Castle Valley Comments: Dec. 5, 2019

Ron Drake

We are entering the holiday season when folks in Castle Valley will be hosting Christmas parties and other festivities to celebrate the season.

The first public celebration will be the annual Christmas dinner hosted by the Castle Valley Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The branch will furnish turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy and rolls, and the salads and desserts will be potluck. Everyone is invited to attend and there will be a jolly visitor from the North to speak with the children. If you plan to attend with young children call JoAnna Stoddard at 259-9105 so a gift can be given to the children. The dinner will be Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the church building.

The DayStar Adventist Academy invites everyone to join them as they “praise Him for His unspeakable Gift” Sunday, Dec. 15 at the school campus at 320 E. Castleton Road. A supper will begin at 6 p.m. and the musical program will start at 7 p.m. The talented choir, bell choir and individual musical performers are always a delight as they usher in the Christmas season with music. If you plan to attend the supper they ask that you RSVP at 259-7719 so they can prepare enough food.

The Friends of the Castle Valley Fire Department organization is preparing a float for the annual Moab Electric Light Parade, which will be held in Moab Saturday, Dec. 7 beginning at 6 p.m. The float, which is titled “Gourd Tidings and Joy,” is being constructed by Susan Halliday and others, and will be a remake of the float that was in the Castle Valley Gourd Festival parade plus a bunch of lights and other wintry embellishments. Castle Valley has been represented in other Moab parades over the years but this is a first for the Moab Electric Light Parade.


Bob Russell, our official weather observer, said the news this month was snow. “I recorded ten inches on the 26th and another 0.2 on the 30th. Our total precipitation (finally) was 2.6 inches. A little higher than the typical one inch for November, but very welcome as it was our first precipitation since September. Average temperatures were 55 degrees high and 29 low. That’s about in line with the usual conditions despite a 12-degree low on the first day of the month. What’s in store for December? Our typical average high is about 40 degrees and our typical low average is about 20. If the month is usual we can expect some snow. Four inches for the month is usual but we did get 15” back in 1978. Remember that one? Stay warm and have a Merry Christmas,” he concludes.

We always expect the “January Thaw” but hardly ever a thaw in November. The high temperature one day was 48 degrees and that happened at 11 p.m. at night. The high temperature was about 38 degrees during the daylight hours and rose dramatically near midnight and melted the snow nearly as fast as it came the day before. Forty years ago this week in this column I reported an average high temperature of just over 34 degrees and an average low of 12 degrees for the past week. We still had four inches of snow on the ground from a previous storm. It was a cold week but didn’t compare to the previous year when we received 15 inches of snow in November and much more the rest of the winter.


Twenty years ago this week I wrote about Tim Angus and his desire to form a Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) in the valley. Angus was certified to teach all of the basic courses offered by the American Red Cross and was excited about the new fast-paced training program that offered cutting edge curriculum and he wanted to pass it on to the community. He also wanted the team to be an integral part of the medical chain of events, which would go a long way to saves lives, he said. He later approached the town council about allocating $500 to buy equipment to teach the classes and was later appointed by the council as the town’s coordinator for the Castle Valley emergency response team.

Over the years the emergency response team has morphed into an emergency medical response team that was initially under the jurisdiction of the Castle Valley Fire Department and now directed by the Grand County Emergency Medical Service with a small local team of certified emergency medical responders coordinated by Randy Ward. They have responded to nearly 20 medical incidents in and around the valley this year so far.