Bluff, Utah

After hours of driving through the emptiness of the Utah desert in the Valley of the Gods, we ran into Bluff, a beautifully preserved pioneer town that dates back to 1880.
We had to stop. I am a sucker for pioneer history. How can one get over the astonishing courage of those men who, in the middle of the 1800’s, abandoned the more comfortable and populated West Coast to venture towards infinite miles of unfamiliar, deserted and unpromising land?
A few carriages to use as a home, a handful of horses to carry them towards the unknown, and a set of worn out chests, filled with the little utensils and clothing they owned. They had no guarantees on whether they would have made it or not. If they could manage to outlive bandits and wild animals, they still had to endure hunger and disease.
The destination? It was up to them to create one. Maybe by settling a new town, like Bluff. Or perhaps just finding a fertile piece of land, provided with just enough water to make sure life could flourish.
An expedition of Mormon pioneers came to Bluff in 1880 from Parowan, Utah, aimed to establish an agrarian community on the San Juan River. Today one can still see the perfect replica of their first dwellings (there are 25 beautifully reconstructed cabins with original furniture), together with their church, school and general store. It didn’t matter back then if for hundreds of miles there were no other humans around. And quite honestly, it doesn’t seem to matter much even now.
Just like the perfect descendants of those first settlers, today 300 people still live in Bluff. As long as the IPhone has line, there’s life 😉