WHAT IS THIS?
We'll get to it in a minute. So, I've been bad at blogging this year. Are blogs out? I kind of think blogs are out. It's all about twitter and facebook these days. Quick hits. Cobra strikes. Kapow!
But I'm still taking lots of pictures, because if I don't take lots of pictures it's like nothing ever really happened. Oh the places I've been! I have a huge backlog of blogworthy adventures that I've got to get to. So now for the good news.
I don't have a job!
Wait, that's terrible news. Really bad news. Really bad. Scary. Do you have one? If so, do you have a spare? I could use it.
Point is, I have free time so maybe I'll blog some more often. Or maybe I won't. I said that last time I was jobless, and it didn't really happen. So who can you trust? That's a rhetorical question.
So have you been thinking about that picture above? Did you guess that it's a woolly mammoth? If you did, you're right.
This is at the Fairview Museum, in Fairview, Utah, which is down in Sanpete County which might be the best county. It's better than Juab, and way better than Utah County, obviously. Actually I think most of my readers are in Utah County. Utah County is great!
If I remember the story right, someone was bulldozing around a lake and moved some sand around and then beheld this Woolly Mammoth skeleton. These things are tusky. I bet it would be pretty scary to run into one.
The Fairview Museum is a catch all. You've got that mammoth, and then you've got this tiger sculpture.
And then all manner of stuffed things. Like people.
I just noticed that the guy is wearing a Frito-Lay hat. That's funny.
Also stuffed birds.
And stuffed critters.
The nice ladies that volunteer there were working on a quilt. One of them won the National Museum Volunteer of the Year Award in 1993.
This picture was taken from the second floor, the art gallery. Most artists there worked in the medium of "Abraham Lincoln."
There's a second building with less dead creatures and more art and historical stuff and junk.
I think this was sculpted by one of the famous Utah sculptors. Maybe Avard Fairbanks? Mahonri Young? Maybe it was neither of them.
More death imagery.
There was a room dedicated to miniatures, and they were actually pretty impressive. Way better than the "under the sea" diorama I did in 4th grade.
There were also a lot of maxiatures. Mannequins and life-sized scenes depicting... old times.
Primitive robot head.
Some sort of political statement?
One of the things I liked the most were all the old photographs collected at the museum. This one is interesting because I think that kid is too young to manage a baseball team. Must be one of those stat geeks.
A long drive through a desolate canyon would take us into Carbon County and the lost city of Scofield.
Strange thing is it's really not that desolate, but on that Saturday in April it felt like the loneliest road in America. There are a few summer camps and recreation spots up there and evidence that people still work there, but it really felt like the middle of nowhere.
Coal mining is still a big deal apparently, despite... the incident.
The fields were covered in impossibly bright and pristine snow. It felt like the birthplace of grandeur.
Aside from the Desert Pirate encampment near Delta, this is the eeriest ghost-ish town I've ever been too.
Everything was broken and even the party ice didn't make me want to party.
The weird thing, there's a still evidence of life in Scofield. Many houses had new trucks in the driveway and satellite dishes on the roof. But we didn't see a single human or any movement the whole time we were there. Were they peering at us through shuttered windows?
Scofield is the kind of place where if you have garbage, just leave it there.
Finally, FINALLY, the Mayor of Scofield came out to greet us.
So here's what happened. May 1, 1900, 10:28am. One spark, 199 lives extinguished. The coal mine known as Winter Quarters #4 exploded, killing 100 men instantly. The other 99 died in the toxic gas cloud that filled the air after the blast. At the time, the worst coal mining disaster in U.S. history.
Most of them are buried in the Scofield cemetery, marked by matching wooden headstones.
Anyway, fun! Let's go get pizza.