Castle Valley Comments
Feb. 21, 2013
by Ron Drake
Feb 21, 2013 | 1398 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The weather forecasters are saying that we could receive some snow this week. Even though our weather will not deal us those extreme cold temperatures like we experienced earlier this year, we can still get a lot of snow for the next six weeks or so.

Thirty years ago this week, this column reported that, “Castle Valley residents were a little surprised to wake up to a fresh covering of snow last Saturday morning. Some areas received about four or five inches of powder while others received just a trace. The folks in Castleton measured a foot of snow, forcing some residents like Al and Ginny Duncan to stay home until the stuff melted.

“Alvie Johnston came to the rescue of many families there by clearing their driveways with his tractor and blade.”

In other news in that column 30 years ago this week, it was reported that the Castle Valley Institute (now Day Star Academy) was to offer a musical program entitled “The Second Coming of Christ.” The program was presented previously in Provo and Salt Lake City.

Linda Jarman, a member of the Castle Valley Property Owner’s Association, was asking for support from residents at the association meetings. Attendance was rather poor and she said the POA needed the people to come out.

We used to have a lot of kids living in Castle Valley. At one point there were two school buses based out here to handle the throng of students who attended the Moab schools. Over the years the numbers have dwindled until a small bus is all that is required to handle our students who receive their education in Moab.

As a school bus driver 20 years ago, I was impressed to pass along an observation in “Castle Valley Comments” that I noticed about our kids. I wrote: “I know I’m being a little biased when I mention this, but I’ve always thought that Castle Valley kids are above average. In fact, author Garrison Keillor’s statement in his best-selling book, “Lake Wobegon Days,” that says their women are strong, their men are good looking and their children are above average, reminds me of Castle Valley folks.

“I was impressed to read that in Grand County High School’s honor roll for the second term, 14 of the valley’s 18 high school students were listed among that honor roll group, an impressive 78 percent of them.”

Today, our women are probably still pretty strong, our men have become aesthetically challenged and we have very few children in high school.

Twenty years ago this week, the fire department had a fire call to Creekside Lane. “A small but potentially dangerous fire occurred last Friday, Feb. 12, at the home of Chuck Jenks on Creekside Lane,” the column noted. “Jenks was separating a small stove from a propane tank when propane escaped and was ignited by a nearby water heater.

“The blaze caused about $300 in damage before it was controlled. The Castle Valley Fire Department immediately responded to the incident. Jenks brother, Ken, who was visiting, suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation, but was not hospitalized.”

Today, the Castle Valley Fire Department is nearing the 36th anniversary of when it received a state surplus 1,200-gallon fire truck and began to be organized as a fire department. In 1977, a picture appeared in The Times-Independent showing county and fire officials receiving the “key” to the vehicle. I don’t know what key they used because those old military trucks didn’t have keys. Anyway, the department began to slowly build a fire house from the receipts from barbecues put on by the volunteer firemen and women and basketball games against the Moab Fire Department. The department now has nine vehicles, five owned by the department and four state surplus engines. The 18 volunteers are constantly receiving instruction from semi-weekly training meetings and other sources. Last month, six members attended a winter fire school in St George, Utah, and in May, others will attend an annual engine training course sponsored by the State Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. The department will also soon receive 12 used self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units from the city of Price to replace the department’s older, outdated units.


The foundation drilling work on the Colorado River Pathway Project is expected to finish next week. The next phase, requiring nighttime closures of state Route 128, will likely take place over the next few weeks as subcontractors and project engineers confirm their schedules.

This column will advise when this next phase involving full nighttime closures will take place. Signs on the road at both ends of the project will also advise motorists well in advance of the occurrence.

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