Tag Archives: Moab

Hole N’ The Rock, an unusual Utah home

Almost 100 years ago, Albert Christensen began carving a home for his family out of this rock near Moab, Utah.  No, that’s not our Jeep in the upper left hand corner.  Just above the “C” is a 65 foot chimney for the fireplace.  The only natural light coming into the home, is from the windows in the three front rock openings.
Front view, Hole in the Rock
We had driven past this place many times and thought it was just a tourist trap.  Well it is, but we were also impressed to see how people actually lived in this big rock.

view of rooms, Hole in the RockWhat’s described as an “engineering marvel”, took 20 years to make this 5,000 square foot home.  Albert excavated 50,000 cubic feet of sandstone with his hand tools.

Fourteen rooms are arranged around these huge pillars.  The summer temperature never varies from a comfortable 72 degrees.

view of the artist's work, Hole in the Rock When Albert wasn’t carving rooms out of this sandstone rock, he painted religious and historic pictures.  He also taught himself taxidermy, when he found animals that didn’t survive the harsh winters.  We considered Albert to be very talented, but his mounted animals were weird.  His wife must’ve really loved him a lot, to allow these grotesque looking animals in her home.   view of the wife's doll collection, Hole in the Rock

After raising two boys, Gladys indulged in her feminine side by collecting dolls.  She displayed them in her pink carpeted bedroom.  At least her dolls could enjoy the elegant dresses she couldn’t wear in this desert environment.

To supplement their income, a large kitchen was carved out of the sandstone to serve dinners to travelers.  To make a deep fryer, Albert carved that out of sandstone too.

view of two rooms, Hole in the RockWe enjoyed our walking tour through the furnishings and tool displays of their life, as it would have been in the early 1900’s.

The Hole N’ The Rock was named by the National Geographic Traveler’s Magazine as one of the top 10 roadside attractions in the USA.  To encourage people to stop, the new owners added a gift shop and small zoo.  If you have ever wondered what living in a rock would be like, this is the place.  Also, visit this website: http://www.theholeintherock.com for more information.

Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

When we are looking for a weekend trip to one of our favorite vacation spots, our first choice is always Moab, Utah.  The camping and rafting trips, surrounded by scenic red rock landscapes, are so peaceful and relaxing for this city livin’ grandmom.

The Arches National Park has the largest concentration of natural sandstone arches, fins and spires and are worth visiting often.

Three GossipsThe park’s eighteen mile drive takes you through amazing natural sites, such as the Three Graces.

These spires are also wrongly called The Three Gossips.   This conjures up an image of yakking women, which doesn’t reflect a very peaceful image of this view.

Balancing Rock 1The balancing rock is the size of three school busses.  The small pile of rocks to the right was named “the Chip off the Old Block, but fell during the winter of 1975/1976.

On the far right of Balanced Rock is an Entrada Sandstone fin.  It doesn’t resemble anything to get a special name other than it’s description, “fin.”

Windo Area double arch

The windows area of the Double Arch and Archaeologist Cave were used in the beginning of the film “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”

The hike is a gentle, half mile climb from the Window’s parking area.  It’s massiveness really sinks in when you climb up right under the arches.

Delicate Arch_bThe Delicate arch is a symbol of the state of Utah.  It was originally known as the “Cowboy chaps,” which really does look like the leather leg covers used by ranchers.

This view of the Delicate Arch shows the La Sal Mountains in the background.   The 1.5 mile hike from the Wolfe Ranch parking area to the arch is marked with cairns (small stacked rocks)  to show the way.  The walk is without much shade, so be sure to bring plenty of water.

Taking this picture without tourists, means extraordinary patience is required.  A perfect “photo op” is well worth the wait, since this is a view that is unbelievably breathtaking.

If your knees don’t like long hikes anymore, an easier 10 to 15 minute walk from The Delicate Arch viewpoint parking area, gives a more distant but beautiful view of the arch.

The Moab area has so much to offer and is also a short distance from the Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park.  I would recommend viewing this website: www.discovermoab.com  for helpful information on hiking, camping, photographing, or just touring by car before you visit these natural treasures.

Model Railroad N Scale Train Set

Lee played with model trains when he was his grandson’s age.  It instilled a love for trains that he still has today.HAYDEN & GRANDPA

We purchased a home for retirement that fits our empty nester life style, which only allowed room for an N Scale size train set.  We found this 2’ by 3’ layout and a rolling table that fits perfectly in a corner of Lee’s office.

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After learning about the techniques of remodeling a train layout, Lee changed the scenes to reflect our travels through the Moab, Utah area.  The new mountain has red rock spires with trees, rock climbers and campers, surrounded by city life in miniature.

BEACH SCENE copy

The beach scene has all its available camping sites filled with trailers and tents, boaters, picnickers and swimmers.  This is the kind of camping that we are looking for when we venture into the outdoors.

picnic table 1How small is an N Scale layout? One of the picnic tables that Lee assembled fits on a dime and he made them all without a magnifying glass.  Basically, N scale is half the size of the HO scale.  The HO scale is half the size of the O scale model trains.  All our grandsons begin their love of trains by playing with Thomas the Tank Engine, which is just the perfect scaled down size to fit their precious little hands.

GRANDPAThe youngest of our grandsons are now learning how to become expert train engineers.

Lee has been sharing his love of trains with all seven grandsons and may need to be careful as to how many train sets he promises to build with the grandboys.