Portia and I drove down to Hurricane the other day to see a matinee. On our way back we stopped at the Pine Creek pools for a quick swim. The locals lovingly call them the Nudie Pools… because… sometimes people are nude there… ? I guess? We weren’t nude. But it was a lot fun!
Jumping in the water! 😀
Portia jumping in the water!
Love in the Nudie Pools
It was so hot out, and the cool water felt very nice.
Doesn’t she look kinda like a pretty little mermaid? 😉
When we first got here I heard that we could train to be wildland firefighters. When I was a kid there was this really nice guy we went to church with who was a firefighter. My uncle worked with the local fire fighters. My cousin’s husband was a firefighter. When I was a kid I ALWAYS wanted to be a firefighter!
Here’s how the conversation went…
“Hey Erik, do you want to be a fire fighter?”
“Do I get a cool fire fighter helmet?”
“Yes, you do.”
“AWESOME! I’ll do it!”
Chad and I signed up, along with Kourtney (our boss lady) and her husband Jake, and Darren (another staff member here).
Our fire chief’s name is Gene, and he’s a really friendly guy. He meets up with us about once a week for training, and we’re going to take a test sometime soon to get certified.
We did get to spend a day using the fire hoses, which was a lot of fun. But most of the time we’ll be digging fire lines with shovels and picks. Either way, I’m pretty pumped. Here’s some pictures of us practicing how to set up a fire shelter.
Portia’s brother and parents came to visit us for a few days! My parents were here for a few days in May, but I’ve had lots of lovely adventures in Zion with them so I didn’t post anything here… as this was Portia’s parents’ very first time in Zion, I thought it was worth posting!
Jerr came out a couple days ahead of his parents and he helped me explore the old uranium mines (see previous post). Portia’s mom and dad, Rand and Sarrah, came out and we went out to eat, went and saw Zion National Park, checked out the petroglyphs, took some family photos, and Rand even got to go on his first canyoneering trip!!
It was awesome.
It’s been so much fun having the family here together, we are rarely ever together all at once!
Erik’s sister and brother in law are also coming down in a few weeks and we are really excited about seeing them.
YAY for family!
The Bulloch Mining Claim
The Bulloch Uranium Mining Claims were started in 1949 by Henry Bulloch (born in Cedar City in 1911). After World War II and the invention of the nuclear bomb uranium mining became a lucrative business—if you could find the stuff!
Henry Bulloch married Jean Matheson, the sister of Scott Matheson (later the governor of the State of Utah). Matheson helped fund Bulloch’s mining claim.
There were three mining claims near Orderville Gulch, Lynn claims 1, 2 and 3. The 3rd claim was the only to produce significant amounts of uranium ore. There were three main tunnels and several exploration tunnels in the Lynn No. 3 claim, which were started in 1949. The ore from them was made up of about .20% uranium – a high enough percentage to make a decent profit.
In 1950 Bulloch received a $100,000 grant from the US Government to continue mining. The mine was open from March to November each year, and at its peak the mine produced about 300,000 tons of ore each year. The ore was hauled by truck to Kanab and Cedar City where it was then shipped by train to the smelters in California..
The mining claim produced plenty of ore, but the uranium content was not high enough. Each ton of ore averaged about .12% Uranium, not the .20% they had hoped for. The mine operated until the end of 1953 when the US Government terminated its contract with Bulloch. While other uranium mines were producing ore with higher uranium content, there was no need for Bulloch’s uranium mine.
The miners lived in 3 bunk houses, about 1 mile from the mining tunnels. The miners worked 10-12 hour days, 6 days a week. Because uranium emits radon gas, ventilation was extremely important in uranium mines. Fans were installed to keep oxygen levels up and radon levels down. It was later realized that uranium miners developed cancer at a rate much higher than average due to the constant exposure to low levels of radiation. In 1990 surviving American uranium miners received compensation under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.
The miners worked 10-12 hour days, and their pay included room and board.
(Money in parenthesis adjusted for inflation)
5 miners – $12/day ($107/day)
5 muckers – $10/day ($90/day)
1 hoistman – $10/day ($90/day)
1 Manager – $500/month ($4,500/month)
1 Cook – $8/day ($71/day)
Bunk houses (3) – $500 a piece ($4,500)
Power plant and electric generator (gasoline powered)
One forty ton ore bin
500 gallon Water tank
So this month was Portia’s Birthday, and our second anniversary! 😀 Pretty awesome. For our anniversary, I got a whole bunch of maps! I’m very excited about them. And Portia got a new fancy journal/notebook thing, and a new bathing suit. We had the day off so we went out to dinner and had a lovely time. We didn’t take any pictures… just strolled and enjoyed ourselves.
On her birthday a whole bunch of the staff came with us and we celebrated at Zion Pizza and Noodle Company in Springdale. It was rip-roaring raucous of a party!
Just north of Kanab there are some really cool looking caves that can be seen from the road. We heard they were fun, so we hiked up to them! It only took about 20 minutes to do all the walking and exploring, but it was a really cool spot.
We only had our phones with us, so you get phone pictures in this one. 🙂