Thursday, July 20, 2017

Last Day at Fremont/Big Rock Candy Mountain

On our last morning at Fremont State Park, some of us got up early to go on one last hike through the Fish Lake Forest.  We'd gone on the beginning of the trail already but thought we could go farther and maybe/hopefully see wildlife if we went in the early morning when it was still cool.  It was really beautiful.  Some parts were pretty narrow.  Unfortunately, we didn't see any wildlife other than some tracks.  But it was really beautiful.

Back at camp there was a squirrel that was pretty funny to watch.

After we packed and loaded up, we headed to Big Rock Candy Mountain.  When I was a little girl and we would drive from Phoenix to Salt Lake or vice versa, we would usually make this one of our stops along the way.  It always seemed pretty exciting as a child.  Seemed quite a bit less so as an adult.  

I did a bit of research about Big Rock Candy Mountain after getting home.  Back in 1928, Harry McClintock recorded a bluegrass song called "Big Rock Candy Mountain" about a paradise for hobos.  (Most experts actually believe the song has been around for much longer than that.)   After the song was recorded, some local residents hung a sign at the base of the mountain that called it the "Big Rock Candy Mountain."  It was meant as a joke, but the name stuck.  Now it is a tourist destination because there is fishing, river rafting, ATV trails and other recreation activities. 

 Millions of years ago, volcanoes erupted in the area, leaving thick lava and ash deposits.  The yellow and red colors are caused by iron minerals such as pyrite and hematite.  The white colors are a result of potassium rich minerals such as alunite.

 I was curious as to why it had this sign that said it was part of the Mormon Pioneer Heritage...but there was no information about it on the sign.  I did a little research and found that the Denver & Rio Grande railroad once went through here.  It brought a lot more business/tourism to the area.  The Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area believes that Mormon colonization played a significant role in the development of the west and want to share the impact that Mormon colonization played.  Here is a bit more information.  I didn't really find information that included any stories or specific information in our pioneer heritage but I imagine that, like much of Utah, Mormon pioneers were sent to settle the area.