My great great grandpas, along with their families, were both asked to go and settle Bluff. The trek was initially planned to last only six weeks.
(This is a portion of the final stretch of trail that the settlers made before reaching Bluff.)
Our appreciation for what our ancestors had to go through in order to reach Bluff has grown immensely. To see Bluff today you wonder why Brigham Young felt inclined to send so many of the saints there. My ever so wise father said it was a mission call of sorts. The saints were to go and create good relations with the Indians and attempt to mediate between the Indians and the outlaws.
"Upon their arrival in the San Juan area in 1880 they established a small community called Bluff. Their first dwellings were one-room log cabins. The cabins were arranged to form a large square. Security was achieved by everyone living in close proximity. In 1997, volunteers launched an effort to restore and preserve the original fort site."
(You can read more at www.hirf.org)
And that brings us to the cabin raising. By the time we got there the cabins were mostly raised. But we did help with putting the roofs on and 'painting' the chinking. (The paint was just muddy water...to make it look authentic.)
It was hot and dirty but the kids loved almost every minute they were in Bluff.
We joke about Bluff. We say we now know what the end of the earth looks like. We wonder why the 300 people who live in Bluff choose to stay...
BUT...for all that Bluff isn't, it IS the place where many people sacrificed all that they had, and did whatever it took to follow the call from their prophet. And in my book, that makes Bluff a worthy place to visit.