Thursday, May 29, 2014

Where in the hell is "Wall Street"

The Narrows

Thousands of people come to our shop each year with the same question “Where is Wall Street?” Being the smart you know what that I am, I have proclaimed: in New York!!  This lead many tourist to believe that I did not know what I was talking about and at first I felt a little embarrassed that I did not know what they were talking about, after all I am supposed to be a professional and know everything about the park; so I asked a ranger and was given the answer in New York.

            In an effort to better accommodate people I did what every intelligent professional does.  I sought out the advice of the all-powerful Google. The first 3 results I received were about New York, A newspaper and a movie. I broadened my search and added Zion to the end of my “Wall Street” search. Voila!!!!  Now I was getting somewhere. Obviously the National Park website pops up first, but nowhere was there any info on this famous “Wall Street” section I kept hearing about.

Wiki-Pedia was my next stop.  While nothing about the famous “Wall Street” was found in wiki-pedia either, I did come across the names of 3 influential people who were involved with the finding of The Narrows. I guess I should rephrase that and say the naming of The Narrows since the Paiutes knew about the area way before the first Europeans showed up. The Paiutes had called this place Makuntuweap which translates to Straight Canyon. There is a long rich history to the canyon and I encourage you all to read about it, but in an effort to not completely bore you with details I have provided a condensed history below.

It wasn’t until 1858 that the first white man explored the area. Nephi Johnson was that luckyman. With the help of an un-named Paiute, Nephi set out to explore Makuntuweap. The Narrows was first descended and named in 1872 on horseback ,from its head waters of Navajo Lake  by geologist and explorer Grove Karl Gilbert as part of the Wheeler Survey.  That same year John Wesley Powell visited the area now known as the Narrows.

Having this new information I set out looking through the National Park archeology archives and the Zion Human History Museum webpage, still nothing to be found about “Wall Street” Then I found the answer I had been looking for, a YouTube video which was entitled Wall Street in the Narrows, after watching the video I still had no idea where “Wall street” was.

I searched through numerous blog posts about how “Wall Street” is the most fantastic section of the Narrows but none of these posts could really show an exact location in The Narrows that was designated as “Wall Street”. Then I found a map it looked similar to every other map I had seen of The Narrows, but this map had one distinct difference. The section just past Orderville Canyon had the name Wall Street. I compared all 500+ maps (ok that is a slight exaggeration), but all these others maps show The Narrows where this map proclaimed “Wall Street”.
The outcome of all this research, besides learning some fantastic history about Makuntuweap and The Narrows is:  The internet lies! It seems that one person or multiple people with too much time on their hands, much like myself today; decided to spread this name across the inter webs and single handedly tried to change the name and leave out the history of The Narrows. With such a rich history beginning more than 7,000 ago I will never comprehend why the name was changed from Makuntuweap to The Narrows. I mean doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? Come on, take a minute to let that roll of your tongue Ma-coon-ta-weep, is that not fun to say? Say it again!! Ok, enough of my non-sense

After all this research I now have a new question. Did someone think it was clever to call it this because that is where the money is made? If so than I find the term “Wall Street” is a bit of a slap in the face to tourists. Or…. did someone just absent mindedly refer to it this way in a video that went viral? I may never know the reason, but I feel more enriched and educated on the topic and if you stop by the shop you can guarantee that I will send you to New York if you are looking for Wall Street.
View from Lunch Rock

I have however decided to jump on the bandwagon and single handedly change the name of a feature in The Narrows. I lay a new claim on the 3 mile marker, which some people call Floating Rock. From here and hence forth said rock will be named: Lunch Rock, because my favorite lunch spot is on top of that rock. Please put forth an effort to spread the name through your personal blogs, make viral videos and tell all your friends of the name change and send us some pics of you and your friends taking part in the new lunch time tradition.If any of you faithful blog followers know the answer to my wall street conundrum please share with me so I can further my Zion Knowledge.
Join me next week when I tackle “How far from Orderville is The Subway?”