Cedar City High School Class of 1960 Blog

Down in the Gulch

CEDAR
STORIES:

DOWN
IN THE GULCH

Summer
Floods

By
Roger Lewis

   

We were itinerant loggers, moving from campsite to campsite. The six that would make the news with the title ”Southern Utah Searches for six missing Cedar youths” were the group I remember best because I was with them when they “went missing”, but I’m getting ahead of myself. That wouldn’t happen until August 17th and work started Monday June 8th 1959.

I was sixteen ready to enter my senior year at Cedar High School. Gordon Bulloch and Kendall Stapely were classmates, while Leon Perry and Cloyd Stratton were a year older. The old man of the group was Derral Stratton, Cloyd’s older brother who had already been to a year or two attending Utah State University in Logan. He was twenty. We were summer loggers for Don Sheffer ( rhymes with heifer the cow not” Shaefer” the pen, however the large majority pronounce their name “Shay-fur”).

We worked assiduously harvesting Quacking Aspens for Western Wood that made excelsior for evaporative air conditioning pads. Leon Parry would fell the “Quackies”; we would peel the bark off the trees that were 25 to 35 feet long and one to two feet in diameter at the base. We were paid 21cents for each tree we peeled. On a VERY good day we could peel 70 trees, and a really good day we might peel 100 and that 21 bucks was good wages for summer work in those days. Imagine That!! We felled and peeled for a couple of weeks. Then we trimmed the knots and branches and bucked the limbless naked trees into eight foot lengths loaded them onto a big truck and Derral drove them to the Western Wood storage area west of Cedar where they were slivered into excelsior.

We were paid one dollar an hour for our work trimming and loading the logs; working an average of twelve hour days with an occasional fifteen to complete gathering the logs from a given area. We worked from sunrise to dark and we were tough as baked owl manure. To fuel ourselves as indefatigable working machines we used garbage can lid-sized plates stacked with mountains of cooked pancakes, eggs, potatoes spaghetti, stew, corn, biscuits bacon, and lasagna which we engulfed with mountain manners and the ebullience of wolverines during Ramadan.

We mostly remembered to thank Maggie our “Earth mother” who cooked the meals with savvy and gusto. She knew not to insult us with dainty, cute servings but with mountain man morsels delivered with dispatch and adequate serving size. Maggie had a lick of sense, with all the savior faire needed to manage her infant child, keep her husband, our boss, and in-line feed the six to eight loggers sixteen to twenty years old – picture just that alone. She had Saturday afternoon and Sunday to shop for the next weeks food, put her home in shape, Go to church socialize with her neighbors, and realign her soul with the North Star. I’m writing this fifty years after the events took place.

Twenty years ago I had a transforming epiphany I choose to share. As a medical doctor, I was attending a patient going through a long slow labor at Orem Hospital. I had gone to the doctor’s lounge for a break. There I sat meditating in one of the sleep rooms, door shut and sitting in a chair meditating. Suddenly it was as if I were on a large stage containing virtually everyone I’d ever met. I had an overwhelming feeling of inexpressible love for everyone! I realized they had all served me even the seeming nincompoops, jerks egregious malcontents as well as my close friend relatives and my loved ones. Radiating light glowed from each in such dramatic fashion that I was stunned with admiration and gratitude. In this state of unexpected glory and supernal bliss, I thought I was ready to literally be translated into another realm, to graduate or move to a level of life unimaginable to me just moments before.

As I marveled and contemplated with deep satisfaction all I was experiencing a knock at the door brought my awareness to a crashing close and I heard a nurse say “Doctor Lewis your patient is ready.” Immediately I thought after I complete assisting with this delivery I will get back to this marvelous mind expanding heavenly educational revelation. That was in 1989 and my efforts to finish my spiritual experience have failed. I have been very influenced by the insight I gained in those powerful but brief moments on the stage of my life.

CS Lewis wrote in THE WEIGHT OF GLORY; There are no ordinary people very one is a potential deity. It took years to appreciate the far reaching implications of this “vision”. We slept on army cots in war surplus tents. We went to sleep after dark and awoke at dawn. We called our camp the “Aspen Motel” and the biggest room is the bathroom. We dramatized the aspirin advertisement “Do I detect a grimace of pain on your rough outdoor features?  A LOT OF POSTURING WITH MUSCLES FLEXED AND PRONOUNCED STRUTTING AND JUVENILE BADINAGE. ” It was an unlikely union of people, neither before nor since did I go to a movie or out to lunch with any of my fellow loggers but through the years we‘ve kept track of those that went through the bonding experience “down in the gulch” that ‘m going to tell you about.

The setting is that halcyon time after the warriors from the greatest generation have quietly come home to their families and lives and living the dreams developed during the dearth of opportunity during the slaughter and mayhem and privations of war.

Vietnam was in the future, the American dream was progressing with wonderful zeal and flourish and we the coming of age young loggers of Don Sheffer’s logging camp were prancing and dancing our summer away in refined mountain air amid spectacular scenery, physical challenges equal to our burgeoning powers, mountains of food, and energy to dream the impossible dreams of our own.

Weekends began at noon on Saturday when we jumped on the platform of the empty logging truck and rode to Don and Maggie’s home with nimble agility and indefatigable confidence. We dispatched instantly to our homes to begin the wonderful world of WEEKEND. WE SWITCHED FROM LOGGERS TO REGULAR FOLK IN ANOTHER INSTANT. A shower and a change of clothes accomplished the transformation in a mere ten minutes.

Since 1959 times and time has changed. Back then we had plenty of time in a day and a half to do more than one can now do in a full three days of our modern(2010)weekend. I personally would hop into the family car a once new dusty cream colored Chrysler (we called “the tank”) and “drag main” by driving up and down main street waving and honking at friends and noticing things of interest like girls and stuff like that. We drove to the movie “drive-in on the north to the Dairy Freeze on the south about a mile and a half on a summer’s day. The seat of the tank was so worn that on dates I would cover it with the nicest available blanket. After transforming into a “regular person” I would drive alone to the Dairy Freeze south of town and buy a black raspberry malt and a hamburger. Somehow these modern fast food factories can’t come close to the delectable original can’t be beat hamburgers of those days. My family ate out something like twenty times in my entire growing up years. It was a big deal for me to make enough money to become independent enough to waste money on “store bought” food.

My weekend included talking to my Brother Bill and friends Steve Corry, Jeff Marchant, Paul Williams, Terry Bolander, Morris Wood, Kent Smith, and Larry Robb. My reason for visiting was to impress my friends with how hard my work was, how talented and strong I was becoming as a real logger, woodsman and man of means. I always went to church on Sunday where I talked with my uncle Elloyd Marchant, Jeff’s dad, and my neighbors both my own age and their parents. My work was so unusual that I had to explain what I did in detail to almost all of them. Now at age sixty eight as I write this, I‘m aware that virtually every facet of life could be held as an issue of explaining the details soooo on with the story.

The weekends that summer were full and glorious in my generous memory where “Christmases aren’t what they used to be-AND NEVER WERE!!” Time enough to watch a favorite TV show or two catch up on the necessary gossip, get a hair cut from Marlow Imlay my favorite barber. I wore a “flattop” as a hairdo then The Happy whistler was my favorite tune and THE KINGSTON TRIO was just coming onto my musical radar. The Summer had started on June 8th when our logging camp was on the Higbee/Seegmiller property Myron Higbee the Grandfather of Roger Higbee my fellow classmate owned that land. Myron acquired it when he married Adam Seegmiller’s sister. The Seegmiller’s had “mountain land”.

It was now August, the summer monsoons were approaching, and we had moved our camp closer to the ravines and gulches that drain into CRYSTAL GULCH, DEEP CREEK that joins the VIRGIN RIVER AND CONTINUES AS THE NARROWS INTO ZION CANYON. SO GET THIS PICTURE-We were logging in an area of mountain hill, plateaus gullies, gulches, and canyons all organized into a network of springs, streams and creeks leading to the Virgin River which still flows through Zion

National Park and is the very erosive agent that created Zion Canyon over the eons. Well along with ice and wind, ZION, GRAND CANYON, BRYCE CANYON were all carved by erosion out of the beautifully colored layers of rock on the Markagunt Plateau. We were arduously felling, peeling, bucking, trimming and hauling trees to The Mother Company Western Wood North West of Cedar.

Most of the trees were peeled by this time, so we were being paid one dollar per hour to trim them. Trimming consisted of cutting off with an axe the branches and knots, leaving essentially long tooth picks that we then bucked into eight foot lengths with chain saws, loaded them onto the truck and hauled them to Western Wood to make excelsior. Leon Perry was both the feller and bucker of the trees and Derral Stratton was usually the truck driver. The rest of us were trimmers and responsible for the care of and the condition of our own axe. We could sharpen our axes to a razor’s edge and ignite an upright wooden match by splitting it with accurate swing. We could throw our axes such as to make a complete circle before cutting solidly into a tree ten to fifteen yards away.

We were taught by woodsman Don to safely chop with a log separating our bodies from the log we were trimming such that a glancing blow could not strike into our precious flesh. It was this focus on safety that led to our experience “down in the gulch”. When logs are wet they tend to be more dangerous to trim. Since this is an article of faith to Don Sheffer we were given the day off. Of course we didn’t get paid but the result was Tuesday the 18th of August 1959 was play day not workday. My journal indicates that I arose at 10:00 a.m. Ate a stack of pancakes and foraged for fun. Derral and Don were playing checkers. – boring!

Most of the crew was wandering south exploring a cabin with old 1934newspapers, burning nests of bees, wasps or hornets. We chased a large buck that was momentarily caught in a fence. We gambled, ran, cruised, frolicked, jumped and crashed along the phalanx of ridge extending south of our camp, and slowly descended down into the gulch. I’ve already mentioned the mountain topography consisted of mainly flat section of plateaus sectioned off by a network of galleys and ravines that deepen into gulches that lead to canyons. The gulch that we were descending into is large and deep enough that even you hikers and mountain men would approach with careful respect!

You would not allow young children to enter unattended and even then only with caution and great care. We were young strong, filled with abundant adventure and confidence galore. We could see from high up the side of the gulch off to the south, a pond that was fetchingly inviting our investigation. Off we sprinted with full throttle nimbly dancing over the rocks deftly weaving through brush, trees, up and down hills with gleeful legerity and spirited alacrity.

In no time we surrounded the pond discovering rushes, cattails a beaver hut and many gnawed tree stumps that loudly announced the beaver hut to be authentic. I managed to climb atop the hut for no useful purpose but it seemed a good idea at the time. Gordon suggested we gallop on to Zion. Derral supported the suggestion and after polling the now assembled group the consensus is go! Derral tired of checkers and tracked us down. Kendall Stapely, Gordon Bulloch, Derral and Cloyd Stratton, Leon Perry and I formed the group of six that agreed to go to Zion. Moses eat your heart out!!

We anticipated completing the journey in eight hours. It was 3:00pm so potentially by 11:00pm.Well, were we to have logically deliberated with care and reason the implausibility of our mission would have stopped us dead in our tracts and we would have ambled leisurely back to camp. This was a mission of youthful exuberance and impetuosity not a measured project of wisdom and judgment. So, we sailed on without a pause, impelled by the rashness of youth and the very alluring adventure capturing our imagination and enthusiasm.

I don’t know what drove the others but I reveled in the fantasy of emerging from the muddy flood waters of the roiling Virgin River in the Temple of Sinawava where the paved road ends. There sharing our valiant tale with awe struck spectators, hitching a ride to Cedar and back to our logging camp. Our group came slowly to consensus about heading for Zion. Cloyd took some convincing and time to mull it over before he converted to the mission. Leon was hefty enough, that he trudged where we galloped and he slogged while we gamboled and thus he was enervated while .most were energized. Derral and Cloyd tried to help with rather constant comments of encouragement and ardent inspiration.

As you might expect, this aggravated rather than helped Leon trudge with greater speed. In our hurry, Cloyd stepped on a small rattlesnake. The snake was summarily judged, sentenced and executed by stoning. It was 4:00pm and having an amazing grasp of the obvious, we increased our speed to almost controlled frenzy- with the quixotic notion of reaching Zion THAT VERY NIGHT!

Occasional falling, stumbling, or slipping was the price paid for this reckless celerity. The race against time and darkness were the enemies of our zeal, youth and determination. So our goal of reaching Zion by night silently died a quiet death, melting away like Frosty the Snowman meeting early spring. The new goal was to find a safe place to sleep before The Black Night captured us. Derral was the first to suggest we stop and find a place to sleep.

We had checked the sky frequently during the day observing scattered clouds but mostly clear skies. We were finally in the part of the narrowing canyon that qualifies to be called “THE NARROWS” but had not yet reached the North Fork of the Virgin River. The two main streams that combine to form the main stream coursing through Zion Canyon are North Fork and Deep Creek. We were in Deep Creek, darkness was falling fast. We were moving as fast as we could to make it as far as possible before we stopped for the night. My personal hope was that we would come to the confluence of Deep Creek with North Fork so we would know how much farther it was to Zion.

After one fall into the stream caused by hurrying in the dark, I was easily persuaded to stop. We found a sandy tree covered hill against the side of the narrow canyon.

We found a small alcove atop the hill and against the east wall of the canyon. This alcove was merely a recess in the wall about twelve to fifteen feet long three to four feet wide and perhaps six feet high from where the wall tapered into the wall indenting to the three to four feet width at the bottom. We built a fire about five or six feet out from this recess providing just enough room for the six of us to huddle like hibernating snakes between the fire and the wall of the canyon.

There was no food to eat, we were tired and cold, especially those wet from falling or splashing racing recklessly through the stream. We snuggled into the sand and waited for Santa to bring an early Christmas. ABOUT 10:00pm we heard the river rise. Evidently drainage from upstream rains had reached us in the form of a flood. Small, we thought, but how to know in the dark except by sound. We were sleeping eight to ten feet above the water and felt safe even if a little chilled. We slept; some apparently soundly and some stirring with each snap of the fire or noise from the stream. Some realized that rising water was something to lose sleep over, and others were too tired to care.

At midnight it started to rain. Scattered drops at first were followed quickly with heavy rain dousing the and then on clue from the crackling exploding thunder into full all out cow peeing on a flat rock downpour!! The rain was, so ferocious that soon gushing streams were sweeping rocks off the walls. These fell like bombs, in the roiling river with such dramatic affect that Kendall Stapely blurted out in urgency, “Roger pray for us!” When I hesitated momentarily, Kendall prayed with alacrity and fervency! I had already prayed silently and deemed Kendall’s prayer appropriate and welcomed.

Large boulders rumbled as the flood crashed them grating against the rocks forming the river bed .The picture would only be worsened if the river rose high enough to engulf us. High as the river was, we were safely above the torrent. Our safe position above the raging river did not entirely off set our cold, wet and hungry state. It was blatantly obvious that a raging vicious flood roiled below us but only occasional flashes of lightning allowed us to see the face of this growling monster.

The rain finally drizzled to a stop-only to sputter occasionally for the next few hours. The fire was doused by the storm, yet miraculously smoldering coals remained deep down. Cloyd got up and found enough dry wood to restart the fire with great effort. During the drenching down pour, frequent claps of earsplitting thunder ricocheted up and down the canyon with such vicious loud, loud blasts and clangs that it was as if Richard Wagner was composing a natural symphony for us personally and blasting us with as much volume as we could take and a little bit more. Sleep was difficult but not impossible after the rain storm.

We finally awoke about 6:00 am having slept two to three hours but this seemed to vary greatly among the six of us. We estimated the height of the flood at highest point to be about six feet. The flow of the stream was far too fast to attempt crossing so we waited for the flood to abate and entered earnest discussion as to continuing on to Zion a position Leon, Derral and I took or retrace our tracts back to our logging camp. The crux issues of the debate; we don’t know how far it was to Zion because we haven’t reached North Fork yet where another stream joins the ragging stream we were watching, we know how far it is back to camp, we assume that all up stream water will recede when the stream we are watching goes down. Even if we reach Zion, we still have the challenge of getting back to our camp by hitching a ride.

As the debate continued, I was asked to go down stream far enough to determine if the side crevice we could see from our then position could be climbed. I reconnoitered with great effort, and found the crevice potentially climbable but too dangerous to attempt. The discussion concluded finally with Derral deciding with the group wanting to go back to camp and so four for camp and two for Zion majority rule brought immediate closure to debate. It wasn’t until 11:00am when we deemed it safe for all of us to cross the stream that had fallen significantly but still dangerously swift. It required carefully applied caution, strength and skill for Kendall or me to station ourselves midstream tripoding ourselves with feet wide spread and holding tenaciously to poles made from small trees anchored so as to brace against the powerful current as we faced down stream. The others could then use their own poles to move from shore to Kendall or me and then to the opposite shore.

Travel was slow and tiring. Yesterday we jumped and scampered with fleet feet down-stream only occasionally getting wet when we splashed or fell. Now were almost constantly in waist deep chocolate colored flood water straining mightily to avoid being swept downstream like drift wood adding our carcasses to some distant logjam! About a fourth to a half a mile from our sleep site, we came to a sign marking the park boundary. Even if we had seen that as we passed it in the dark the previous night, we lacked the detailed information to know how far we were from Zion. We found the body of a small rattlesnake (eighteen inches long) amid the newly placed driftwood. There were green tree branches crushed and jammed and randomly scattered reminding us that we were fortunate to be safe and a fighting chance to become sound. We quickly developed the ability to individually cross the slowly receding stream, but travel was slow, especially for Leon who kept falling behind. We spent a lot of time waiting for him. Cloyd remained persistent in adamantly encouraging Leon to keep up. This had the same feckless result of complaining about the weather or taxes.

Mysteriously, we were uniformly thinking that we would sleep that night in our tents in warm sleeping bags on comfortable cots, with bellies full of mountain food. Hope really does spring eternal. We were very tired, hungry and weakening rapidly, BUT WE WERE YOUNG!!  We thought we might find a simpler way to camp by climbing a crevice in the west side of the now widening canyon. That project squeezed to a stop when Leon was unable to get passed a very narrow spot. Though we trudged most slowly, we still felt like shouting WHEEEEEEE! like the snail riding the turtle, because the diminishing stream allowed much faster travel despite our waning strength. By 5:00pm we had reached THE BLACK LEDGES. This meant we were out of THE NARROWS and into more open gulches with dirt and tree covered terrain rather than the stark rigid narrow absolutely vertical walls we had been confined by.

We traveled about a half mile passed the black ledges and stopped to “take a five” giving chance for Leon the catch up. To our left was a steep hill that appeared very climbable. Gordon started up the hill and I followed assuming the others would immediately follow. I was weak, very hungry and experiencing the same malaise common to most flu-like illnesses. As I write, ‘m 68 years old, I’ve run three marathons, (The 1978 Deseret marathon in 3hours 21 minutes, the 1979 Boston marathon in 3hours 6 minutes, and the 1979 Deseret marathon in 3hours 17 minutes), trudged through miles of waist deep snow .The most challenging and difficult single item obstacle I can recall, was climbing that hill!!

In no time at all Gordon was higher on the hill and still motoring. I would choose a spot about ten yards away and focus all my effort on reaching it. I would collapse at the spot and prepare for the next spot but my energy was spent, I was in energy debt and searching for a loan. While I was pursuing spots up the hill, Gordon was moving farther away and there was no sight of the others. After each collapse, it took longer and longer to gather enough energy to get up and head for the next spot. It really seemed an impossible task to reach the top. I had trouble imagining how Gordon powered on, but he did and he was soon out of sight. The others also failed to appear. It seemed as if I was engulfed in my own private struggle with the universe – a game with no rules, no umpires, just this damn hill.

Obviously, I finally reached the top only to find that there was another hill to climb to reach the real top. This second hill was not nearly as daunting as the first, and I climbed it without enervation, I was now energized to go on and catch up with Gordon. I don’t wish to blow this hill climb out of proportion. This was not the pivot point in my life teaching me that I could conquer all challenges etc. etc. I did learn, however, that the recuperative powers within us are much greater than we commonly realize. I found Gordon’s tracks left clearly in the damp, wet earth. He is out of sight and did not respond to my calls. I tried eating some unripe pine nuts by chewing the cone into the totally undeveloped nuts. All I got was a nasty bitter lingering taste of pine gum and yuk!! The gnawing growing hunger was such that food fantasies competed with fantasies of stopping and resting in warm covers. I stumbled as quickly as I could, pursuing the seeming indefatigable Gordon.

I finally heard him calling for Cloyd, and caught his attention with my yelling. It was raining again, no downpour just cold, steady, miserable soaking drizzling, rain. We all wore as loggers the same uniform-T-shirts and Levies. The new rain had soaked and chilled us, but like Robert Frost we had many miles to go before we slept.

We hurried with a surprising amount of speed as we cruised through sloppy wet trees and hot footed it over rocks, logs and through trails, half trails or forced passage where there were no trails. I later found that Gordon had me lead so I could shake much of the water from the trees before he got to them. We were tired, tired, tired! I fell asleep when we stopped to rest. Darkness out ran us and eventually good sense caught us so we stopped to sleep. Climbing the damned hill was so difficult that I easily remember it among a handful of challenging accomplishments.

Trying to sleep this second night in a row being cold, hungry, and tired, counts as one of the most never -to-be-forgotten, bad, awful, terrible nights of my life. Muscle cramps especially in our legs bothered us through the night. We were both too tired to sleep. Gordon woke me telling me “Poppeye” is about a hundred yards away in his truck.” When I asked him where, he was back into his restless slumber. Poppeye was Carlyle Hunter. He Worked with us as a truck driver, and helped direct Pissanthia – a work horse that helped pull heavy logs close to the truck.

We dreamed of food, warm beds, being in camp already, disjointed, wacko, crazy stuff but finally descended into some restful sleep. We awoke at sunrise, about 6:30a.m. We marveled that we were still alive and even more that we were full of enough energy to immediately head for camp, not at breakneck speed, but fast enough to boggle the mind of that snail riding on a turtle. A new life blossomed about us. The sun was shining; the trees and grass were moist but not soaked.

We soon recognized welcome landmarks and after an hour and a half of good progress we stopped to rest. I was happy with my refurbished energy but I still fatigued easily I wondered if I could make it to camp realizing the many hills yet to climb. We had rested only a few minutes when Gordon blurted out, “Ronnie Condie, boy am I glad to see you!” I thought he was just joking but what a joy to look up to the beaming face of Ron Condie, our classmate and friend of the Sheffers. Ron was immediately joined by Don Sheffer, his younger brother Dan, and George Manning, a year older than Gordon and me, and a member of our logging camp that chose not to “go down in the gulch” with us. Oh, yes, Poppeye Hunter was with the rescue party too.

A quick spate of questions barraged us: where are the others? How far behind? How are they? They were obviously happy to see us safe and now moved onto find the others. One of them threw us a can of tomatoes and a can of pork and beans, as they party rushed on. With Gordon’s knife we opened the cans. That was the easy part. The hard part was trying to eat the food. Unless you have been there and done that, you may not understand why two famished, starved into constant food fantasies, and severely tired, would not wolf down the groceries with the gusto of a hound dog?

Trying to eat these acidy foods was like putting lemon juice on a series of paper cuts in the throat! ooWW! Forcing ourselves to eat, despite the pain, we ate about a fourth of the food then ambled on camp ward. It took minor miracles to force ourselves onward, onward and onward through fatigue and weakness and to divine the correct branch to follow to reach camp. We did arrive, alive and effete. I hit the sack with alacrity, and slept soundly for two hours before awaking and start foraging for food in the pantry. Gordon had made and consumed French toast while I slept .I ate French toast bread and condensed milk. Mysterious to me beyond explanation is that I also ate one and a half bales of SHREDDED WHEAT – go figure!

The Stratton faction of the Lewis and Stratton expedition straggled into camp about 1:00p.m.They too were tired and hungry. They climbed the very same hill I have made into a big deal. Instead of veering right as Gordon and I did, they veered left which led them to a small cabin, about a mile from the hill top. It was just large enough to allow the four of them; Derral and Cloyd Stratton, Kendall

Stapely and the stout Leon Perry to crowd into the one bed, cover themselves with one bedbug ridden blanket, and kinda, sorta sleep.

They never met the rescue team and they turned one gulch to the east of our camp trying to take a short cut, realized Leon could not make it so they returned to the main stream and finally trekked to our camp, exhausted, weak and hungry. Gordon and I swapped stories, lies and asked many questions: “Where did you go then? Why?  All of you?  Really? Stuff like that.

The Stratton’s brother Gary and brother-in-law Daryl Yeates came to camp in a jeep. They had been searching for us by plane and had kept track of search efforts such as Otto Fife Iron County Sheriff. They returned to Cedar to tell the folks we were safe. This was before cell phones, remember? We all kept eating until sated, went to bed at a regular time and back to work the next day. Just like nothing had happened. Well that is a stretch, of course. Questions kept arising; do your legs hurt? Is your throat sore? Any cramps? I‘m sure we didn’t work at full throttle. It was Friday and we would go home the next day to share our stories with family and friends, to eat the foods we fantasized about and sleep in our real beds, drag main, go to a movie, church, and whatever else we needed for further recuperation from our dramatic and traumatic ordeal.

The news was filled with stories of THE SIX MISSING CEDAR YOUTHS BEING SEARCHED FOR. At the same time I “went missing on Cedar Mountain, my younger brother Bill was with a scout group in Yellowstone where a major earthquake occurred. He and his fellow scouts and their leaders were unaware of the dramatic headlines that struck fear on the home front, so no phone calls were made to reassure the frantic relatives. My mother was beside herself with worry. Imagine her relief when Both Bill and I burst through the door of the Lewis home on Saturday 21st of August!! Bill related to us that the Yellowstone earthquake set off a lot of never or rarely observed thermal events associated with mud pots, geysers and other super hot water phenomenon. They were so excited rushing about seeing new and exotic sites they didn’t give one thought to MAKING A LOOONG DISTANCE CALL JUST TO SAY “WE’RE OK”.

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