Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.
How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought:
Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth.
The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Sunday, June 12, 2005
Green River Geo-Rendezvous, Sabbaticals, Bridgers and Dinosaurs
Chapter Three: The Outpost
By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories
“(Chief Seattle’s letter) 'Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people. We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins.’”
Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado. When it pours it rains! We even hit rain on our way out of Aspen and we backtracked over state route 82 nearing Glenwood Springs and the junction where we returned to I-70 heading west. But the rain really poured down, so we drove carefully and slowly through our longest stretch of road out of Colorado and into Utah to reach our stopover in Ridgefield. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
J2020F: After a long time on the winding road, we finally make our way to Aspen.
Trailblazer: But Aspen, looks more like what I thought both Vail and Aspen would look like, even though it’s not ski or snowboarding season.
Explorer: Even though it’s summer, even Snowmass looked like what I expected.
J2020F: The roads are a real nuisance -- under repair from the winter season. But, as we neared the town of Aspen we saw a hang glider floating along the air pockets swirling against the mountains.
Explorer: And a harmony festival under way near the Aspen Airport.
Trailblazer: Though not as difficult as in Durango,we found our hotel in a round about way -- actually stumbling on it after trying on the river side of Main Street.
Eagle: Yeah, but we saw an entrance to a bike trail that we would later take the following morning.
Pathfinder: We unloaded and hit the pool. Then they arrived.
J2020F: You mean the Boomer bikers on their Harleys?
Trailblazer: From their boisterous conversations in the pool and rear-end soothing Jacuzzi, they had been on the road for days from the east coast.
Explorer: But they left the pool, went out on the town and that was the last we heard of them until some jerk revved up his motor for a half and hour sometime closer to 5:30 a.m. than 6:00 a.m.
J2020F: Walking around town, bumping into people and reading articles we concluded that Aspen’s story had been riches to rags to riches, again.
Pathfinder: It’s actually the story of the region -- the Roaring Fork Valley including Glenwood Springs Aspen Glen, Carbondale, El Jebel, Basalt, Old Snowmass (home of the Harleywood Café) and Snowmass Village
Trailblazer: Don’t forget about the world-renowned Aspen Institute in the Roaring Fork Valley.
J2020F: Wait, wasn’t The Aspen Institute founded by Walter Paepcke – the same one who formed the Aspen Skiing Company and other resorts?
Pathfinder: The one and the same. In a way he followed in the footsteps of Nathan Meeker and Horace Greeley.
Pathfinder: He too wanted to create a utopian community – but not to transform the Utes into god-fearing citizens. He succeeded in transforming the mining-depressed area into a destination for business, thought leaders and recreation enthusiasts.
Explorer: Aspen's mines and mills gave way to condominiums on the hillsides after World War II.
Eagle: It says here, that in 1893, a 1,840-pound and 93% pure silver nugget extracted from Smuggler Mine and displayed at the Chicago Columbian Exposition symbolized the rags-to-riches-to-rags history of sliver mining in the area.
J2020F: How so?
Trailblazer: When supply exceeded demand, prices plummeted in the panic of 1893 and Colorado's economy imploded – in much the same way as the Finnmark’s telecommunications industry did in the dot.com bust.
Pathfinder: But when skiing came to Aspen two decades later, in 1930s, private enterprise jumped on the bandwagon, and the rags turned once more into riches. Aspen turned into a year round resort area.
J2020F: The brochures describe Aspen as having the greatest downhill skiing in the world with unsurpassed Colorado Rocky Mountain vistas.
Explorer: Like in Vail, you can try your hand at hiking, biking horseback riding.
Trailblazer: Personally I like then authentic Victorian town architecture – and restaurants “acclaimed by famous dining critics.” You’ve got all kinds of shops, boutiques and galleries where you can browse your day away.
Eagle: For me I enjoy the “spectacular outdoors as my playground” --snowmobiling and ice-skating in addition to skiing in winter. And the fly-fishing, rafting and hot air balloon rides, tennis and golf in the summer.
Pathfinder: No matter what the season, it’s hard to beat the clear blue skies, fresh clean air for deep relaxation and rejuvenation
J2020F: And, Aspen had a Pearle Street of their own.
Explorer: Yeah, that one juggler said the city didn't pay him for his performance and he'd been doing the entertainment for over 10 years.
J2020F: I think he said 14.
Explorer: I stand corrected. He said he was married and had 4 children, three adopted. Then he said, if only they could get the 4th one adopted, everything would be...
Trailblazer: Another rim shot.
Explorer: What he did which was unique for us was give tips to the most reasonable restaurants, t-shirt shops and other establishments.
J2020F: We wondered what if anything he received from the referrals. Kind of like a US version of the tourist cell network we encountered in Cabo San Lucas, before we left town. Outside of Grand Junction, we stopped at an information center for advice.
Pathfinder: Basically, we wanted to get out of the rain and stretch our legs.
Explorer: What we wanted to know was if after we take I-70 and connect with I-15, should we travel on I-15 and shoot south towards Las Vegas and cut back east to Bryce Canyon and Zion or take another route -- state route 24, a black road on the map, or the red route, 89.
Trailblazer: We didn’t get definitive answer there, but we enjoyed a down home, friendly visit with a senior citizen who gave our dinosaur pins “for the kids back home” -- showcasing the dinosaur museum.
Eagle: He did caution us to fill up within the next 3 exits, because there was nothing from Green River west to Ridgefield, a distance of about 100 miles.
J2020F: You know I had an epiphany when we stopped for gas and beef jerky at an AM PM-like gas market. Gas stations and truck stops are the modern day equivalent of trading posts, forts and outposts.
Trailblazer: Now, that’s a coincidence!
Explorer: Now, what?
Trailblazer: Check it out, out of all the Utah geo-caches, we’re very near Grey Owl’s last geo-cache. Take a right and pull over there, near the plaque honoring John Wesley Powell’s expedition on the Green River in 1869.
J2020F: What do you see? What did he leave us this time?
Trailblazer: Here it is. The Utah Expedition listed the extremes, three resort towns in the innovation stage of appreciation and two in the late growth, early maturity stage.
J2020F: Give us the innovation growth towns on the list.
Trailblazer: Grey Owl lists three – Moab, Boulder and Escalante -- both in the Capitol Reef Area. First, Moab: Zip Code 84532 -- Moab's Times-Independent Newspaper and for a more independent view, the Canyon Country Zephyr and the source for vacation properties and real estate.
Second, Boulder: Zip Code 84716 -- Near Dixie National Forest and Bryce Canyon in Garfield County (where you can find a list of foreclosures and a touch of the local Boulder and Escalante history. And, third, Escalante: Zip Code 84726 – history, business summary and real estate opportunities.
J2020F: How many made the late growth, early maturity list?
Trailblazer: Two next to each other, Park City: Zip Codes: 84060, 68, 98 -- and its news and information source. The second is Deer Valley: Zip Code: 84060 – with its real estate news.
J2020F: Anything else?
Trailblazer: Oh, and two other links for Utah, county real estate listings and
Pathfinder: You know while looking out the window and letting my mind wander, as soon as I saw the sign to Green River I immediately thought of the great Rendezvous events held upstream in the first four decades of the 19th century.
Explorer: Speaking of Escalante, you don’t mean to overlook the first expedition of Europeans known to have entered Utah -- Fathers Escalante and Dominquez, Franciscan priests, right?
Pathfinder: No not at all. They didn’t pop into my daydreaming mine – that’s all.
Explorer: Good. The fathers may be like Wilkes, who didn’t receive as much publicity for his explorations as did John Fremont. But, heading a party of 10, they left Santa Fe 50 years earlier, in July 1776, to search for a direct route to Monterey, California. After almost dying in Colorado, they entered northeastern Utah and discovered the Green River, crossing it just south of the present entrance to Dinosaur National Monument.
J2020F: Great, now that that’s settled, can we move on?
Pathfinder: Sure, here’s my point.Jedediah Smith and his party of trappers spent the winter of 1823-24 with a band of Crow Indians who told him how to reach the Green River. In mid-March 1824, they rediscovered the South Pass -- a passage to the Northwest through present-day Wyoming -- and descended into the Green River area for the spring hunt.
Explorer: Meanwhile, the Great Salt Lake was discovered in 1824, by trappers James Bridger and Etienne Provost, who mistakenly reported they found an arm of the Pacific Ocean.
J2020F: Isn’t that the same Jim Bridger who guided prospectors overland to the gold mines of Montana and laid out new overland trails for stage routes such as the one for the Central Overland?
Explorer: The one and the same. Through Bridger Pass, now I-80. He also charted the overland route for the Leavenworth Pike's Peak Express Company out of Denver.
Pathfinder: Remember, the American mountain men and fur trappers weren’t the only ones roaming this country.
Pathfinder: In the period 1824-1829 eventual Hudson's Bay Company trapper Peter Skene Ogden led five trapping expeditions into the "Snake Country" -- the upper reaches of the Columbia.
J2020F: The Hudson’s Bay Companyof course. Which of the five explored Utah – what today is known as Utah?
Pathfinder: The one beginning in 1824 is the first written account of that region of Southeastern Idaho and Northern Utah that includes Cache Valley, Ogden Valley, and the Weber River Valley.
Explorer: Isn’t that one known as a famous confrontation between the HBC and the Americans?
Pathfinder: It is. And what survived from that trip are Ogden's journal and that of his chief clerk, William Kittson.
J2020F: You said 1824 was the first.
Pathfinder: Right. His last expedition, from 1828 to 1829 followed the Humboldt River and explored the region north of Great Salt Lake.
J2020F: So, in the 1820s we find Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger and Pierre Skene Ogden exploring the same region.
Pathfinder: Right. In 1826, Jedediah Smith led 18 men on an expedition through the Great Salt Lake Valley and through southwest Utah, southeast Nevada, to Needles, California area, and west across California.
J2020F: So Smith’s expedition came to this area -- to appraise the trapping potential of the region south and west of the Great Salt Lake.
Pathfinder: Right. This expedition took him along the route of present-day Interstate 15, the entire length of Utah, to the Virgin River and its eventual confluence with the Colorado River.
J2020F: So in a sense, we’re closing the Jedediah loop with our own expedition.
Pathfinder: Sure. We already traced his route when he followed the Colorado south to the villages of Mojave Indians, then turned his band westward across the Mojave Desert.
Explorer: On that trip, his band reached the Utah-Nevada border near present day Grandy, Utah, continued on to Skull Valley and reached the south tip of the Great Salt Lake two days later.
Trailblazer: What I remember about that expedition was by the time they arrived at the 1827 Mountain Man Rendezvous in present-day Laketown, they had become the first Americans to return from California by an overland route.
J2020F: What I remember, after passing through Needles was party of Mojave Indians, angry with an earlier trapping party, killed ten of Smith's men and scattered his furs and supplies.
Pathfinder: True. That happened later in 1827. Jedediah, with 18 men, retraced his steps from Great Salt Lake to southern California.
Explorer: But this time the Indians attacked his party and captured all the horses. The survivors made their way to California and into the clutches of Mexican officials waiting to incarcerate them.
J2020F: So the fur trapping and trading business was extremely difficult – especially when the mountain men had to haul what they collected to the trading posts and merchant centers.
Trailblazer: Right. All that changed when the merchants and traders came to the trappers on the banks of the Green River, rather than the fur traders coming all the way into town to trade their wares.
Explorer: And, the way stations, forts and trading posts set up along the overland trails from Independence, Missouri.
Eagle: So, the essential supply chain comes to the point of purchase – or trade – as the case may be. It must have revolutionized business models as we know them in the 1800s.
J2020F: And speaking of revolutionizing business models -- in no time at all, the railroads replaced the boat and the wagon train and the stagecoach as the primary transportation vehicle.
Pathfinder: And as the focus for when, how and where commerce was conducted.
Explorer: What do you mean?
Pathfinder: Well, towns sprung up along the railroad lines. Before that, they grew along the riverbanks.
Trailblazer: And as transportation evolved from hiking or riding horseback in combination to river exploration to stage coach and finally to railroad the time it took to connect people from ambition to destination shrunk.
Eagle: And accelerated the sheer volume of easterners who could unload at any particular town along the way.
J2020F: Yeah, there’s something about basic units of economic trade or transaction. And, the location where the transaction took place.
Trailblazer: And establishing the value of transaction – either basic commodity or customized product or service.
J2020F: So, today this wide-open space -- Sevier County, Utah boasted something different that really appealed to me -- adventure tourism.
Pathfinder: You mean -- hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and mountain biking just the beginning of the list of activities. So you might offer more commodity-based units for one adventure unit?
Explorer: I would. I value more experience-based units than price-based units. Remember back at our rest stop. They were selling a newly opened Paiute ATV trail that beckoned as an example of innovative thinking between government agencies at all levels.
J2020F: Together with petroglyphs and pictographs on rock outcrops that attest to the presence of Indians now called Fremont. That is so unique. So customized. You can’t buy that at a local big box retailer. You know what I mean?
Explorer: Exactly. You wonder though, what did they call themselves? What were they like? Where did they go?
Pathfinder: I think we should organize sabbaticals next. We might start with Fremont Indian State Park. It was established in 1985 to preserve a treasure trove of archaeological material excavated from sites in Clear Creek Canyon.
Eagle: I’m with you on that. We should explore the possibilities in Cathedral Valley, Monroe Mountain, Hot Springs, Capitol Reef National Park, Bullion Canyon, Big Rock Candy Mountain or Otter Creek we’ve seen en route to Richfield and on to Bryce and Zion.
J2020F: We had passed from the rainstorms and afternoon showers of mountains, lushly green scenery of Colorado into Utah with its buttes and grays and browns. As we descended from high desert country into desert and then into ranching and farming country we were grateful for our fully functioning air conditioner.
Eagle: When we arrived in Ridgefield I didn’t find it very attractive compared to all the other outposts we established along the way.
Pathfinder: But, what it lacked in charm it more than made up in friendliness -- the Travelodge demonstrated the best customer service so far on our journey by calling to our room after we had checked in to determine if there was anything else they could do to make our stay more enjoyable.
Eagle: But no complimentary breakfast. And our supply of soda and beer, stashed without ice in another cooler was dwindling. So we hit town to find the local market to restock our supplies and discovered they had coffee and donuts, Danishes and muffins at a reasonable price.
Trailblazer: Dinner was as the combination KFC - Taco Bell franchise, where we encountered confused teenagers who managed to screw up our order even though we had gone through it several times.
J2020F: I felt like a kid. All I wanted to do was to hit the outdoor pool and the indoor Jacuzzi to relieve the stress and monotony of the all-day drive. I just didn’t care. I looked forward to the last leg of our journey.
Trailblazer: Me too. Oh, I almost forgot. You asked if there was anything else earlier.
J2020F: There was?
Trailblazer: Here’s Grey Owl’s quote – one Eagle will like because it is taken from Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
J020F: How does it go?
Trailblazer: "In September, 1805, when Lewis and Clark came down off the Rockies on their westward journey, the entire exploring party was half-famished and ill with dysentery -- too weak to defend themselves. They were in the country of the Nez Perce's, so named by French trappers, who observed some of the Indians wearing dentalium shells in their noses. Had the Nez Perce's chosen to do so, they could have put an end to the Lewis and Clark expedition there on the banks of Clearwater River, and seized their wealth of horses.”
Eagle: You’re right. I found that passage here in my copy of his book about the Nez Perce. “Instead the Nez Perce's welcomed the white Americans, supplied them with food, and looked after the explorers' horses for several months while they continued by canoe to the Pacific shore. Thus began a long friendship between the Nez Perce's and white Americans. For seventy years the tribe boasted that no Nez Perce' had ever killed a white man."
J2020F: I wonder why he didn’t include the famous speech by Chief Joseph?
Eagle: I don’t know. You mean the “I Will Fight No More…” speech?
J2020F: How did it go?
Eagle: “Tell General Howard I know his heart. When he told me before I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohoolhoolzote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men (Ollokot) is dead.
It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food; no one knows where they are -- perhaps freezing to death.
I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.”
J2020F: Which brings us to the brief story of the Buffalo Soldiers.
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