Friday, April 24, 2020

RonnieAdventures #0409 - Willow Springs, Petroglyph Wall, Willow Springs Loop Trail, Red Rock Canyon NCA, Clark County, Nevada

Willow Springs is a popular area in Red Rock Canyon NCA because nearby there are picnic tables, several hiking trails, historic petroglyphs and Agave roasting pits, and nice rock walls for rock climbing and rappelling. From the picnic area there is a wooden bridge that leads to one Agave roasting pit and there is another roasting pit at the north end of the parking lot.

The Petroglyph Wall hiking trail leaves from the north side of the parking lot and it is a short hike to an area that contains several petroglyph panels. There are also other petroglyph panels and ancient paintings in the area, some of which have unmarked locations to protect them from vandalism. 

The Willow Springs Loop Trail leaves from the parking lot and makes a large loop around the bottom of the canyon. The Loop Trail passes by the Children's Discovery Area and the Lost Creek Falls Trail, then crosses over the road and returns to the parking lot.

A little known undeveloped side trail also leads to part of the canyon that is unaccessible from the Lost Creek Falls Trail. We followed the side trail up a steep incline and then along a ledge that was quite narrow in some placed. Once in the canyon we counted seven additional waterfalls that cannot be seen from the road; however, we could not reach most of the falls without some technical climbing equipment. 

Along the trail to the unnamed water falls we passed a number of unusual rock formation; and, unfortunately, we managed to get impaled by some Agave spines. 



Just after the United States had dropped the second atomic bomb on Japan and Japan had surrendered, ending WW II, Mom and Dad went to town and Dad came home and said that he had a surprise for us. We were excited. A new wagon? A new pony? A new tractor? Then Dad told us that we had a new baby brother. A what! I think we got the wagon anyway.

Since Wileta had the first boy baby born at the Pierre Hospital after the War ended, the doctors and nurses wanted Mom to name him Victor. They even took up a collection and offered to give her $10. She decided that she liked to name Merl better, so she declined the offer and the money. Mrs. Hanson was in the hospital at the same time, but she had a girl baby. She took the money and called her daughter Vickie. (Her real name may have been Victoria, but everyone always called her Vickie.)

I don't have many pictures of Merl as a baby, but attached below are some of the pictures that I could find.

Ronnie, Wileta and Merl
Jerry, Merl, Wileta and Ronnie
Ronnie and Merl
Merl and Ronnie
Ronnie and Merl eating Easter Eggs
Ronnie, Eldon and Merl
Ronnie and Merl
Grandpa & Grandma Hawkins with Jerry, Ronnie and Merl
Ronnie and Merl
Curtis Welty, Ronnie, Merl & Jerry - We just loved having our picture taken
Grandpa Welty, Grandpa Hawkins, Merl & Ronnie

Friday, April 17, 2020

RonnieAdventure #0408 - Children's Discovery Area and Lost Creek Waterfall, Red Rock Canyon NCA, Clark County, Nevada

It was a stormy day and we were driving around the Scenic Loop Road on our way to the Children's Discovery Area in Red Rock Canon NCA when we saw the most beautiful rainbow. Since there was not a lot of traffic on the road we pulled over to take pictures. We had just started traveling again when it started to rain, then the rain turned to snow -- great day for a hike!

By the time we reached the Children's Discovery Area  parking lot, the weather looked better, so we decided to hike up to Lost Creek Falls. We had only hiked a short distance before it quit snowing and the sun came out. Apparently, the snow scared everyone away because there were very few people on the trail, and this is a really popular hike.

There were four people at the falls when we arrived, but they left within a few minutes and we had the entire place to ourselves. 

I'm also attaching pictures from two historic hikes when it was also snowing. The waterfall was much larger on one of the hikes. We have also hiked this trail when it was in a flood stage and it was not even possible to reach the falls to take a picture.


When Eldon's sisters decided that their brother needed a wife, the sisters introduced him to their friend Wileta Welty, and the rest is history. Eldon and Wileta were married July 4, 1937 in Halstead, Kansas.

Since Wileta was born at home she didn't have a birth certificate, but her mother called her "Wileta Maryanne Welty." She didn't like the middle name of "Maryanne," so when she was in school she started using "May" as her middle name. However, later in life when she had to apply for a birth certificate she put down that her maiden name was "Wileta M. Welty," and that is the middle name that she used for the rest of her life.

Wileta had nine brothers, or as she used to say: "three and a half dozen brothers and each brother had two sisters." In order of birth the eleven children were: Albert ("Bert"), Walter ("Walt"), Nelson ("Nel"), Gerhard ("Heck"), Harry ("Short"), Quinton ("Cot"), Herbert ("Herb" or "Blackie"), Wileta, Ralph ("Bud"), Kenneth ("Jack"), and Mary. I have no idea why so many of them had nicknames.

Wileta's family were Mennonites, so they kept detailed family records. In a book my aunt gave me the family history starts with Ulrich Welty (current English spelling of "Welty"), who was born in 1728 in Langnau, Switzerland and in adult life his profession was listed as "tiller of the ground." His family members were reported to be "good cheese makers, and quite expert at spinning and weaving." The book goes on to state that "We know of none that were, by due process of law, found to be criminals, in 200 years."

Ulrich's oldest son Nicklaus was born in 1750 north of the city of Bern, Switzerland, and married Christina Gerber in 1783. Their oldest son John (born 1787) also had an oldest son named John (born 1817), both of whom were born in Switzerland. Some of the Welty cousins started moving to America and sent back such glowing reports that in 1846 John (born 1810) and his family moved to Putnam County, Ohio. John's oldest son Fredrick (my great-grandfather) was 8 years old when he came to America. Because there were so many Swiss people moving to America, land prices in Switzerland reportedly dropped by 50 percent.

In adult life Frederick moved to Kent County, Michigan and married Elizabeth Steiner in 1865, which is where my Grandfather William Walter Welty was born. William then moved to Moundridge, Kansas where he married Mary Elizabeth Krehbiel in 1895, and my mother Wileta was born in 1910.

Wileta was the oldest girl in the family, so she did a lot of the cooking and household chores when she was growing up. Throughout her life she was known as an awesome cook!

One day when she was in town someone introduced her to a new product - sliced white bread. She had always made bread using wheat flour, so this was really a treat. She couldn't get enough of it! The flour used in the white bread had the bran and germ layers removed and then the flour was bleached with potassium bromide to make it look white. She said it was the best bread she had ever tasted and on special occasions she would even buy a loaf of white bread to take home for her brothers. 

After she and Eldon were married, Eldon worked in the oil fields with his Father (Jepson) and other family members before moving with Wileta and Jerry to South Dakota in March of 1943.

Attached are some pictures of Wileta and her family members.

Elizabeth & Fredrick Welty
William Walter Welty
Mary Elizabeth Krehbiel (on left)
Mary, Albert & William Welty
First 7 children (all boys) of William & Mary Welty
8th Child (Wileta) of William & Mary Welty
Wileta and Mary Welty
Wileta and Mary Welty
William and Mary Welty Family
Wileta Welty
Wileta Welty
Wileta Welty
Wileta Welty
William Welty and 8 of his children (Nelson, Kenneth & Mary not pictured)
Wileta Welty-Hawkins