths measured in hundreds of tons balanced on decaying bases; chimneys, deep caves, and high, thin, sculptured walls of salmon-hued rock
—Utah, A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH 

Arches National Monument lies in the redrock country north of Moab, between the Colorado River and US 160. … In the Monument proper, the wind has carved these canyon walls into forms that, even in a region noted for spectacular erosion, are remarkable. Here are arches and windows through solid stone, from a size that can scarcely be crawled through to immense spans that would accommodate a troop of cavalry; monoliths measured in hundreds of tons balanced on decaying bases; chimneys, deep caves, and high, thin, sculptured walls of salmon-hued rock
—Utah, A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH 

Arches National Monument lies in the redrock country north of Moab, between the Colorado River and US 160. … In the Monument proper, the wind has carved these canyon walls into forms that, even in a region noted for spectacular erosion, are remarkable. Here are arches and windows through solid stone, from a size that can scarcely be crawled through to immense spans that would accommodate a troop of cavalry; monoliths measured in hundreds of tons balanced on decaying bases; chimneys, deep caves, and high, thin, sculptured walls of salmon-hued rock
—Utah, A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH 

Arches National Monument lies in the redrock country north of Moab, between the Colorado River and US 160. … In the Monument proper, the wind has carved these canyon walls into forms that, even in a region noted for spectacular erosion, are remarkable. Here are arches and windows through solid stone, from a size that can scarcely be crawled through to immense spans that would accommodate a troop of cavalry; monoliths measured in hundreds of tons balanced on decaying bases; chimneys, deep caves, and high, thin, sculptured walls of salmon-hued rock
—Utah, A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH 

Arches National Monument lies in the redrock country north of Moab, between the Colorado River and US 160. … In the Monument proper, the wind has carved these canyon walls into forms that, even in a region noted for spectacular erosion, are remarkable. Here are arches and windows through solid stone, from a size that can scarcely be crawled through to immense spans that would accommodate a troop of cavalry; monoliths measured in hundreds of tons balanced on decaying bases; chimneys, deep caves, and high, thin, sculptured walls of salmon-hued rock
—Utah, A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH 

Arches National Monument lies in the redrock country north of Moab, between the Colorado River and US 160. … In the Monument proper, the wind has carved these canyon walls into forms that, even in a region noted for spectacular erosion, are remarkable. Here are arches and windows through solid stone, from a size that can scarcely be crawled through to immense spans that would accommodate a troop of cavalry; monoliths measured in hundreds of tons balanced on decaying bases; chimneys, deep caves, and high, thin, sculptured walls of salmon-hued rock
—Utah, A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info

ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, UTAH 

Arches National Monument lies in the redrock country north of Moab, between the Colorado River and US 160. … In the Monument proper, the wind has carved these canyon walls into forms that, even in a region noted for spectacular erosion, are remarkable. Here are arches and windows through solid stone, from a size that can scarcely be crawled through to immense spans that would accommodate a troop of cavalry; monoliths measured in hundreds of tons balanced on decaying bases; chimneys, deep caves, and high, thin, sculptured walls of salmon-hued rock

Utah, A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

PROVIDENCE CANYON - STEWART COUNTY, GEORGIA

Left from Lumpkin on unpaved State 27 to PROVIDENCE CAVERNS, 7.5 m., known as the Grand Canyons of Georgia. The term applies more specifically to the second and largest canyon. The central basin on this octopus-shaped cavern covers more than 3,000 acres, and the chasm is about 300 feet wide and 200 feet deep. Although the gullies are a spectacle of destruction, their great size and the delicate colors of their vertical walls give them a strange beauty. Red, yellow, brown, mauve, lavender, jade, ochre, orange, and chalk-white appear in the different strata of the soil; white and yellow predominate.
It is believed the erosion began less than fifty years ago, and the gullies have formed with almost unbelievable rapidity until they have become a serious menace. Red clay, blue marl, shell, and a yellow clay have yielded readily to the devastation, and now the erosive process is eating through a layer of chalk. Trees, leaning outward and awry, cling perilously by their roots to the perpendicular walls. Small islands, which have not yet given way, rise like pinnacles from the bottom of the vast gully, and on these a few small pine trees struggle upward. 
—Georgia, A Guide To Its Towns and Countryside (WPA, 1940)

Providence Canyon, also know as “The Little Grand Canyon,” is located near Lumpkin in Stewart County, Georgia. It’s said to have been caused by poor farming/irrigation practices during the 1800s. The canyon is a series of gorges, some more than 150 feet deep, created by the erosion of soft multicolored soil.
Guide Notes: Providence Canyon is part of the Georgia State Park System. The park has an area of approximately 1,000 acres and is open daily. Hiking and camping are available.
° ° °
Ray Underwood is a 50-year old architect living in Cataula, Georgia. Photography has been a hobby of his since he first used his daddy’s camera. Follow him on Tumblr at southernplaces.tumblr.com where he attempts to capture “the South” as it is today and see more of his work at ruphotographer.tumblr.com. 
This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.
Zoom Info
PROVIDENCE CANYON - STEWART COUNTY, GEORGIA

Left from Lumpkin on unpaved State 27 to PROVIDENCE CAVERNS, 7.5 m., known as the Grand Canyons of Georgia. The term applies more specifically to the second and largest canyon. The central basin on this octopus-shaped cavern covers more than 3,000 acres, and the chasm is about 300 feet wide and 200 feet deep. Although the gullies are a spectacle of destruction, their great size and the delicate colors of their vertical walls give them a strange beauty. Red, yellow, brown, mauve, lavender, jade, ochre, orange, and chalk-white appear in the different strata of the soil; white and yellow predominate.
It is believed the erosion began less than fifty years ago, and the gullies have formed with almost unbelievable rapidity until they have become a serious menace. Red clay, blue marl, shell, and a yellow clay have yielded readily to the devastation, and now the erosive process is eating through a layer of chalk. Trees, leaning outward and awry, cling perilously by their roots to the perpendicular walls. Small islands, which have not yet given way, rise like pinnacles from the bottom of the vast gully, and on these a few small pine trees struggle upward. 
—Georgia, A Guide To Its Towns and Countryside (WPA, 1940)

Providence Canyon, also know as “The Little Grand Canyon,” is located near Lumpkin in Stewart County, Georgia. It’s said to have been caused by poor farming/irrigation practices during the 1800s. The canyon is a series of gorges, some more than 150 feet deep, created by the erosion of soft multicolored soil.
Guide Notes: Providence Canyon is part of the Georgia State Park System. The park has an area of approximately 1,000 acres and is open daily. Hiking and camping are available.
° ° °
Ray Underwood is a 50-year old architect living in Cataula, Georgia. Photography has been a hobby of his since he first used his daddy’s camera. Follow him on Tumblr at southernplaces.tumblr.com where he attempts to capture “the South” as it is today and see more of his work at ruphotographer.tumblr.com. 
This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.
Zoom Info
PROVIDENCE CANYON - STEWART COUNTY, GEORGIA

Left from Lumpkin on unpaved State 27 to PROVIDENCE CAVERNS, 7.5 m., known as the Grand Canyons of Georgia. The term applies more specifically to the second and largest canyon. The central basin on this octopus-shaped cavern covers more than 3,000 acres, and the chasm is about 300 feet wide and 200 feet deep. Although the gullies are a spectacle of destruction, their great size and the delicate colors of their vertical walls give them a strange beauty. Red, yellow, brown, mauve, lavender, jade, ochre, orange, and chalk-white appear in the different strata of the soil; white and yellow predominate.
It is believed the erosion began less than fifty years ago, and the gullies have formed with almost unbelievable rapidity until they have become a serious menace. Red clay, blue marl, shell, and a yellow clay have yielded readily to the devastation, and now the erosive process is eating through a layer of chalk. Trees, leaning outward and awry, cling perilously by their roots to the perpendicular walls. Small islands, which have not yet given way, rise like pinnacles from the bottom of the vast gully, and on these a few small pine trees struggle upward. 
—Georgia, A Guide To Its Towns and Countryside (WPA, 1940)

Providence Canyon, also know as “The Little Grand Canyon,” is located near Lumpkin in Stewart County, Georgia. It’s said to have been caused by poor farming/irrigation practices during the 1800s. The canyon is a series of gorges, some more than 150 feet deep, created by the erosion of soft multicolored soil.
Guide Notes: Providence Canyon is part of the Georgia State Park System. The park has an area of approximately 1,000 acres and is open daily. Hiking and camping are available.
° ° °
Ray Underwood is a 50-year old architect living in Cataula, Georgia. Photography has been a hobby of his since he first used his daddy’s camera. Follow him on Tumblr at southernplaces.tumblr.com where he attempts to capture “the South” as it is today and see more of his work at ruphotographer.tumblr.com. 
This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.
Zoom Info

PROVIDENCE CANYON - STEWART COUNTY, GEORGIA

Left from Lumpkin on unpaved State 27 to PROVIDENCE CAVERNS, 7.5 m., known as the Grand Canyons of Georgia. The term applies more specifically to the second and largest canyon. The central basin on this octopus-shaped cavern covers more than 3,000 acres, and the chasm is about 300 feet wide and 200 feet deep. Although the gullies are a spectacle of destruction, their great size and the delicate colors of their vertical walls give them a strange beauty. Red, yellow, brown, mauve, lavender, jade, ochre, orange, and chalk-white appear in the different strata of the soil; white and yellow predominate.

It is believed the erosion began less than fifty years ago, and the gullies have formed with almost unbelievable rapidity until they have become a serious menace. Red clay, blue marl, shell, and a yellow clay have yielded readily to the devastation, and now the erosive process is eating through a layer of chalk. Trees, leaning outward and awry, cling perilously by their roots to the perpendicular walls. Small islands, which have not yet given way, rise like pinnacles from the bottom of the vast gully, and on these a few small pine trees struggle upward. 

Georgia, A Guide To Its Towns and Countryside (WPA, 1940)

Providence Canyon, also know as “The Little Grand Canyon,” is located near Lumpkin in Stewart County, Georgia. It’s said to have been caused by poor farming/irrigation practices during the 1800s. The canyon is a series of gorges, some more than 150 feet deep, created by the erosion of soft multicolored soil.

Guide Notes: Providence Canyon is part of the Georgia State Park System. The park has an area of approximately 1,000 acres and is open daily. Hiking and camping are available.

° ° °

Ray Underwood is a 50-year old architect living in Cataula, Georgia. Photography has been a hobby of his since he first used his daddy’s camera. Follow him on Tumblr at southernplaces.tumblr.com where he attempts to capture “the South” as it is today and see more of his work at ruphotographer.tumblr.com

This dispatch arrived care of THE AMERICAN GUIDE submission page. Be a guide yourself and send a post from your state: theamericanguide.org/submit.

CHURCH ROCK, HIGHWAY 191 - EASTERN UTAH
Anyone who travels the section of Highway 191 between Monticello and Moab in eastern Utah can’t help but notice the solitary sandstone monument rising like a cathedral out of the dirt known as Church Rock. You also can’t help noticing the hole at the base of the rock.
There are various theories as to how that hole got there. Maybe it was carved out for a home, or blasted out by a rancher named Young to store salt licks, but the most enduring and engaging story involves Marie Ogden and her quest to build heaven on earth.
In 1933, Marie Ogden’s Utopian “Home of the Truth” and its community of nearly a hundred members moved onto a tract of land near the intersection of Highways 191 and 211. Ogden believed herself “divinely informed,” and communicated with God through a typewriter. It was one of these revelations that led the psychic to leave New Jersey and purchase 1,000 acres to farm in Utah’s barren high desert. Another “automatic writing” prophesied a cataclysmic meltdown of the world, a transformation in southeastern Utah from arid desert to tropical paradise, and the “rebirth of society” from within the commune’s faithful. True believers descended on the new utopia.
They also set out to hollow out, by hand, the entire center of the sandstone monument to build a church. 
They got as far as a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock.
"Home of the Truth" itself (about a mile from Church Rock) was isolated from the surrounding community, its residents keeping to themselves in a strict, simple lifestyle. Because Ogden’s beliefs were similar to those of the Mormons—the dominant religious group in the area—the Utah State Historical Society reported they got along with people in the area.
In 1934, Ogden bought the newspaper the San Juan Record, and as publisher/editor she added a column on metaphysics. She received ongoing communication from God. Convinced she could raise the dead and having published articles about successes featuring four guinea pigs and a child, she offered promises of an afterlife. 
The crisis that led to the eventual downfall of the Home of Truth resulted from Ogden’s very unsuccessful efforts to bring Edith Peshak, dead from cancer, back to life with salt baths and milk enemas. The investigations by local authorities and the intense media attention that followed drove most of the members to abandon the group by the end of 1937.
In 1975, at the age of 91, Marie Ogden died in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah.
Guide note: Satellite Image of Church Rock.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
CHURCH ROCK, HIGHWAY 191 - EASTERN UTAH
Anyone who travels the section of Highway 191 between Monticello and Moab in eastern Utah can’t help but notice the solitary sandstone monument rising like a cathedral out of the dirt known as Church Rock. You also can’t help noticing the hole at the base of the rock.
There are various theories as to how that hole got there. Maybe it was carved out for a home, or blasted out by a rancher named Young to store salt licks, but the most enduring and engaging story involves Marie Ogden and her quest to build heaven on earth.
In 1933, Marie Ogden’s Utopian “Home of the Truth” and its community of nearly a hundred members moved onto a tract of land near the intersection of Highways 191 and 211. Ogden believed herself “divinely informed,” and communicated with God through a typewriter. It was one of these revelations that led the psychic to leave New Jersey and purchase 1,000 acres to farm in Utah’s barren high desert. Another “automatic writing” prophesied a cataclysmic meltdown of the world, a transformation in southeastern Utah from arid desert to tropical paradise, and the “rebirth of society” from within the commune’s faithful. True believers descended on the new utopia.
They also set out to hollow out, by hand, the entire center of the sandstone monument to build a church. 
They got as far as a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock.
"Home of the Truth" itself (about a mile from Church Rock) was isolated from the surrounding community, its residents keeping to themselves in a strict, simple lifestyle. Because Ogden’s beliefs were similar to those of the Mormons—the dominant religious group in the area—the Utah State Historical Society reported they got along with people in the area.
In 1934, Ogden bought the newspaper the San Juan Record, and as publisher/editor she added a column on metaphysics. She received ongoing communication from God. Convinced she could raise the dead and having published articles about successes featuring four guinea pigs and a child, she offered promises of an afterlife. 
The crisis that led to the eventual downfall of the Home of Truth resulted from Ogden’s very unsuccessful efforts to bring Edith Peshak, dead from cancer, back to life with salt baths and milk enemas. The investigations by local authorities and the intense media attention that followed drove most of the members to abandon the group by the end of 1937.
In 1975, at the age of 91, Marie Ogden died in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah.
Guide note: Satellite Image of Church Rock.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
CHURCH ROCK, HIGHWAY 191 - EASTERN UTAH
Anyone who travels the section of Highway 191 between Monticello and Moab in eastern Utah can’t help but notice the solitary sandstone monument rising like a cathedral out of the dirt known as Church Rock. You also can’t help noticing the hole at the base of the rock.
There are various theories as to how that hole got there. Maybe it was carved out for a home, or blasted out by a rancher named Young to store salt licks, but the most enduring and engaging story involves Marie Ogden and her quest to build heaven on earth.
In 1933, Marie Ogden’s Utopian “Home of the Truth” and its community of nearly a hundred members moved onto a tract of land near the intersection of Highways 191 and 211. Ogden believed herself “divinely informed,” and communicated with God through a typewriter. It was one of these revelations that led the psychic to leave New Jersey and purchase 1,000 acres to farm in Utah’s barren high desert. Another “automatic writing” prophesied a cataclysmic meltdown of the world, a transformation in southeastern Utah from arid desert to tropical paradise, and the “rebirth of society” from within the commune’s faithful. True believers descended on the new utopia.
They also set out to hollow out, by hand, the entire center of the sandstone monument to build a church. 
They got as far as a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock.
"Home of the Truth" itself (about a mile from Church Rock) was isolated from the surrounding community, its residents keeping to themselves in a strict, simple lifestyle. Because Ogden’s beliefs were similar to those of the Mormons—the dominant religious group in the area—the Utah State Historical Society reported they got along with people in the area.
In 1934, Ogden bought the newspaper the San Juan Record, and as publisher/editor she added a column on metaphysics. She received ongoing communication from God. Convinced she could raise the dead and having published articles about successes featuring four guinea pigs and a child, she offered promises of an afterlife. 
The crisis that led to the eventual downfall of the Home of Truth resulted from Ogden’s very unsuccessful efforts to bring Edith Peshak, dead from cancer, back to life with salt baths and milk enemas. The investigations by local authorities and the intense media attention that followed drove most of the members to abandon the group by the end of 1937.
In 1975, at the age of 91, Marie Ogden died in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah.
Guide note: Satellite Image of Church Rock.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
CHURCH ROCK, HIGHWAY 191 - EASTERN UTAH
Anyone who travels the section of Highway 191 between Monticello and Moab in eastern Utah can’t help but notice the solitary sandstone monument rising like a cathedral out of the dirt known as Church Rock. You also can’t help noticing the hole at the base of the rock.
There are various theories as to how that hole got there. Maybe it was carved out for a home, or blasted out by a rancher named Young to store salt licks, but the most enduring and engaging story involves Marie Ogden and her quest to build heaven on earth.
In 1933, Marie Ogden’s Utopian “Home of the Truth” and its community of nearly a hundred members moved onto a tract of land near the intersection of Highways 191 and 211. Ogden believed herself “divinely informed,” and communicated with God through a typewriter. It was one of these revelations that led the psychic to leave New Jersey and purchase 1,000 acres to farm in Utah’s barren high desert. Another “automatic writing” prophesied a cataclysmic meltdown of the world, a transformation in southeastern Utah from arid desert to tropical paradise, and the “rebirth of society” from within the commune’s faithful. True believers descended on the new utopia.
They also set out to hollow out, by hand, the entire center of the sandstone monument to build a church. 
They got as far as a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock.
"Home of the Truth" itself (about a mile from Church Rock) was isolated from the surrounding community, its residents keeping to themselves in a strict, simple lifestyle. Because Ogden’s beliefs were similar to those of the Mormons—the dominant religious group in the area—the Utah State Historical Society reported they got along with people in the area.
In 1934, Ogden bought the newspaper the San Juan Record, and as publisher/editor she added a column on metaphysics. She received ongoing communication from God. Convinced she could raise the dead and having published articles about successes featuring four guinea pigs and a child, she offered promises of an afterlife. 
The crisis that led to the eventual downfall of the Home of Truth resulted from Ogden’s very unsuccessful efforts to bring Edith Peshak, dead from cancer, back to life with salt baths and milk enemas. The investigations by local authorities and the intense media attention that followed drove most of the members to abandon the group by the end of 1937.
In 1975, at the age of 91, Marie Ogden died in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah.
Guide note: Satellite Image of Church Rock.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
CHURCH ROCK, HIGHWAY 191 - EASTERN UTAH
Anyone who travels the section of Highway 191 between Monticello and Moab in eastern Utah can’t help but notice the solitary sandstone monument rising like a cathedral out of the dirt known as Church Rock. You also can’t help noticing the hole at the base of the rock.
There are various theories as to how that hole got there. Maybe it was carved out for a home, or blasted out by a rancher named Young to store salt licks, but the most enduring and engaging story involves Marie Ogden and her quest to build heaven on earth.
In 1933, Marie Ogden’s Utopian “Home of the Truth” and its community of nearly a hundred members moved onto a tract of land near the intersection of Highways 191 and 211. Ogden believed herself “divinely informed,” and communicated with God through a typewriter. It was one of these revelations that led the psychic to leave New Jersey and purchase 1,000 acres to farm in Utah’s barren high desert. Another “automatic writing” prophesied a cataclysmic meltdown of the world, a transformation in southeastern Utah from arid desert to tropical paradise, and the “rebirth of society” from within the commune’s faithful. True believers descended on the new utopia.
They also set out to hollow out, by hand, the entire center of the sandstone monument to build a church. 
They got as far as a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock.
"Home of the Truth" itself (about a mile from Church Rock) was isolated from the surrounding community, its residents keeping to themselves in a strict, simple lifestyle. Because Ogden’s beliefs were similar to those of the Mormons—the dominant religious group in the area—the Utah State Historical Society reported they got along with people in the area.
In 1934, Ogden bought the newspaper the San Juan Record, and as publisher/editor she added a column on metaphysics. She received ongoing communication from God. Convinced she could raise the dead and having published articles about successes featuring four guinea pigs and a child, she offered promises of an afterlife. 
The crisis that led to the eventual downfall of the Home of Truth resulted from Ogden’s very unsuccessful efforts to bring Edith Peshak, dead from cancer, back to life with salt baths and milk enemas. The investigations by local authorities and the intense media attention that followed drove most of the members to abandon the group by the end of 1937.
In 1975, at the age of 91, Marie Ogden died in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah.
Guide note: Satellite Image of Church Rock.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
CHURCH ROCK, HIGHWAY 191 - EASTERN UTAH
Anyone who travels the section of Highway 191 between Monticello and Moab in eastern Utah can’t help but notice the solitary sandstone monument rising like a cathedral out of the dirt known as Church Rock. You also can’t help noticing the hole at the base of the rock.
There are various theories as to how that hole got there. Maybe it was carved out for a home, or blasted out by a rancher named Young to store salt licks, but the most enduring and engaging story involves Marie Ogden and her quest to build heaven on earth.
In 1933, Marie Ogden’s Utopian “Home of the Truth” and its community of nearly a hundred members moved onto a tract of land near the intersection of Highways 191 and 211. Ogden believed herself “divinely informed,” and communicated with God through a typewriter. It was one of these revelations that led the psychic to leave New Jersey and purchase 1,000 acres to farm in Utah’s barren high desert. Another “automatic writing” prophesied a cataclysmic meltdown of the world, a transformation in southeastern Utah from arid desert to tropical paradise, and the “rebirth of society” from within the commune’s faithful. True believers descended on the new utopia.
They also set out to hollow out, by hand, the entire center of the sandstone monument to build a church. 
They got as far as a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock.
"Home of the Truth" itself (about a mile from Church Rock) was isolated from the surrounding community, its residents keeping to themselves in a strict, simple lifestyle. Because Ogden’s beliefs were similar to those of the Mormons—the dominant religious group in the area—the Utah State Historical Society reported they got along with people in the area.
In 1934, Ogden bought the newspaper the San Juan Record, and as publisher/editor she added a column on metaphysics. She received ongoing communication from God. Convinced she could raise the dead and having published articles about successes featuring four guinea pigs and a child, she offered promises of an afterlife. 
The crisis that led to the eventual downfall of the Home of Truth resulted from Ogden’s very unsuccessful efforts to bring Edith Peshak, dead from cancer, back to life with salt baths and milk enemas. The investigations by local authorities and the intense media attention that followed drove most of the members to abandon the group by the end of 1937.
In 1975, at the age of 91, Marie Ogden died in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah.
Guide note: Satellite Image of Church Rock.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
CHURCH ROCK, HIGHWAY 191 - EASTERN UTAH
Anyone who travels the section of Highway 191 between Monticello and Moab in eastern Utah can’t help but notice the solitary sandstone monument rising like a cathedral out of the dirt known as Church Rock. You also can’t help noticing the hole at the base of the rock.
There are various theories as to how that hole got there. Maybe it was carved out for a home, or blasted out by a rancher named Young to store salt licks, but the most enduring and engaging story involves Marie Ogden and her quest to build heaven on earth.
In 1933, Marie Ogden’s Utopian “Home of the Truth” and its community of nearly a hundred members moved onto a tract of land near the intersection of Highways 191 and 211. Ogden believed herself “divinely informed,” and communicated with God through a typewriter. It was one of these revelations that led the psychic to leave New Jersey and purchase 1,000 acres to farm in Utah’s barren high desert. Another “automatic writing” prophesied a cataclysmic meltdown of the world, a transformation in southeastern Utah from arid desert to tropical paradise, and the “rebirth of society” from within the commune’s faithful. True believers descended on the new utopia.
They also set out to hollow out, by hand, the entire center of the sandstone monument to build a church. 
They got as far as a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock.
"Home of the Truth" itself (about a mile from Church Rock) was isolated from the surrounding community, its residents keeping to themselves in a strict, simple lifestyle. Because Ogden’s beliefs were similar to those of the Mormons—the dominant religious group in the area—the Utah State Historical Society reported they got along with people in the area.
In 1934, Ogden bought the newspaper the San Juan Record, and as publisher/editor she added a column on metaphysics. She received ongoing communication from God. Convinced she could raise the dead and having published articles about successes featuring four guinea pigs and a child, she offered promises of an afterlife. 
The crisis that led to the eventual downfall of the Home of Truth resulted from Ogden’s very unsuccessful efforts to bring Edith Peshak, dead from cancer, back to life with salt baths and milk enemas. The investigations by local authorities and the intense media attention that followed drove most of the members to abandon the group by the end of 1937.
In 1975, at the age of 91, Marie Ogden died in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah.
Guide note: Satellite Image of Church Rock.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
CHURCH ROCK, HIGHWAY 191 - EASTERN UTAH
Anyone who travels the section of Highway 191 between Monticello and Moab in eastern Utah can’t help but notice the solitary sandstone monument rising like a cathedral out of the dirt known as Church Rock. You also can’t help noticing the hole at the base of the rock.
There are various theories as to how that hole got there. Maybe it was carved out for a home, or blasted out by a rancher named Young to store salt licks, but the most enduring and engaging story involves Marie Ogden and her quest to build heaven on earth.
In 1933, Marie Ogden’s Utopian “Home of the Truth” and its community of nearly a hundred members moved onto a tract of land near the intersection of Highways 191 and 211. Ogden believed herself “divinely informed,” and communicated with God through a typewriter. It was one of these revelations that led the psychic to leave New Jersey and purchase 1,000 acres to farm in Utah’s barren high desert. Another “automatic writing” prophesied a cataclysmic meltdown of the world, a transformation in southeastern Utah from arid desert to tropical paradise, and the “rebirth of society” from within the commune’s faithful. True believers descended on the new utopia.
They also set out to hollow out, by hand, the entire center of the sandstone monument to build a church. 
They got as far as a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock.
"Home of the Truth" itself (about a mile from Church Rock) was isolated from the surrounding community, its residents keeping to themselves in a strict, simple lifestyle. Because Ogden’s beliefs were similar to those of the Mormons—the dominant religious group in the area—the Utah State Historical Society reported they got along with people in the area.
In 1934, Ogden bought the newspaper the San Juan Record, and as publisher/editor she added a column on metaphysics. She received ongoing communication from God. Convinced she could raise the dead and having published articles about successes featuring four guinea pigs and a child, she offered promises of an afterlife. 
The crisis that led to the eventual downfall of the Home of Truth resulted from Ogden’s very unsuccessful efforts to bring Edith Peshak, dead from cancer, back to life with salt baths and milk enemas. The investigations by local authorities and the intense media attention that followed drove most of the members to abandon the group by the end of 1937.
In 1975, at the age of 91, Marie Ogden died in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah.
Guide note: Satellite Image of Church Rock.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
CHURCH ROCK, HIGHWAY 191 - EASTERN UTAH
Anyone who travels the section of Highway 191 between Monticello and Moab in eastern Utah can’t help but notice the solitary sandstone monument rising like a cathedral out of the dirt known as Church Rock. You also can’t help noticing the hole at the base of the rock.
There are various theories as to how that hole got there. Maybe it was carved out for a home, or blasted out by a rancher named Young to store salt licks, but the most enduring and engaging story involves Marie Ogden and her quest to build heaven on earth.
In 1933, Marie Ogden’s Utopian “Home of the Truth” and its community of nearly a hundred members moved onto a tract of land near the intersection of Highways 191 and 211. Ogden believed herself “divinely informed,” and communicated with God through a typewriter. It was one of these revelations that led the psychic to leave New Jersey and purchase 1,000 acres to farm in Utah’s barren high desert. Another “automatic writing” prophesied a cataclysmic meltdown of the world, a transformation in southeastern Utah from arid desert to tropical paradise, and the “rebirth of society” from within the commune’s faithful. True believers descended on the new utopia.
They also set out to hollow out, by hand, the entire center of the sandstone monument to build a church. 
They got as far as a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock.
"Home of the Truth" itself (about a mile from Church Rock) was isolated from the surrounding community, its residents keeping to themselves in a strict, simple lifestyle. Because Ogden’s beliefs were similar to those of the Mormons—the dominant religious group in the area—the Utah State Historical Society reported they got along with people in the area.
In 1934, Ogden bought the newspaper the San Juan Record, and as publisher/editor she added a column on metaphysics. She received ongoing communication from God. Convinced she could raise the dead and having published articles about successes featuring four guinea pigs and a child, she offered promises of an afterlife. 
The crisis that led to the eventual downfall of the Home of Truth resulted from Ogden’s very unsuccessful efforts to bring Edith Peshak, dead from cancer, back to life with salt baths and milk enemas. The investigations by local authorities and the intense media attention that followed drove most of the members to abandon the group by the end of 1937.
In 1975, at the age of 91, Marie Ogden died in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah.
Guide note: Satellite Image of Church Rock.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
CHURCH ROCK, HIGHWAY 191 - EASTERN UTAH
Anyone who travels the section of Highway 191 between Monticello and Moab in eastern Utah can’t help but notice the solitary sandstone monument rising like a cathedral out of the dirt known as Church Rock. You also can’t help noticing the hole at the base of the rock.
There are various theories as to how that hole got there. Maybe it was carved out for a home, or blasted out by a rancher named Young to store salt licks, but the most enduring and engaging story involves Marie Ogden and her quest to build heaven on earth.
In 1933, Marie Ogden’s Utopian “Home of the Truth” and its community of nearly a hundred members moved onto a tract of land near the intersection of Highways 191 and 211. Ogden believed herself “divinely informed,” and communicated with God through a typewriter. It was one of these revelations that led the psychic to leave New Jersey and purchase 1,000 acres to farm in Utah’s barren high desert. Another “automatic writing” prophesied a cataclysmic meltdown of the world, a transformation in southeastern Utah from arid desert to tropical paradise, and the “rebirth of society” from within the commune’s faithful. True believers descended on the new utopia.
They also set out to hollow out, by hand, the entire center of the sandstone monument to build a church. 
They got as far as a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock.
"Home of the Truth" itself (about a mile from Church Rock) was isolated from the surrounding community, its residents keeping to themselves in a strict, simple lifestyle. Because Ogden’s beliefs were similar to those of the Mormons—the dominant religious group in the area—the Utah State Historical Society reported they got along with people in the area.
In 1934, Ogden bought the newspaper the San Juan Record, and as publisher/editor she added a column on metaphysics. She received ongoing communication from God. Convinced she could raise the dead and having published articles about successes featuring four guinea pigs and a child, she offered promises of an afterlife. 
The crisis that led to the eventual downfall of the Home of Truth resulted from Ogden’s very unsuccessful efforts to bring Edith Peshak, dead from cancer, back to life with salt baths and milk enemas. The investigations by local authorities and the intense media attention that followed drove most of the members to abandon the group by the end of 1937.
In 1975, at the age of 91, Marie Ogden died in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah.
Guide note: Satellite Image of Church Rock.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info

CHURCH ROCK, HIGHWAY 191 - EASTERN UTAH

Anyone who travels the section of Highway 191 between Monticello and Moab in eastern Utah can’t help but notice the solitary sandstone monument rising like a cathedral out of the dirt known as Church Rock. You also can’t help noticing the hole at the base of the rock.

There are various theories as to how that hole got there. Maybe it was carved out for a home, or blasted out by a rancher named Young to store salt licks, but the most enduring and engaging story involves Marie Ogden and her quest to build heaven on earth.

In 1933, Marie Ogden’s Utopian “Home of the Truth” and its community of nearly a hundred members moved onto a tract of land near the intersection of Highways 191 and 211. Ogden believed herself “divinely informed,” and communicated with God through a typewriter. It was one of these revelations that led the psychic to leave New Jersey and purchase 1,000 acres to farm in Utah’s barren high desert.

Another “automatic writing” prophesied a cataclysmic meltdown of the world, a transformation in southeastern Utah from arid desert to tropical paradise, and the “rebirth of society” from within the commune’s faithful.

True believers descended on the new utopia.

They also set out to hollow out, by hand, the entire center of the sandstone monument to build a church. 

They got as far as a 16 by 24 foot opening chiseled into the rock.

"Home of the Truth" itself (about a mile from Church Rock) was isolated from the surrounding community, its residents keeping to themselves in a strict, simple lifestyle. Because Ogden’s beliefs were similar to those of the Mormons—the dominant religious group in the area—the Utah State Historical Society reported they got along with people in the area.

In 1934, Ogden bought the newspaper the San Juan Record, and as publisher/editor she added a column on metaphysics. She received ongoing communication from God. Convinced she could raise the dead and having published articles about successes featuring four guinea pigs and a child, she offered promises of an afterlife.

The crisis that led to the eventual downfall of the Home of Truth resulted from Ogden’s very unsuccessful efforts to bring Edith Peshak, dead from cancer, back to life with salt baths and milk enemas. The investigations by local authorities and the intense media attention that followed drove most of the members to abandon the group by the end of 1937.

In 1975, at the age of 91, Marie Ogden died in a nursing home in Blanding, Utah.

Guide note: Satellite Image of Church Rock.

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

GEOLOGY - near SPRUCE KNOB, WEST VIRGINIA

Rough and rugged, West Virginia comes honestly by its name, the Mountain State. Moses Bennett, whose home on Spruce Knob is the highest habitation in the State, is credited with the comment that ‘It’s right spread out, and it’s mighty rough; but it’s a damned good State for the shape it’s in.’ … More directly and more manifestly than are most States, West Virginia is the product of its geological foundation—the determining factor in the State’s social development and industrial growth as well as the source of its great natural beauty.

West Virginia, A Guide To the Mountain State (WPA, 1941)

Shelby Silvernell kindly helps us fill in some gaps by sharing photos from West Virginia’s Spruce Knob in the eastern part of the state for American Guide Week Field Assignment #1 - Topography and Climate. She took these images as part of her Geological Studies series while interning at the Mountain Institute

* * *

Shelby Silvernell grew up in suburban Florida and rural Montana, went to college in Baltimore, and now calls Chicago home. When not she’s not busy working at the Chicago History Museum, you can find her studying and photographing all things architectural. Follow her on Tumblr at shelby-silvernell.tumblr.com and shelby-silvernell-observations.tumblr.com, find her portfolio at www.shelby-silvernell.com and find her on Instagram at ssilvernell.

MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI RIVER - MISSISSIPPI PALISADES STATE PARK - SAVANNA, ILLINOIS


The Native American pathfinders along the rock palisades of the Mississippi River did as present-day hikers do—in coursing the bluffs, they took the paths of least resistance. The trails at the Mississippi Palisades, especially the park’s southern routes, put you in touch with the past. Walk them and you’ll trace the footsteps of all those who came before you, some of whom came this way nearly a thousand years ago.
Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers in northwestern Illinois, the 2,500-acre Mississippi Palisades State Park is rich in American Indian history.
—Illinois Department of Natural Resources


So today we’ve learned Illinoisans love their waterways. And based on their dispatches, rightly so. Eric Weiand sends this post for American Guide Week Field Assignment #1 - Topography and Field Assignment #8 - Waterways.

This area in Northwest Illinois is a part of a larger geologic area called the Driftless Area or Paleozoic Plateau. This region’s terrain is due to the fact that it avoided being touched by the glaciers that formed the rest of Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. In this area along the Mississippi River you will find deep canyons cut by streams as they join the Big River, caves, bluffs rising higher than 650 feet, disappearing streams, blind valleys, underground streams, sinkholes and springs.

* * *
Eric Weiand is a creative freelance designer and illustrator from Freeport, Illinois. Follow him on Tumblr at somethinglikehome.tumblr.com. Like him on Facebook at Eric Weiand Art and check out his Twitter feed @EricWeiandArt.
Zoom Info
MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI RIVER - MISSISSIPPI PALISADES STATE PARK - SAVANNA, ILLINOIS


The Native American pathfinders along the rock palisades of the Mississippi River did as present-day hikers do—in coursing the bluffs, they took the paths of least resistance. The trails at the Mississippi Palisades, especially the park’s southern routes, put you in touch with the past. Walk them and you’ll trace the footsteps of all those who came before you, some of whom came this way nearly a thousand years ago.
Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers in northwestern Illinois, the 2,500-acre Mississippi Palisades State Park is rich in American Indian history.
—Illinois Department of Natural Resources


So today we’ve learned Illinoisans love their waterways. And based on their dispatches, rightly so. Eric Weiand sends this post for American Guide Week Field Assignment #1 - Topography and Field Assignment #8 - Waterways.

This area in Northwest Illinois is a part of a larger geologic area called the Driftless Area or Paleozoic Plateau. This region’s terrain is due to the fact that it avoided being touched by the glaciers that formed the rest of Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. In this area along the Mississippi River you will find deep canyons cut by streams as they join the Big River, caves, bluffs rising higher than 650 feet, disappearing streams, blind valleys, underground streams, sinkholes and springs.

* * *
Eric Weiand is a creative freelance designer and illustrator from Freeport, Illinois. Follow him on Tumblr at somethinglikehome.tumblr.com. Like him on Facebook at Eric Weiand Art and check out his Twitter feed @EricWeiandArt.
Zoom Info
MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI RIVER - MISSISSIPPI PALISADES STATE PARK - SAVANNA, ILLINOIS


The Native American pathfinders along the rock palisades of the Mississippi River did as present-day hikers do—in coursing the bluffs, they took the paths of least resistance. The trails at the Mississippi Palisades, especially the park’s southern routes, put you in touch with the past. Walk them and you’ll trace the footsteps of all those who came before you, some of whom came this way nearly a thousand years ago.
Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers in northwestern Illinois, the 2,500-acre Mississippi Palisades State Park is rich in American Indian history.
—Illinois Department of Natural Resources


So today we’ve learned Illinoisans love their waterways. And based on their dispatches, rightly so. Eric Weiand sends this post for American Guide Week Field Assignment #1 - Topography and Field Assignment #8 - Waterways.

This area in Northwest Illinois is a part of a larger geologic area called the Driftless Area or Paleozoic Plateau. This region’s terrain is due to the fact that it avoided being touched by the glaciers that formed the rest of Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. In this area along the Mississippi River you will find deep canyons cut by streams as they join the Big River, caves, bluffs rising higher than 650 feet, disappearing streams, blind valleys, underground streams, sinkholes and springs.

* * *
Eric Weiand is a creative freelance designer and illustrator from Freeport, Illinois. Follow him on Tumblr at somethinglikehome.tumblr.com. Like him on Facebook at Eric Weiand Art and check out his Twitter feed @EricWeiandArt.
Zoom Info
MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI RIVER - MISSISSIPPI PALISADES STATE PARK - SAVANNA, ILLINOIS


The Native American pathfinders along the rock palisades of the Mississippi River did as present-day hikers do—in coursing the bluffs, they took the paths of least resistance. The trails at the Mississippi Palisades, especially the park’s southern routes, put you in touch with the past. Walk them and you’ll trace the footsteps of all those who came before you, some of whom came this way nearly a thousand years ago.
Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers in northwestern Illinois, the 2,500-acre Mississippi Palisades State Park is rich in American Indian history.
—Illinois Department of Natural Resources


So today we’ve learned Illinoisans love their waterways. And based on their dispatches, rightly so. Eric Weiand sends this post for American Guide Week Field Assignment #1 - Topography and Field Assignment #8 - Waterways.

This area in Northwest Illinois is a part of a larger geologic area called the Driftless Area or Paleozoic Plateau. This region’s terrain is due to the fact that it avoided being touched by the glaciers that formed the rest of Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. In this area along the Mississippi River you will find deep canyons cut by streams as they join the Big River, caves, bluffs rising higher than 650 feet, disappearing streams, blind valleys, underground streams, sinkholes and springs.

* * *
Eric Weiand is a creative freelance designer and illustrator from Freeport, Illinois. Follow him on Tumblr at somethinglikehome.tumblr.com. Like him on Facebook at Eric Weiand Art and check out his Twitter feed @EricWeiandArt.
Zoom Info

MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI RIVER - MISSISSIPPI PALISADES STATE PARK - SAVANNA, ILLINOIS

The Native American pathfinders along the rock palisades of the Mississippi River did as present-day hikers do—in coursing the bluffs, they took the paths of least resistance. The trails at the Mississippi Palisades, especially the park’s southern routes, put you in touch with the past. Walk them and you’ll trace the footsteps of all those who came before you, some of whom came this way nearly a thousand years ago.

Located near the confluence of the Mississippi and Apple rivers in northwestern Illinois, the 2,500-acre Mississippi Palisades State Park is rich in American Indian history.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

So today we’ve learned Illinoisans love their waterways. And based on their dispatches, rightly so. Eric Weiand sends this post for American Guide Week Field Assignment #1 - Topography and Field Assignment #8 - Waterways.

This area in Northwest Illinois is a part of a larger geologic area called the Driftless Area or Paleozoic Plateau. This region’s terrain is due to the fact that it avoided being touched by the glaciers that formed the rest of Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. In this area along the Mississippi River you will find deep canyons cut by streams as they join the Big River, caves, bluffs rising higher than 650 feet, disappearing streamsblind valleysunderground streamssinkholes and springs.

* * *

Eric Weiand is a creative freelance designer and illustrator from Freeport, Illinois. Follow him on Tumblr at somethinglikehome.tumblr.com. Like him on Facebook at Eric Weiand Art and check out his Twitter feed @EricWeiandArt.

DEVILS TOWERS NATIONAL MONUMENT - CROOK COUNTY, WYOMING

President Theodore Roosevelt made the 1,153-acre tower area the country’s first national monument, September 24, 1906. 

Wyoming, A Guide To Its History, Highways, and People (WPA, 1941)

From the base of a sacred landmark, Clif Doyal tags into American Guide Week with this dispatch for Field Assignment #5 - National Parks, Monuments, and Landmarks:

From the time I was a small child, I had dreamed of seeing Devils Tower, America’s first national monument. As a life-long geology buff, I had extensively studied and pondered the 1,267 foot-tall volcanic monolith. I also knew that the Lakota and other Plains Indian tribes of the region had long-held the towering rock sacred in their ancient folklore. It had taken on an almost mythical status in my mind’s eye and that image was further enhanced by its prominent role in the 1977 Stephen Spielberg movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where it served as a landing pad for alien space crafts. 

Rolling across the prairie lands of the Black Hills of eastern Wyoming in an RV, I could feel my heart beginning to race with excitement as we exited off of I-90 West onto US-14W. I could tell by the map that we were getting close. Shortly after turning on WY-24E, I had looked down to get my camera ready, and when I looked up, there it was! I was immediately struck by the fact that it looked like it had been dropped in from another planet. Bearing absolutely nothing in common with the dark red and yellow sandstone sedimentary rock that it rests on, Devils Tower, formed of a rare igneous stone called Phonolite, was everything I had always hoped it would be: striking, mysterious, and awe-inspiring. Even the moon showed up to make an appearance in the blue sky framing the giant rock. At that moment, I understood why this pIace had fascinated humans for generations. 

It was the beginning of October, and as luck would have it, near the end of the tourist season.  We rolled up to the KOA Campground which is nestled along the banks of the winding Belle Fourche River and there was not one RV in sight! We pulled in and parked and were soon greeted by campground host, Ogdon Driskell, who told us that he ran the Campstool Ranch on which the campground sits. The ranch has been in his family for six generations (His wife, Zannie, is the postmaster at Devils Tower). 

The next morning when I opened the door of the RV, there was Devils Tower right in front of my eyes! WOW! What a view! Was I lucky, or what? Anxious to explore, my friends and I set out to the park. Along the way, we passed several prairie dog towns and I swear the little creatures seemed as happy to be there as we were. As we made our way onto the hiking trails around the base of the tower we could see several climbers scaling the monolith. I was certain that they had much more courage than I did! Continuing on, we came upon an area where Native American prayer offerings of cloth and prayer bundles hung in the pine trees. As we paused in silent reverence, I pondered to myself if we were really just trespassers on hallowed ground. But as a student of history, I felt like it was my job to document this place and pass my knowledge along to others, so they would have a better understanding of the peoples and cultures that existed here on these plains centuries before the White man arrived in America. And, I wanted to share the wonders of this amazing place with others, even if it was just through my recollections and digital photographs, neither of which really does it justice.  

* * *

Clif Doyal was born in Oklahoma and grew up in the Ozark Mountain region of southwest Missouri. He currently resides in Nashville, TN, where he works in the music business, running a group of artist service companies. Follow him on Tumblr at clifd.tumblr.com

AMERICAN GUIDE WEEK - QUESTIONNAIRE FOR FIELD REPORTS, ASSIGNMENT #1

Take Pride, It’s the American Guide

YOUR ASSIGNMENT, TRUSTED GUIDE:

The original American Guide series of books was produced by the federal government’s Works Progress Administration in the 1930s and ’40s. Your A/G editors unearthed the actual mimeographed field manual from 1935 that was sent out to each WPA state research office. Editors, researchers, and volunteers used the manual as a basis for collecting information on their district.

We’re asking you to do the same. Stay tuned all this week as we release 10 assignments drawn from the 1935 manual for the upcoming American Guide Week (Nov. 18-24). Use these questions as your guide for contributing #AmericanGuideWeek content. First up, Class I - Topography and Climate.  

CLASS I - TOPOGRAPHY and CLIMATE

  • Is your district flat, rolling, mountainous?
  • Is the district arid, semi-arid, fertile? (Nature of the soil, color of the soil, Rain fall, Water shed.)
  • Furnish information on the following subjects: Weather conditions; Climatic idiosyncrasies; Natural phenomena, such as natural bridges, ice caves, cliffs, or ravines; General geologic structure.

BE A GUIDE. SHOW AMERICA TO AMERICANS. 

Between Monday, Nov. 18, and Sunday, Nov. 24, tag your Tumblr photos, illustrations and writing that answer these questions and describe the America you live in and the America you travel through — people, places and things.

Check out a couple of past A/G posts on topography and climate. Now go out there and describe/photograph/draw what it’s like where you live. 

This is a collaboration, folks: a living, Tumblifying documentary about the USA. You’ll be reblogged or featured on The American Guide.

#americanguideweek

Check out A/G Week assignments here.

* * *

Illustration by Guide to the West, James Orndorf - www.roughshelter.com

OREGON BUTTES, WYOMING

Located on the northern edge of the Red Desert in Wyoming, the Oregon Buttes rise 1200 ft. above the desert floor. Pioneers on the Oregon Trail looked forward to passing this prominent landmark because it marked the halfway point of their long journey between Independence, MO and the Pacific Coast. Nearly 300,000 emigrants passed by the Buttes on their way west between 1843 and 1863. Today it is a remote wilderness study area, prime raptor habitat, a rockhound’s paradise, site of ancient Indian Tepee rings and the main calving area for the only herd of desert elk in Wyoming.

* * *

KC O’Connor is a Guide to Wyoming for The American Guide. He’s a writer and photographer based in Lander, Wyoming. Follow him on Tumblr at kcowyo.tumblr.com and on Twitter.

QUAKE LAKE, MONTANA

Nature is so amazing. Late one night in August of 1959, a huge earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale sent a massive 80 million ton landslide rushing 100 miles an hour down Sheep Mountain in southwest Montana. It buried homes and cabins, destroyed roads and buildings, and killed 28 people who were camping on the shores of Hebgen Lake and the Madison River. (And you thought bears were all you had to worry about when camping, right?) The landslide completely choked off the flow of the Madison River, which began to backfill in the valley upstream, and within a month the six-mile long Quake Lake was created. Today you can drive around the lake, over the visible landslide and stop in the visitor’s center to learn more.

(Archival images: USGS)

* * *

KC O’Connor is a Guide to Wyoming for The American Guide. He’s a writer and photographer based in Lander, Wyoming. Follow him on Tumblr at kcowyo.tumblr.com and on Twitter.

SINKS CANYON STATE PARK - WYOMING

Sinks Canyon State Park sits at the base of the southern Wind River Mountains, just a short drive from Lander, Wyo.

In summer, its scenery and sheer rock faces attract mountain climbers, hikers, campers and wildlife watchers. In winter come the skiiers, snow-shoers and snowmobilers.

“It’s a glacial carved canyon. It’s been a corridor for ancient peoples, wildlife, wind, water and ice for thousands of years,” says Darrel Trembly, park superintendent since 1991.

“Every season has its own beauty.”

Its big draw is The Sinks, the place where the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River disappears into an impressive cavern at the foot of the mountain. Geologists believe the river winds its way through narrow passages and small cracks in the Madison Limestone before re-emerging at The Rise a half-mile away. In dye tests, it takes two hours for water to make the short journey.

(Unless you want to sound like an out-of-stater, Popo Agie is pronounced puh-PO-shuh. It’s a Crow Indian word meaning “gurgling water.”)

The park recently lost its most revered resident, an acclimated Big Horn sheep with a penchant for head-butting parked cars. Read his obituary here.

Last summer, I took 10-year-old Sammy on a mother-son camping trip there. Sarah Trembly, temporary park employee and daughter to the superintendent, led us on a guided tour of Boulder Choke, a cave left the way nature built it. There are no walkways and no lights. The entrance is a pile of boulders barely wide enough for an adult to squeeze through.

The cave extends 1,400 to 1,500 feet – at least that’s the amount that has been mapped and explored. How far you can go depends on how far the water has receded.

Sammy asked Sarah if they’ve ever found anything cool in there — you know, like bones or evidence of a crime scene.

No, Sarah said. Overflow from the Middle Popo Agie wipes the cave clean every year.

It does, though, deposit trout that never find their way out again. Their offspring have adapted to the dark and are now colorless, though they still react to lights directed in the water. Sarah has seen the flashes of white swim away from her beams, though Sammy and I didn’t catch sight of one.

As we walked, crawled or shimmied through the passage, we heard water flowing in rooms either in front, beside or under us. 

Sammy has been to bigger caves in South Dakota. Jewel Cave, for example, impresses with its grated walkways and handrails, its electric lights, its stalagmites and stalactites rising and dropping from ceiling to floor.

But, for Sammy, it doesn’t hold a candle – or a headlamp — to Boulder Choke. There is something to be said about a 10-year-old crawling under low limestone ceilings, knees caked with cold mud. There is adventure in finding your own way around a quiet puddle by a narrow beam of light.

Tours of Boulder Choke must be arranged in advance at the Sinks Canyon Visitor’s Center, and are only available in summer after the water has washed through.

In the meantime, winter still envelopes the canyon. Nearly a foot of snow fell March 22-23, calling to the skiers, snowmobilers and picture-takers. Sinks Canyon’s views are worth a stop, whatever your season.

To read more about the park, go to www.trib.com. 

— Kristy Gray

* * *

The features staff of the Casper Star-Tribune — editor Kristy Gray, outdoors reporter Christine Peterson and reporter Benjamin Storrow — are State Guides to Wyoming. The Star-Tribune is Wyoming’s only statewide newspaper and you can follow the adventures of the features folks at tribfeatures.tumblr.com and find the Star-Tribune at www.trib.com.