Four Corners is the only location in the United States where the borders of four states meet. Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico. Native peoples have lived in this area over thousands of years, yet it remains scarcely populated. During my brief visits I’ve felt its remoteness, especially at Hovenweep (above), and the loneliness at Ship Rock. There is beauty in every direction, but it can be hard-earned.
I love the feeling of the fresh air on my face and the wind blowing through my hair. —Evel Knievel
The day after hiking to Monarch Cave, Ulrich and I drove north and west to access a hiking trail into one of the small canyons in the Butler Wash area. The weather, as it had at Monarch, threatened, but held off until we’d returned to the truck.
The little town of Bluff, Utah, is one of my favorite places in the Southwest—I could devote an entire trip to the area and discover but a fraction of the surrounding landscape. Add in friendly people, a variety of lodging (or camping), a good coffeehouse…and it’s pretty hard to beat.
Recapture Pocket is a small area about ten miles away from town; half on paved highway, half on a bumpy sometimes-4WD-track. Get directions at the Bluff Fort Visitors Center before you go out.
Between 1942 and 1945, the Topaz Wartime Relocation Center, located near Delta, Utah, was one of several internment camps set up in remote, rural areas of the western United States to hold the nearly 120,000 Americans of Japanese extraction who were forced to leave their homes under Executive Order 9066.
Today, little remains of the original site—strands of sagging barbed wire, uncovered remnants of stone pathways, the rusting remains of a backstop on a baseball diamond—but on Delta’s Main Street the history of the camp, and the resilient people who lived there, is beautifully displayed and preserved at the Topaz Museum. Their Mission Statement promises that it won’t be forgotten:
“To preserve the Topaz site and the history of the internment experience during World War II; to interpret its impact on the internees, their families, and the citizens of Millard County; and to educate the public in order to prevent a recurrence of a similar denial of American civil rights.”
Those who cannot remember the past are
condemned to repeat it. —George Santayana