Castle Valley Comments
September 12, 2013
by Ron Drake
Sep 12, 2013 | 1404 views | 0 0 comments | 1122 1122 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nearly 50 young men and women from Moab and Green River – members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – gathered in Castle Valley last Saturday to help with various service activities. They broke up into four separate groups to split and stack firewood at two different locations, dig and remove unwanted volunteer trees at another home and pull tumbleweeds from the Castle Valley Cemetery.

The groups began work at about 9 a.m. and worked about three hours before returning to the Castle Valley LDS Church for lunch and a couple of hours of fun activities as part of the Moab LDS Stake’s opening social, an annual youth event held at the beginning of the school year.

The youth performed admirably last Saturday, especially since it was a hot day and some of them were probably sleep deprived because of the Grand County homecoming activities the night before, but I didn’t hear any grumblings from anyone during the projects.

* * *

After those unusually intense high temperatures that we were experiencing the first week of September, the recent rain has come as a welcome relief. My neighborhood received over 1.5 inches of rain during the 36 hours that the storms rolled through beginning Sunday evening. Our area has been under a flash flood warning, but for the most part the rain was fairly light and steady. Castle Valley Road Manager Greg Halliday said there was no flooding in the town but most of the drainages had water running in them and he is concerned that a heavy rain could wash out the saturated Plaser Creek crossings.

The La Sal Mountains received 2.10 inches of rain during the period, which accounts for the flooding of Castle Creek in Castleton. Frank Mendonca said he received 1.37 inches the last two days but he says that, “since the July 28 storm scoured the creek, it has taken surprising little rain to make the creek flood.” The creek in Castleton was flooding all day Monday, Sept. 9 and most of the following day.

* * *

The Day Star Adventist Academy of Castle Valley began fall classes Monday, Aug. 19 and students are adjusting into their routine of academic, religious, and vocational classes. Twenty-seven students are enrolled at the school and they come mostly from California and Colorado, as well as from many other states across the nation. There is also one student from Canada.

The students and some staff members will leave Friday, Sept. 13 for survival week near Norwood, Colo. where they will learn to exist in the wild. As part of the experience, they will spend 24 hours individually without a tent or food and will be given the option of a sleeping bag if they desire one. This will give them the opportunity to apply what they learned to survive by themselves without the conveniences associated with modern camping – a skill they might need sometime if they get lost while hiking in the backcountry. Early next year, the students will also leave on a mission trip to help build homes or hospitals in a third-world country.

Alexa Hernandez was selected to be the new principal at the school this year and Jerry Harris assumed the position of administrator, a job he held before. He still spends a lot of his time out in the farm working with his brother, Tom, the farm manager.

* * *

Thirty years ago this week, The Day Star Adventist Academy, formerly known as the Castle Valley Institute, had just completed its new commercial cannery and was embarking on a new venture to process pickles for commercial resale.

Ken Widstrand was working closely with the project and said at the time that they were hoping to find a wholesale outlet for the product but indications were that there would be a potential market for the pickles. A large order of pickles was sent to a company, which in turn distributed them to see if the market was receptive to the product.

The attractive jar was packed with a simple recipe of cucumber wedges, a sprinkling of onions, dill seed, and garlic, with carrot sticks evenly spaced in the jar to add color. A lemon solution was then added to the ingredients before sealing the jar. The cannery utilized the students for the workforce in the operation, which is part of their work/study program at the school.

I don’t believe the pickle operation is still in existence today, but they raised a large amount of cucumbers for several years on their farm.

Another item in “Castle Valley Comments” that year was another story about members and guests of the Castle Valley LDS Church. They hiked up Negro Bill Canyon to Morning Glory Arch, where they ate dinner under the arch before returning. Some prepared tinfoil dinners while others cooked hot dogs over a campfire.

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