Letters from the Desert
from Steve Allen

Dear friends,

In everyday life the challenge of writing a history book about the canyons of Southern Utah continues. My time is spent doing literature research and interviews with the old timers. The more I learn, the more I find myself connected to the canyons. I am starting to understand how they work, not from a scientific level, but from a human level. My favorite story form this year’s interviews concerns the naming of Harvey’s Fear a thousand–foot–high cliff band on the Kaiparowits Plateau. Interviewee Don Coleman tells the story:

“There was a man with the last name of Harvey. He was chasin’ wild cattle up on the Kaiparowits Plateau. He roped one and the cinch broke and he fell off his horse and he wouldn’t let go of the rope to the cow. And it was a mean cow, and it was after him. And so he got knocked off the edge of the cliff and he grabbed onto the bush and hung on. The rope was still on the cow and every time Harvey would try to crawl back over the edge of the cliff, it would run at him, which would slacken the rope. He would slide down, and then the cow, not seeing Harvey, would walk away and at the same time pull him back up. Back and forth went the cow, and up and down went Harvey. And that’s a big steep ledge down off’n there. That’s how it got the name Harvey’s Fear.”

I hope the year goes well for you. Happy travels, and do keep in touch. I love hearing about everyone’s adventures.




© 1990–2007 Steve Allen