Virgin River Canyon

Entering Virgin River Canyon

Things have been kind of hectic with all the going, going, going.  Getting to the hotel rooms worn out, some of the hotels didn’t have Wi-Fi, and one that did I had to pay for then found out I could not get on.  So my posts are delayed.

We made two trips from Grantsville, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada.  These photos are of the Virgin River Canyon in Arizona, which is just after leaving Utah and entering Arizona.

This canyon is about 25 miles long with twisting roads  and a bit of down grade.  I’ve selected a few to show you how high these canyon walls are.

Virgin River Canyon

During the day time the view is spectacular.  With all the twists and turns there is something to marvel at with every turn.

The rock walls change color from red to black to almost white through here.

When Joe first took me through here, in a pickup, I was sure we were going to crash and burn as he made each bend through the canyon.  It was a white knuckle ride for me and one I did not relish.

While we lived in Utah for a couple years we made this trip quite a few times.  I did not get used to it.

Virgin River Canyon

At night, with the inky black sky above and these towering walls on each side the roadway was indistinguishable.  Everything was black.  The headlights of our vehicle barely made any difference in the darkness.

Being somewhat claustrophobic, going through this canyon after dark was terrifying.  Vertigo would set in after a bit and I did not know which way was up with all the twisting, winding, and downgrades through this black hole.

Once in a while I would see the stars peek through and they were a welcome sight to me.

Going through this canyon in the daytime was a bit easier to take.

Virgin River Canyon

Needless to say, I was a wussy.  From the time that Joe told me of the impending trip to Overton, Nevada where we were delivering electrical transformers we had repaired, I dreaded the trip through this canyon.

Years later I go through this canyon as if it were just another road.  This time I was a bit excited about making this trip so that I could show you the spectacular view.

All you see is the hard rock mountains, but the coloring and the height of them is awesome to behold.

Joe and his trucks in front of me look like an ant compared to the height of these rock walls.

Virgin River Canyon

The road through this canyon was built next to the riverbed.

You can see the river, what is left of it, on the right.

I am amazed each time we go through here to know that water found a way through these towering rocks, and continues to do so.

I don’t know when the road was made to go through this canyon, nor how long it took to make it.

There is a back road that many people use to avoid this canyon.  A road that was heavily used, I’m told, before during and after the construction of the road through the canyon.

Virgin River Canyon

Many people that live in Hurricane, Utah work in Mesquite, Nevada.  They take the back road and avoid this canyon all together.

This is a little more than half way through. The steep walls are not quite as high.

I have had the privilege of seeing mountain goats one time on these walls, many years ago.  That was a special thrill watching them scale these heights.  None were in sight on this trip through.

After the canyon road was built the truck traffic increased through here.  Taking the alternate route on the back side is longer even though it is flatter.

Las Vegas, Nevada

We are nearly to our delivery site.  Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Taylor Martin has an area blocked off for an auction to be held on August 12, 2010 and we are delivering these trucks to the auction site.

Off in the distance is the skyline of Las Vegas.  Looks pretty insignificant from this vantage point.  That is another canyon with flickering lights that is bewildering to behold at night.

We did not go through Las Vegas on this trip.  After hearing that over 200,000 people are out of work in this area, some of them for over a year, makes me wonder what is going to be happening to this play destination.

Palm tree trimmers

After we delivered our trucks, we turned around to head back to Grantsville, Utah to get the second and final set of trucks.

We stopped at the Virgin River Hotel and Casino in Mesquite, Nevada for the night.  This was the place I had to pay for the Wi-Fi and did not get to use it.

The next morning I went out on the walk way and was surprised to see this guy working at 5:30 a.m. local time.  It was 7:30 our time and already hot.

Palm trees need to be trimmed back from time to time because of pigeons that love to roost under the palm fronds.  Pigeons are a nuisance bird that carry diseases and poop a lot.

Second Tree trimmer

There were a total of four men up in the trees trimming them back.

They cut all the stuff off and left only the top three or four fronds at the very top.

These guys have safety harnesses, sturdy climbing ropes, and some kind of leather thing strapped to their calves for climbing these trees.

This has got to be hard work.  Climbing these trees and holding their weight out from the trunk while using a special hand saw to cut these fronds.

Third tree trimmer

It was pretty interesting to watch them make their way higher and higher in the trees as they cut away the stuff.

Cars parked below made their job a bit more troublesome.  Dropping these heavy fronds from high up and keeping them from falling on cars was a bit tricky at times while I watched.

The noises they made as they climbed the trees was a strange noise.  Kind of similar to the snapping and popping noise of a wood fire burning.

They had quite the job to do, many palm trees on this property.

The hand saw

While I watched these men work I got a look at the fronds.  There are “teeth” on the outer edges of each of the stems of the fronds.  These guys wear leather palmed gloves to keep from being cut from the serrated edges of the branches.

The hand saw I’ve not seen before.  Curved as it is I suppose this makes it easier to get close to the trunk as they cut these things off.

The saws must be tethered to them somehow.  Not one of these guys lost their saws, or I did not hear one clatter to the ground.

This is not a job I would stand in line for.  The height thing would be my first issue, then to lug this cumbersome body up the tree…not going to happen.

Clean up guy

There is a guy down below that is in charge of gathering all these branches, or fronds, and the scruffy stuff that is something else that grows on these trees.

He has a pile for the different sizes of the fronds and a pile for the scruffy stuff.

I wonder what they do with all this afterwards?  I don’t know what use can be made from these branches.  Maybe they just go to a landfill somewhere, or are run through a chipper and turned into mulch.

This job I think I can do.  It is safely on the ground and I can make piles just like him.  Now, maybe I can’t carry them off as he does to another place, but I can sure make a neat and tidy pile.

Mundane excitement

This catastrophe is quite mundane compared to what we had experienced a few days earlier.  The police and SWAT teams in Salt Lake City.

I have a travel size bottle of shampoo tucked away in a carrier with pouches.

The shampoo bottle broke in the carrier and made a complete mess of things.  It ooked out all over the carrier, into the suitcase, and wicked up into everything it would make its way to.

Thankfully our clothes were safely encased in a thing that was water tight so it didn’t get to the clothes.

Broken shampoo bottle

Joe was trying to be helpful in getting the shampoo cleaned up.  This job was quite a big one for him.

He stuck with it though and finally got it all cleaned up.  I had to laugh at him one time.   He was so fascinated with the bubbles coming back up through the holes in the front of the sink, where his thumb is.  Any progress he was making in the sink bowl getting the suds down were just coming back at him from the over flow holes.  He was shifting water from the sink bowl then to the over flow holes.  It was funny.

I tell you….never a dull moment with us.  There is always something happening.

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About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

8 responses to “Virgin River Canyon

  • Nancy

    haha…and so the saga continues! Bubbles are okay…much lest stressful than guns and gangsters! Beautiful pictures of the canyon! I’m so glad you’re more comfortable driving through there now…since you have to! lol Very interesting about the tree trimmers! It was so nice to have another update Leslie! I look forward to the next whenever you have time and opportunity!…Nancy 🙂

    • Message In A Fold

      Girl…you are quick!

      Too right!!! Bubbles are much less stressful than guns and gangsters :o)

      There are so many wonders around me. Sometimes it is good to be a Nosey Parker. At least I get some of my questions answered that way. I’ve often wondered how those palm trees get trimmed. Now I know, and so do you 🙂
      Love you Girlfriend

  • Maureen Mathis

    gorgeous pictures! You two sure get to see alot of the US. Thanks for showing us homebodies what’s out there!

    • Message In A Fold

      Hey Sis. There is so much to see and so little time, I’ve got to make the best of it. Before I met Joe (is there really a time before Joe?) my neighborhood was as far as I travelled. He’s drug my butt all over this country and I’m so thankful for that. Some days it doesn’t sound like it, though. So I feel it is time to share what I see with you guys.

  • Shelly

    Love the photos truely an awesome site to see even just in pictures. I am ever amazed at the beauty of creation around me and thankful that I have been graced with senses to enjoy them. The tree trimming is a dangerous job My inlaws in California have been doing this kind of work most of their lives and those palm trees can be very tricky to work in. My former brother in law got poked in the eye with one of the fronds and it took a very long time to recover not a fun experience at all. I love your posts I feel like I’m on a great adventure right along wiith ya 🙂
    Keep safe and tell Joe hello from Illinois,
    Much love and hugs,
    Shelly

    • Message In A Fold

      Yikes!! Can your brother in law see out of the eye still, or do you even know? It amazes me when the professionals stand in front of a tree and determine which branch is diseased and which one needs to be cut back. I can’t tell the difference, looks like a tree to me. People grumble at the prices they charge but to have someone that knows how to get long branches hovering over houses or power lines down with no damage to structures or interruption of power is worth the charge. I know that I’d end up being another feature on America’s Funniest Videos if I were to do the tree trimming, except I’d probably get hurt real bad.
      Love you – Leslie

  • Lynn Claridge

    Did you notice too Leslie that the tree trimmers had long trousers and long sleeved tops on? Not only are the fronds spiky but the fibres off the trunk are an irritant too. Pigeons are a damn nuisance here too, any green vegetables we grow have to be covered with netting to protect them.

    Beautiful rock formations – are the canyon walls stable or are there ever rock slides? So majestic to see.

    Oh I empathise with you over the broken shampoo bottle – had a similar incident but with shower gel. Bubbles are still bad though! Job well done Joe coping with clearing up the mess 🙂

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xxx

    • Message In A Fold

      I did notice the guys were wearing long pants (trousers) and long sleeves. It didn’t occur to me it was for protection until you mentioned it. Makes sense to me with those scratchy and pokey things.

      For my own peace of mind, I’m going to say the canyon walls are stable. They are hard rock. But you never know, I’ve seen cliffs and walls similar to these that have tumbled down. I guess nothing is truly stable.

      The shampoo mess was funny, and hearing Joe tell the bubbles to get down the drain was hilarious!
      Love you – Leslie

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