Four-Wheeling in the Wasatch Front
I'm on vacation in Utah right now. The other day Shannon's dad and I rode four wheelers up the side of Tower Mountain. You have to know exactly where to get off the trail to find this monument, because there's no marker indicating its presence, and it's about 25 yards off the main jeep trail.
Here's a closer view of what it says:
Apparently, on January, 10, 1914, John Koyle says he received a visit from two messengers (in a dream?) telling him gold was located in this mountain, and that he should mine it to deliver Utah from poverty. This is the origin of the "Dream Mine," so named in reference to the visit.
Although the main mining shafts are sealed off with bars, a couple of off-shoots are still accessible. This one has a large Danger sign in front of it.
I'm not one to enter abandoned mine shafts with keep out signs, but they didn't go down that far, and someone we knew had already explored them thoroughly (since childhood). At the bottom of the mining shaft, a steeper shaft opened off to the side that dropped down about 200 feet. We threw rocks down the steeper shaft and didn't hear anything for a while. The rocks sailed quietly for a few seconds, bounced off the sides of walls, clinked on metal a few times, and continued their long descent to an unknown bottom. Koyle never found any gold, but you can still buy stock in the Dream Mine.
After the jaunt down the mining caves, we continued up the mountain on four-wheelers, passing a beautiful grove of white-trunked aspen trees. Passing these trees was one of my favorite parts of the ride. Instead of the rocky, steep trail directly in the sun, the ground was soft and shaded.
We finally arrived at the top! You can see for miles and miles up here -- no photo does it justice. It's quiet and peaceful, and there's no noise except a soft wind rustling the trees.
Beside the radio towers is a helicopter launching pad made of a metal grate. When you walk out on it, you feel like you're practically walking into thin air. Shannon's dad pulled out lunch from his backpack: wheat thins, mozarella cheese sticks, a large chocolate bar, and water.
After taking in the panoramic vistas, and figuring out which little town was which (Spanish Fork, Elkridge, Springville, Provo, Woodland Hills, etc.), we ventured back down.
I had to stop for a self-photo. Glasses don't quite fit inside goggles, but you can see that despite our foray into dangerous areas, I was wearing a helmet.
About Tom Johnson
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