Saturday, November 07, 2015

[jules pics] Dustville #2

Sorry for the gap in the holiday snaps. I had to do some other writing - of a scientific kind. Just when we were getting to the best bit of nothingness, too...

After touristy Bryce we enjoyed Utah scenic byway 12 which is not only scenic but also passes by the best named National Monument of all - "Grand Staircase-Escalante". However, the camera was tired from Bryce. After some pizza the car was set to cruise control, destination Dustville#2  Hanksville.

Hanksville (population 215) is quite the metropolis. It is so important that, when you're 50 miles away, it is still the only place on the road signs. Like Dustville#1 (Dinosaur), it has very few facilities, but the difference is that twice as many of them are open and they are also clean. I might be wrong, but it seemed a bit like all the open and clean places might have been under the same ownership. Suspect it's just one big happy family...

Whispering sands motel, Hanksville.
Hanksville Motel

A day of being in the middle of nowhere called. First stop was Natural Bridges National Monument which was the only place in the trip where some jobsworth checked my ID along with my parks pass. Of course he couldn't resist making comments of the "you're not from round here are you?" type, and so I tried to frustrate him by telling him we were from Boulder. Pops is a kind and well-mannered gentleman and so gave the game away, but to his credit he did his bit by bamboozling the man with stories about his times living in Colorado in the 1960s. However, once that was over, Natural Bridges turned out to be quite nice. We made Pops walk down to give one of them a closer look. 

Natural Bridges
Natural Bridges

My delightful travelling companions after their strenuous walk.
My companions @ Natural Bridges

Vegetative patterns...

It was a Sunday. Scarred upon my mind is a memory from the end of the last century which involved failing to get any refreshment in a North Wales town on a cold and wet Sunday. We found out last year that North Wales has moved on but I feared Utah may have not. However, the Subway in the great Megalopolis of Blanding (population 3581) was open. Almost back in civilisation (Colorado) by now, we made one more diversion, and visited Hovenweep National Monument. This is Mesa Verde for those with their own imaginations. i.e. you don't get a guide and a big group of other tourists to get in your way, but instead can wander round wondering what life was like living in these places.

Better end with a question for the reader. Interesting masonry here - are the little stones in the mortar, structural, or decorative, or both?
Posted By Blogger to jules' pics at 11/07/2015 03:55:00 PM


CapitalistImperialistPig said...

No mortar.

James Annan said...

CIP, there is definitely some mortar, though it is probably rather weak compared to modern cements. I was taught to use small "pinning stones" to fill big gaps, but this does look like it is at least partially decorative, as the pinning stones on this building (in particular) are so regular and lighter colour. Also, via email (thanks Fitz!) see the bottom of this page

CapitalistImperialistPig said...

My bad. You are correct. Apparently the mortar was a mixture of soil, water and ash. The small stones are called chinking, and serve the same functions as your pinning stones.

The soil-ash mixture makes me think of that great line from Hamlet: "Great Caesar dead and turned to clay, could stop a hole to keep the wind away."