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Utah, Carved by Winds and Waters, 1936

Leo A. Borah, “Utah, Carved by Winds and Waters,” National Geographic Magazine 59 no. 5 (May 1936), 592, 601.

“We went up from Bryce to Cedar Breaks for the Fourth of July ceremony dedicating Cedar Breaks as the 69th national monument. That word ‘up’ is important, for the rim of the vast amphitheater known as Cedar Breaks is 10,400 feet above the sea.

“On the way we passed a strip of broken rocks that had poured as lava out of one of the now extinct volcanoes of southern Utah. It brought to mind Poe’s ‘scoriac rivers that roll their sulphurous currents down Yaanek,’ though now it is bordered by a lovely forest of white-boled aspen trees.

“Cedar Breaks, formed by the same agents that carved Bryce Canyon, is much larger [sic] than the better known amphitheater. Standing on its rim, one looks into the magnificent depths of a series of eroded bowls, each peopled with red rock giants. As many as 60 colors have been identified by observers from the lookout point.

“Again I was reminded of a Psalm of David, ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?’

“Glorious as is the scene, I was more interested in the Utah people who had come to the celebration. They sat on upended blocks sawed from trees and listened to a three-hour program of speeches and music. They are hardy folk!

“Though the sun was at its height, the air was delightfully cool; and we sat hatless through the long ceremony. Next day we rued our politeness; for those of us who were bald or baldescent were treating our heads for sunburn. There is something unusual about sunburn in Utah; it causes the affected parts to swell most unbecomingly


“After the speeches there was a picnic, with barbecued beef served free to all comers. Scores of Paiute Indians were on hand to take care of what was left. Everybody seemed happy and care-free, neighbors greeting one another and inviting their friends to share the baskets of home-cooked dainties. We tasted delicious cakes until out of regard for our waistlines we avoided approaching family groups before the luncheon had been put away. That picnic was just an old-fashioned family party, with 3,000 persons in attendance!”