Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th: The Virgin at Black Rock

For a place with such a relatively short recorded history, no one really knows how the Virgin River got its name. The local joke posits that the Virgin River got her name because no one has ever seen her bottom. Some believe that the Virgin River was named "La Virgen" by Spanish Catholic Missionaries in honor of the Vigin Mary. Her muddy trickle should hardly be called "river" most of the time, but during times of flooding she is certainly worthy. Washington County has felt the Virgin's wrath at times, our history reflecting the occasional trauma of lost homes, fields, and bridges that connect one side of town to the other.

Originating in the cold, clear waters of Navajo Lake on Cedar Mountain, the muddy Virgin River enters the Virgin River Gorge just South of St George after it has gathered up additional water from Pine Valley Mountain, Zion National Park, Caanan Moutain, and a sizable portion of the Arizona Strip through the Fort Pearce drainage. From the Gorge, it meanders downhill past Mesquite, NV and eventually joins the Colorado in Lake Mead.

This mule-only trip was a daddy-daughter outing. We spent 5 hours in the saddle together on Friday the 13th. 11 year old Sunnie normally rides her Dash for Cash mare who foaled the fantastic John mule colt we named Doc. For all the talk about mules around here, she had never been on one. So today she rode Minnie Pearl. Smooth! Worried that she wouldn't know how to handle the little Molly, she started out a bit nervous as we left the trailer just off of the Black Rock Exit. Soon, she started taking the more technical routes on her own. Over the ledges, through the cactus fields, and across the Virgin we rode until we sat on top of the world. We had our lunch looking over the mighty Virgin and the Gorge she cut out of the mountain--amazed that we got to have it all to ourselves.

Friday the 13th was my lucky day. I got to spend it with you. Sunnie, did I ever tell you, you are better lookin on a mule!?


Iditadad said...

You really do know how to enjoy life. WoW

Amanda said...

I would love to have a mule, I have heard they are awesome rides. I sure am enjoying your site and your daughter is such a good rider.


You took some fantastic pictures!! Way to go Sunnie! You coulda fooled me that this was her first time riding. She looked like a pro to me!