May/June 2019


Join us as we embark on a journey through Utah with Utah Life’s May/June 2019, featuring the sesquicentennial of two major events in the state – the wedding of the rails at Promontory Summit, completing the first transcontinental railroad, and the exploration of the Green and Colorado rivers by Civil War hero John Wesley Powell.

  • Talk about unsung heroes. Chinese immigrants were the dominant force behind the construction of the western leg of the transcontinental railroad, busting through the snowy granite of the Sierra Nevadas, racing across the high desert of Northern Utah, and laying the last tie at Promontory Summit 150 years ago.
  • The Green River also observes a sesquicentennial this year: One-armed explorer John Wesley Powell and his crew ran the river in their wooden boats in 1869. Modern-day adventurer Dan Leeth follows their paddle on a six-day journey through Desolation Canyon.
  • Southeastern Utah’s small community of Bluff was carved in the sandstone along the San Juan River by early settlers. Today, it’s a place where lovers of the desert and tourists find their bliss amidst the petroglyphs.
  • There’s a whole lot more to the Beehive State than honeybees. Take Scott Baxter’s wildlife safari to the world of spiders, dragonflies and stink bugs.


  • Strawberries, once a major crop in Utah County, are in the recipe spotlight in this issue. Leading off: Joyce McBride’s famously disappearing strawberry pie.
  • The Four Corners potato, which has sustained life for 10,000 years, has recently been rediscovered.
  • Did you know Canadian geese have excellent parenting skills?
  • Provo painter Rick Kinateder puts his architect’s eye to good use in his landscape paintings.
  • Explore Utah: The variety of the Beehive State’s attractions are showcased in Amazing Earthfest in Kanab, the Ragner relay race from Logan to Kamas, and a D-Day Commemoration in Heber City – plus other events scattered from Cedar City to Garden City.
  • In this sesquicentennial year of the transcontinental railroad, Utah’s poets are naturally thinking about … trains.
  • Utah trivia expert Brian Wangsgard tests readers’ knowledge of important moments on Utah’s timeline.
  • Amy Irvine’s Desert Cabal: A New Season offers a somewhat contrasting view to Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire.
  • Last Laugh: Kerry Soper’s guide to singing while hiking, drinking from a random stranger’s water bottle, and pranking out-of-staters with moose noises.
  • Reflections on Utah: Utah’s photographers explore the natural mirrors in the Uinta Mountains, at Snowbird and on the Wasatch Plateau, all in our Monumental Exposure photo contest.
  • Mailbox: Readers speak their mind.

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