I have lived by Mill Creek for over 25 years, first with my husband, Sam, and now by myself. That makes me the official old-timer there, I guess.
There was no bridge over the creek on South Main when my family moved to Moab in 1955. I often heard tales of those two buddies, Bill Meador and Sam Taylor. Meador lived across the creek on what is now South Main. When a storm was imminent, the boys would find out what their respective mothers were cooking for supper and decide on which side of the creek to stay, depending on the menu. Sometimes the storms didn’t give them enough time, and they might have to endure liver.
Mine was the GCHS Class of 1957, with a roll call of 32 members. On our senior trip, we visited the roaring Geneva Steel Mills and also the new Utah State Prison at Point of the Mountain. One is now defunct and dismantled, the other scheduled for a move to new digs, according to reports. Gone and mostly forgotten.
On our senior sneak day, however, we chose Old City Park and the enticing waters of Mill Creek, where we happily tried to drown each other, plus Gene Leonard and Robby Robinson. Superintendent Helen M. Knight didn’t show her face, but if she had, a splash or two would have been all anyone would have dared attempt.
As I said, Sam and I moved our family to the plot of land that includes a section of Mill Creek over 25 years ago. A plywood fort was built and became enmeshed in the tangled underbrush of the creek over the years. Someone let loose some unwanted peafowl there, and they made their own ruckus for some time before wildlife got ‘em. And in the right conditions watercress was to be had.
One year, Sam and I decided to “borrow” water from the creek for our garden. We worked and worked setting up our unique system, but when we turned it on, the whole thing blew up. We had put the pump at the wrong end of the pipe. So much for water thievery.
Another year, Sam had the opportunity to buy two yearling steers (wild from the desert). We built a stout pen, and in the dusk of the evening they were delivered. They leapt from the back of the stock carrier into the pen and out the other side, never to be seen by us again.
Another year, I decided to raise sheep. Having become a spinner, I thought I would raise my own raw products. And the sheep did well, to the point where I had about five ewes with about eight babies (several sets of twins), and the big, friendly ram, Pretty Boy.
Now any waterway is also a highway for wildlife, ours being from the La Sals to the river. The sheep pen, of course, was by Mill Creek, and one dark and stormy night both a cougar and a bear came down their personal highway and noticed my sheep. Pretty Boy was hauled over a four-foot fence as if nothing were there. The ewes were also hauled off.
That was the last of my sheepherdess days. I am content to have the beautiful Mill Creek Parkway alongside my property, and its steady stream of hikers and dogs. I have been to the Riverwalk in San Antonio, and it has its own charms. But it’s got nothing on the Mill Creek Parkway.