Friday, September 24, 2010

A Sunday Mornings Nostalgia

Sunday mornings are ones I find very peaceful and I seem to get a lot of memories coming back of quieter times when there was less hustle and bustle, at least it seems so.

I still have a strong desire for small town rural living.  It seems that the growth in this area just continues to move along and without much slowdown.  The population of the town where I live is right close to 100,000 and is still growing and over the last 15 years the north end of Utah County has grown at a fantastic rate.

Two new cities Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs have been started and they continue to grow and expand. The freeway is under going another makeover right now and is expanding.  It has been woefully inadequate these last few years with the tremendous growth that has taken place and really needs these improvements in order to handle the traffic now.


My problem is I miss the time when as I would leave the boundaries of one city there would be a couple of miles space of open fields and farms before the next city would be entered.  That has changed over the years, now if I drive north from Provo to Ogden it is all city, different cities but all city and is still growing.  I used to drive out west in the Salt Lake Valley and there were tons of dry farms (mainly wheat) and lots of open country all the way from the Bingham Mine to the refineries in Magna.  Now the towns have expanded to the west and are trying to fill the open country.

I think of the statement attributed to Brigham Young where he said the the Jordan River would run through the center of Salt Lake City.  Salt Lake City borders do not go way west but the Jordan River is close to the center of the city that has grown up.

I wonder if those early pioneers who came into this valley in 1847 ever had these kinds of thoughts such as I have when they witnessed the growth that took place in their day.  They saw a huge amount of change from what they saw in that first vision of this valley and what it had grown into before their deaths.

Brigham Young died in 1877, 30 years after entering this valley.  Those 30 years saw a tremendous amount of growth in this part of the west.  Settlements had spread in all directions, a Temple had been built and dedicated in St. George and others were contemplated for Manti and Logan.  The Salt Lake Temple was being built but the walls were only up to the first story when Brigham died.

Wilford Woodruff lived 50 years after the entrance into this Valley of the Great Salt Lake.  He lived to see the completion of the Salt Lake Temple and to also dedicate it.  At the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple there were only 11 individuals still living who had been present at the ceremony where the corner stones were laid for that temple.  The rest had all passed away.

I have wondered many time about what their thoughts might be if they could see what this area has grown into, but then I would imagine that they had the opportunities to see what their labors would become.  I spend time reflecting on the past and my memories of the less distant past but what of the future.

Those who settled these valleys and who lived in the memory times of mine and before had a vision and a purpose for what they did and what they built.  Look around and see what has become of what was wilderness not that many years ago.  Those sagebrush filled valleys directly west of us are what it was like here in the beginning.  

Farms were established and homes built, cities organized and facilities developed.  They spread out and established settlements, in places all around, north, south, east and west, and they expanded the farms and facilities of life.

They built Temples in Saint George, Manti, Logan, they labored for 40 years to build the Salt Lake Temple and it stands today as a monument to their industry and devotion and hard work.

Eagle Mountain and Saratoga Springs  are two new cities that 20 years ago did not exist and it has been interesting to watch as the idea of a city was explored at each of these sites and then worked on and developed until new cities had been incorporated and then built and grown.  Not with out growing pains but they are now there and they are both growing as is the whole of the Wasatch Front.

I have my times when I lament the city I live in and the growth that still continues but in reflection as I look at the other side of where I live there is different thoughts.

If I drive 30 minutes to the east I am in mountains up to 11,000 feet in elevation, and if I continue east for another hour I can be in areas where there is a real possibility of getting lost.  Places where you can travel 30, 40, 50 miles and not even find a dirt road.  All high mountain country or I may go west and find the same circumstances however it will be desert country, not high mountains like the Uinta Mountains.

In this process there are unbelievable canyons, peaks, solitude, lakes rivers, streams, a variety of scenery that boggles the imagination.  There is the Great Salt Lake where you can bob like a cork and the salt flats, the ski resorts, the lakes and reservoirs for water sports and fishing, mountain to climb, wilderness and wild country like Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce or Zions Canyon, Indian sites and writings and all within a few hours driving distance.

The rural is not around me right now but it is not too far away, and where this is is very close to an unbelievable amount of diversity.
          

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