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. Got Knowledge?

<< current

The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Tuesday, June 14, 2005  

Hurtling Through the Universe with the Wild Bunch and the Buffalo Soldiers

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) ‘We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man, all belong to the same family.’”

Joseph Campbell

BRYCE CANYON, Utah. After a series of trip holdups, it is only fitting that signs teased us with images of Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch -- the hideouts, cabins and places he held up during his reign of outlaw terror.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: We took the front office manager’s recommended directions route 89 to both Bryce and Zion. What convinced us was when he said a lot of the road would be scenic on both sides -- mostly rolling ranching meadows in the valleys between bordering ridges and mountains.

Explorer: Our original trip plan was to trace Jedediah Smith’s expedition in 1826. In the late summer and early fall he led 17 men to appraise the trapping potential of the region south and west of the Great Salt Lake.

Pathfinder: That’s right. And twenty years later the United States acquired the region in 1848 through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the Territory of Utah was created in 1850 with Brigham Young as governor."

J2020F: Didn’t we discover that in those days Utah also included Nevada?

Pathfinder: True. And things pretty much stayed that way until 1858 when silver lodes were discovered in Carson County. Californians began to flock in, and the non-Mormon element was soon in the majority. A major dispute erupted in what became known as the Utah War from 1857 to 1858.

Explorer: Allegiance to Brigham Young and Utah was renounced, and a temporary territorial government for Washoe was created by its citizens.

J2020F: I recall that the gold and silver rush prompted Congress to move quickly to pass legislation to create the territory of Nevada, and in 1861 the Nevada Territory was carved out of the Utah Territory – with Orion Clemens as governor – Mark Twain’s brother.

Pathfinder: Development accelerated. As a result Utah played a major role in the railroad expansion.

J2020F: How so?

Pathfinder: The Transcontinental Railroad got off to a slow start due to the Civil War and lack of investors but beginning in 1866 the race was on.

Explorer: To accelerate construction progress, the railroads overlapped their surveying and grading crews with the blasting crews – at times a little too close for comfort – covering the last two hundred miles.

Pathfinder: In January of 1869 the government sent a commission of civil engineers to decide where the two Transcontinental Railroads should meet.

J2020F: I know I should know this, but where did they decide?

Pathfinder: The final decision was for Promontory Summit. and Leland Stanford hit the golden spike to join the Transcontinental Western Railroads. Stanford was president of the Southern Pacific Railroad for five years.

J2020F: And where exactly is Promontory Summit?

Pathfinder: It’s 56 miles west of Ogden. There the Union Pacific Railroad engine, No 119 touched the Central Pacific Railroad's Jupiter engine.

Explorer: So, on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit in Utah territory, the first of five transcontinental railroads were completed.

Eagle: At the ceremony an interpreter had to cover up what Sitting Bull's really said instead of what he was supposed to, as the token Indian celebrity.

Explorer: I love that story. To further celebrate the big event, Grenville Dodge sent a telegraph to the President of the Union Pacific Railroad, telling Oliver Ames of the Transcontinental Railroad completion.

J2020F: Wait. On his way to the celebration, wasn’t Thomas Durant, the executive responsible for construction, held for ransom until his tie cutters received their back pay?

Pathfinder: Yes. And it was in these surroundings with a tumultuous history that the Mormons chose to settle and where, particularly in southeastern Utah, Zane Grey set many of his Old West novels.

J2020F: Didn’t mining prospects bring many other diverse ethnic groups into Utah?

Pathfinder: That’s correct. Among the largest groups were Greek immigrants.

Trailblazer: In fact they maintain a significant presence today, especially in communities of Bingham Canyon, Price, Helper and Park City.

Eagle: Because we had more than enough interstate driving, we swapped the romance of Jedediah’s expedition along I-15 for some Butch Cassidy the Sundance Kid – and theirWild Bunch.

J2020F: Kind of like the folklore back in Durango, where we discovered that the golf course and guarded community near the Bar D Chuck Wagon Ranch was named after the Dalton brothers.

Pathfinder: Another coincidence.

Explorer: Huh?

Pathfinder: Butch Cassidy’s first bank heist -- San Miguel Valley Bank – in 1889 took place just up the road from there in Telluride.

J2020F: And his partner, Sundance was born where I was, in Plainfield, New Jersey. Go figure!

Eagle: While we didn’t pull over to visit places where Butch roamed we did stop, however, to video a herd of buffalo on our way to Bryce Canyon.

Pathfinder: Speaking of buffalo, didn’t Buffalo Soldiers serve and protect the Utah citizens?

Explorer: The Buffalo Soldiers served in the Indian Wars as members of the US Army black Calvary units, after the Civil War ended.

J2020F: What was their role in Utah?

Pathfinder: They were stationed at Fort Duchesne and they were responsible for patrolling the Ouray and Uintah reservations.

J2020F: For quelling any disturbances?

Eagle: Yup. The Utes frequently returned to Colorado, even after Pickin and Vickers triumphed and had them removed from the state.

Explorer: Chief Colorow jumped the reservation and went hunting in eastern Colorado. In response, the governor, Alva Adams, sent the Colorado militia to punish the Utes.

Eagle: He privately figured that if they were all killed, there wouldn’t be a problem any more.

J2020F: What happened?

Explorer: Lt. George R. Burnett left Fort Duchesne with ten Buffalo Soldiers to keep the peace.

Eagle: Even though Colorow's band returned to Utah, the militia wanted to finish what they had started.

Explorer: The only thing standing in the way of an attack on the reservation was the badly outnumbered Buffalo Soldiers, who managed to stop the militia.

Eagle: Indian Agent T. A. Byrnes commended the Buffalo Soldiers for their exceptional courage, and Colorow and his people gained a new respect for the black cavalrymen who had saved their lives.

J2020F: By the way, how did they get their nickname?

Eagle: When Native Americans first encountered them in the skirmishes around the 1870s they said the soldiers’ wooly heads looked like the matted cushion between the horns of a buffalo.

J2020F: With Colorow’s band under control, what did the Buffalo Soldiers do?

Explorer: They escorted Indian agents when the annual government payment to the Utes arrived on the railroad.

Trailblazer: Which linked them to the Wild Bunch.

J2020F: How so?

Explorer: Rumors spread in March 1898 that Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch was going to rob the $30,000 annuity.

Trailblazer: Somehow their plans leaked out. The location was supposed to be between Price and Helper.

Eagle: But the gang had second thoughts when about forty Buffalo Soldiers accompanied the Indian agent from Price to Fort Duchesne.
J2020F: What must have gone through the minds of the Buffalo Soldiers!

Eagle: You mean the irony?

J2020F: Exactly. They were fighting for one reason -- in a campaign to contain, suppress and kill the native peoples of the West.

Pathfinder: You know, you are right. Former slaves found themselves fighting against people who were in the process of being dispossessed of their land and whose culture was misunderstood and under attack from all fronts.

Explorer: The black troops faced prejudice especially from their commander, Major Frederick Benteen.

Trailblazer: But, for the most part white and Afro-American soldiers ate together and fought side-by-side with minimal bigotry.

Explorer: And, Benjamin O. Davis Sr., an officer who served at Fort Duchesne, became the first black general in U.S. military history.

Trailblazer: Speaking of which. Before the climb to Bryce's entrance we passed through Dixie National Forest and the two arches through which travelers passed while admiring the tans, browns, and reds -- mostly reds and oranges.

J2020F: Why was it called Dixie?

Pathfinder: We discovered from the brochures that early Mormon settlers felt the warm climate reminded them of the south, so they named it Dixie.

Trailblazer: Now for some stats: With almost 2 million acres, the forest is the largest in the state and grows Utah's largest trees - primarily ponderosa pines and spruce. The elevations range from just under 3000 feet near St. George to 11,322 feet at Blue Bell Knoll on Boulder Mountain.

Pathfinder: What do you suppose is one of the oldest forms of plant life on Earth?

Trailblazer: Bristlecone Pine found here and accessible by nature trail at Midway Summit.

Pathfinder: Cheater!

J2020F: So, Dixie National Forest is home to or borders Bryce and Zion, Capital Reef, Cedar Breaks and Grand Staircase-Escalante national parks and monuments, right?

Explorer: And two plateaus -- The Paunsaugunt and Sevier– run parallel to SR 89 for 60 miles from Circleville south.

J2020F: Circleville? That’s where Butch grew up after being born, to Mormon pioneers from England, in Beaver, Utah.

Eagle: It’s certainly easy to enjoy the panoramic view and distinctive rock formations in a territory similar in many respects to Colorado as we wound our way to the top.

Trailblazer: And, yet it reminds me of mesa country with open meadows. Sort of like a greener version of the reservations we passed outside of the Grand Canyon, some 200 miles southeast of our location.

J2020F: We tuned into 520 on our AM dial and got the low down before entering Bryce Canyon National Park and paying the fee good for one weeks' stay.

Explorer: I thought it was strange that the ranger cautioned us that no mountain biking was allowed inside the park. They follow long-standing preservation policies he said, so we followed the road stopping periodically at scenic lookouts.

Eagle: We spent less time at each vantage point, after walking around a while at Sunset Point and gazing at the Hoodoos -- the pillar of rocks beginning to form 10 million years ago when the earth created and moved the massive blocks called Table Cliffs and Paunsaugunt plateaus.

Explorer: Those “giant drip-castle” formations amazed me -- made from alternating freezing and thawing erosion forces of nature.

Eagle: While Native American people were present in the region about 12,000 years ago, little remains to describe what the experienced, how they lived, what had happened to them.

Pathfinder: As in Arizona and New Mexico, Paiutesmoved into the region once occupied by the Anasazi and Fremont cultures. They lived there until settlers and explorers arrived in the 1870s when John Wesley Powell and Captain Clarence E. Dutton explored the area.

J2020F: Apparently Ebenezer Bryce, the "discoverer" of the canyon is said to have described it as "a helluva place to lose a cow."

Eagle: The Paiutes described the hoodoos as legend people who had been turned to stone by Coyote.

Pathfinder: You know it takes a while for the natural splendor to sink in.
To realize that as we breathe each breath our planet is hurtling through space and is dynamically changing.

Trailblazer: Being shaped and reshaped by dramatic events we witness like earthquakes, tsunamis, like volcanoes, tropical hurricanes, floods and mudslides which make headlines because they are abrupt and disrupt our lives.

Pathfinder: There are other changes that we don't detect, even in the span of our human lifetime. But their influence is all around us.

J2020F: And it slowly sinks in as you read about the forces of sedimentation, uplift, and erosion that carved out the rocks and created picturesque valleys for as far as the eye can see.

Pathfinder: That’s what I mean. Millions of years -- geological periods-- some 144 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period and lasting for about 60 million years, sediment from a great seaway deposited sediments in the Bryce Canyon area.

Explorer: We found out that by continually extending and retreating, the seaway left sediment several thousands of feet thick and can be seen as the lowest and oldest brown rocks at Bryce Canyon.

Trailblazer: During the Tertiary Period-- between 63 and 40 million years ago, freshwater rivers and streams flowed on top of the sediment, depositing their own layers of iron-rich, limy sediments which can be seen as the reddish-pink layers exposed where the hoodoos are carved.

J2020F: And, the same kind of compression that helped form the Rocky Mountains deformed Bryce Canyon's rocks. Then from the north and west volcanic material deposited layers of black rock.

Pathfinder: About 10 million years ago, with the ripping apart of the earth, layers once connected became displaced vertically by several thousand feet leaving the region with the high plateaus we see today.

Trailblazer: Eventually, the Paria River carved out the Paria Valley by loosening and carrying off the softer Cretaceous rocks.

Eagle: Today, the forest and meadows support diverse animal and wildflower populations. From small mammals and birds to foxes, mountain lions and black bears. Mule deer can be frequently sited in summer mornings and evenings grazing in roadside meadows.

J2020F: While, mountain lions stalk the mule deer and balance the eco-system doing so, roughly 160 species of birds make the park their home during a year.

Pathfinder: And swallows and swifts dart in and out of cliff faces and crevices in search of insects. Coyotes join mule deer and mountain lions at lower elevations during winter.

J2020F: More than 400 species of plants grow in diverse soil and moisture conditions at elevations ranging from 6,000 to 9,000 feet. Ironically, the scarcity of water in southern Utah limits the expansion of human development in the area, while allowing for the park's diversity of wildlife.

Eagle: Looking back on our journey, I’d say we experienced our own unique diversity of wildlife, wouldn’t you?

J2020F: But wait, there's more!

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

7:02 AM

Links to this post:


This page is powered by Blogger.