Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Stump–Artesian Well

I’m a sucker for weird things, and springs, and well this is kind of both. At the north end of Ogden there is a tree stump which has water flowing out of it. Supposedly some of the best tasting water around. I had heard of this thing not too long ago and when I discovered we were nearby I decided that we should go check it out.

It is located in North Ogden at 2641 N 400 E St basically head north on Washington BLVD. You will see a McDonalds on the left, which shares a parking lot with the park.


Well, lets get right to it, here is the stump. You can see the 2 drinking fountains on this side of it. According to the signs, the original well was drilled in 1930. In 1931 a nearby hamburger stand had some of the water piped over to their stand. They added an old Cottonwood trunk that was hollowed and and sculpted into a drinking fountain. Neither of the signs say what happened to the original stump, but this fiberglass replica was built in 1998.


On the other side there are 2 free flowing pipes to fill larger containers with. Another cool thing, I guess the family donated the land to North Ogden with the stipulation that it will never be commercialized. And that it will be tested twice a month to ensure the water is still safe to drink. I love hearing things like that.


Drinking fountains and pipes. The water, tasted like water. It was good but not like, amazing. However I suppose if you are used to typical Ogden water it probably is pretty good. Not dogging Ogden water, it’s not that bad at all, but there is definitely a weird taste to it as compared to other Utah towns.


A small exposed section of the North Ogden Canal.



Continuing a little further into Bicentennial Park there is a nice little pond monument.


Some seagulls crash the duck party.




Some plaques for the local Veterans. Which resulted in an interesting conversation with Mah.

Mah: “Oh _____, I worked with him.” name removed for privacy
Me: “Oh. wow uh, is… is that weird to see someone you know has been memorialized on a plaque?”
Mah: “Eh. It happens when you get to be older.”
Me: “Huh.” letting that sink in.
Mah: “Oh, I know this guy too.”

Really fascinating glimpse into the mind of an elder. From a generation that went though much tougher times than mine has. I really should sit down with her and ask more about it.


If I read the sign above correctly, this is where the original well site was located. It wasn’t flowing today though. Not sure it it ever flows anymore, or what.

Well that was a neat little adventure. Great to squeeze in if you are in the area and don’t have a lot of time. Its historical, neat, and well, bizarre. And well, you can get yourself a nice drink of water. I’m not sure if its worth going out of your way to see, and I am glad I didn’t myself. However, I am glad we stopped by while we were in the area.

Not much to it, so no squirrely rating. But, it is neat. I am aware of two more artesian wells that I plan on visiting soon. So, there is something to look forward to.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bluff Trail

The Bluff Trail in Ogden is a great short connector trail that, surprising to me, was a lovely wooded trail hidden within the city, that has some interesting finds along the way. We have passed the trailhead several times on our way to visit relatives and have been meaning to check it out.

Quick Details:

Length: Approximately 1 Mile one way. 2 if you do out and back. Can be combined with several other trail options on the NE end.
Difficulty: DR3 Easy. Mostly flat and like paved. Some overgrown sections. Some rocky sections, some up and down, but not much
Elevation Gain: Negligible. 50 feet or so.

As a connector trail, there are 2 trailheads to choose from. The one we did is located at Park Blvd and Gramercy Ave. There is no parking lot here. It lets out at about 450 20th St. right next to the Ogden City Cemetery. There was a small parking lot here. The trailhead is hidden a ways back.


Across the street from the trailhead is the Ogden River.


Trailhead sign. This has only been here for the last year or so. I learned that while the trail is probably about 40 years old or so, it has been overgrown and the area was used as a dumping ground for a long time. Back in 2012 a group of boy scouts and other teens came in and cleaned it up and widened the trail. So I imagine not long after the sign post was put in.


The trail immediately climbs up the side of the hill, but then levels out pretty quickly.


I thought that I would be hiking along a bluff, with view of the city. Instead I got a lovely forest hike.


I did get a nice view of the mountains though.


The crazy Oregon like weather (never ending rain) has caused an explosion of mushrooms lately. There were a lot on this trail.



Really pretty and green. That is the other side of the token with the Oregon like weather. Oregon like forests.


Pretty wildflowers.


The trail crosses this old road that has been barricaded off and is no longer in use, however not directly. Luckily I noticed the small trail marker about 40 feet up the road indicating the next section of the trail, or we would have ended up in the rodeo overflow parking lot.


Pretty old tree.


Trees reflected in a puddle.






Loads and loads of wildflowers on this trail!


The rest of the trail is just below Ogden City Cemetery. We, uh, found a grave marker. Not sure if it washed down, or what, but that is kind of creepy.




More lovely green woods.

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This trail really surprised me by how pretty it was.



Random… little campsite. Probably a hobo site, I know there are some along the Ogden River Parkway Trail.



Okay, now we seem to be seeing parts of tombstones! There is no way they all just washed down here. I thought maybe the cemetery was dumping them here (which is still a possibility as the entire area was used as a dump for a while) but Mah informed me later that the cemetery did have a string of vandalization at one point. She didn’t go into much detail about what she knew so either vandals knocked them down here, or perhaps they damaged the stones, which were then replaced and the originals were tossed down here. Pure speculation.

I did find an article from 1995 regarding a case were 3 men destroyed 60 tombstones. That is just awful! And several other stories of graffiti and other mischief. Which is sucks to hear. When I was young, and kind of spooky my friends and I liked to hang out in cemeteries, but we never vandalized them! We would just hang out and scare each other. Glad we never got accused of doing anything we didn’t do.


Mossy rock


The trail is really pretty through here. Still can’t believe how green it is.


A little further down the trail. This one isn’t even that old.


Another one.


Well, I very much misjudged some storm clouds and we started getting a little rain.


Gnarly old tree.


Well, that is different. A tree growing over a drainage pipe.


Through the woods.


Retaining wall.


Rose bush. I think this is coming through from the cemetery.


Twisted old tree.


Stone with some drill marks on it.


And the other end of the trail.


Which lets out into the clearing.


Which goes to 20th St. and offers a view of the newly remodeled Ogden Temple. I like the old version better. From here we could’ve gone around the block and taken the Ogden River Parkway, or returned the way we come. Since it was still lightly raining I opted to return the way we came to have some extra tree cover.

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The back end of the trail is close to the chain link fence that borders the cemetery, so I crept up to snag a pic through the fence. Yep, that is a cemetery back there.


Pretty purple flowers.


Another rose bush.

Well, the rain really started picking up at this point so we really tried to book it home.


Some old growth trees.


Pretty purple flowers and buds.


The magpies are still hanging out in the same area.


As much as it surprised me how wild this trail is, there are a couple of spots where you are reminded just how close to civilization you area. The back of some apartments.


And the road below.


The greens seem even more vivid in the the rain.


And back to the Ogden River.

I had no idea what this trail had in store for me. I wasn’t expecting much, and thought maybe there would be some views of the city. What I got instead was a wonderful hike through an old growth forest with some really interesting finds along the way. I was going to take some points for not really having something significant at the end, but there were a lot of interesting things along the way. Plus we didn’t encounter a single soul along the way. I will take points because I doubt it is usually this green and lush. So I am finalizing on 8 squirrels out of 10.

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Difficulty: There was a short up section at the beginning and some gradual ups and down along the way, but it wasn’t too bad. Going with a DR3.

Dogs. There were no signs barring dogs, and I see no reason why they would be. The river below they are allowed. So I am going to mark it a yes unless I hear otherwise.

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