Monday, March 23, 2015

The Arrow Points The Way

The last time I was in Las Vegas I took a day trip to check out some of the sights just a little beyond the glitz and glamour.

One of these trips brought me just over the state line to Utah - mainly because I have never been to Utah and I wanted to add it to my map. Besides it was only 2 hours away by car.

When I was there I ran into this obscure yet fascinating piece of aviation history.

The first regularly scheduled passenger flight in the US was made by Western Air Express on May 23, 1926.  It flew between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles California.  To aid in navigation, large concrete arrows were placed every 10 miles along the route.  One of these markers still exists in St. George Utah.

My wife helped point the way.  She also serves to show the size of the arrows - they should be quite visible from the air.
It only took 10 years or so before radio beacons replaced the need for these arrows.  However they remain a little known, but vitally important bit of American aviation history.

The arrow exists on top of a large hill, which provides some amazing views of the surrounding valleys.

How did I run across such obscure history on a random hill in Utah?  I was geocaching, of course. The cache was placed here to highlight the history, and to show off the beauty of this corner of the state of Utah.

As you can see, to retrieve the cache one had to get close to the edge of a cliffside.
A little bit of history, some amazing views, and a cache find.

Not bad for a morning spent in Utah, eh?