One of the rest areas along I-70 in the stretch that goes through the San Rafael Swell area.

Salt Wash Rest Area

For my post about this section of Interstate 70 and links to the other rest areas on it visit this page.

Buried in Stone

The San Rafael Swell is a kaleidoscope of colors splashed across a rugged landscape of cliffs, canyons, arches and pinnacles. Erosion sculpts the stone, but the environment in which it was deposited determines its color. In general, the brighter colors, red, yellow, and orange, are present in rocks deposited where oxygen was present. Examples of these environments are sand dunes and floodplain material higher then the water table. The duller colors, gray, light green, and purple, are present in rocks where there was no oxygen as they were deposited. These would be formed at the bottom of an inland sea or below a water table. These boggy places also trapped the bodies of dinosaurs ad preserved their bones as fossils. The Cleavland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry to the north of here has yielded hundreds of dinosaur fossils. This world famous quarry has produced more dinosaur mounts for display in museums then any other in the world, all thanks to the amazing fosilization of these once boggy areas now in front of you and all around you, take a minute to look at how different this place once was.

Castle Valley Today

You are leaving the spectacular San Rafael Swell. About 39 miles away, there are emergency services, service stations, museums, motels, and eating establishments. To visit Castle Valley, take Ranch Exit 97 and travel 11 miles north on the Miller Canyon Road to Emery, continuing north on State Road 10. Whether you picnic, golf, water ski, hike, bike, fish, kayak, or camp, you’ll find a beautiful place to do it in Castle Valley. Be sure to ask about numerous recreational trails – The Arapeen Trail along the Skyline Drive is a favorite. Visit the Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, drive the Huntington and Eccles Canyon National Scenic Byway through the Wasatch Plateau, or visit the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale.

A Place Nobody Wanted

When the Mormons fled to Utah in 1847, they were looking for a place nobody else wanted. From Salt Lake City, Brigham Young “called” them to colonize towns and cities all over the great West. The last call came August 22, 1877, when Brother Brigham asked Mormons in the Sanpete Valley to colonize Castle Valley, between the foot of the Wasatch Plateau (to the west) and the edge of the San Rafael Swell. Some have wondered if Castle Valley was the very last place on earth that nobody else wanted. Most of those who came were young and filled with hope, looking for an opportunity to get some pastureland and build a new life. But one of the first women in the Valley, Hanna Olsson Seely, saw it differently: “Damn the man who would bring a woman to such a God Forsaken country,” she said. But she stayed and like so many others, made a home in a harsh and arid land.

Linda Louise Terry Barnes

1948 – 2010

This memorial is in honor of Linda Barnes and her 25 years of hard work and dedication as the caretaker of the view and rest areas along I-70 from Salina to the Utah-Colorado Border.

Linda devoted herself to maintaining the view and rest areas and took pride in each one of them. Her work was more than just a job. The area, the constant change of scenery, and meeting many travelers along the way were part of her.

Linda worked until November 2009, which was as long as her health permitted. She passed away from cancer in September 2010. Linda was a beautiful woman who had many hobbies, including rock hunting and fishing. She was dedicated to her family and always wore a smile.