Pure Genius.. How They Marked Spanish Trail in Utah
Old Spanish Trail
There was a trade route used by the Spanish dating back to the 1600’s that linked what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico with Los Angeles California. It is called the Old Spanish Trail, and it meanders through deep canyons, dry deserts and elevated mountains. The Spanish used pack trains of horses and mules to transfer goods along the trail.
The Old Spanish Trail goes through Southern Utah and the Arizona Strip. Those who would preserve this history wanted to make others aware of it. How do you mark it so tourists can find it and developers don’t destroy it? I think what they came up with is genius.
The Old Spanish Trail Association under the direction of Alva Matheson designed these silhouettes to mark the trail.
They could have placed information signs by the road, and there are those as well, but these metal cutouts of pack donkeys and riders are beautiful. These ghostly pack teams silhouetted against the desert are works of art. They capture my imagination and give me a vision of the past, taking me to that time.
The OSTA worked with Southern Utah University to design and make the silhouettes. There are 18 sites marked with 147 silhouettes so that you can easily find the trail. What an inspired way to mark history.
If you live in Southern Utah, it could be fun and educational to explore the trails from the past. And I have to give credit to those who have such passion to remember this history and mark it in such an intriguing way.
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Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli