Of Simpson Springs. UT with the Scouts, Scorpions, and Stromboli

Of Simpson Springs, Scorpions, and Stromboli

Jun 25, 2019 · 6 min read
Thirty-seven (37) miles north from where I was working at the time, and from where I commuted to every morning at a company known as USANA Health Sciences…

…,a group of youth waited for me to pick them up and drive them 114 miles south, to a campground called, “Simpson Springs.”

Simpson Springs

“The springs are located about 13 miles (21 km) south of Dugway and about 19 miles (31 km) west of the town Vernon, on the southeastern corner of the Dugway Proving Ground.[1] The site lies on the Simpson Springs Road portion of the historic Pony Express Trail[2] and is situated Simpson Springs lies at an elevation of about 5,100 feet (1,600 m)[1] on a bajada of the northwest flank of the Simpson Mountains, on the eastern edge of Dugway Valley,[3] and has long been a water source on the trail west from Salt Lake City across the desert regions. (The Simpson Buttes lie a few miles to the west within the Dugway Proving Ground.) The Bureau of Land Management maintains a campground in the area.[4]


The site was undoubtedly used by Native Americans and possibly the Fremont Indian cultures due to its good water supply. The old river bed several miles west has provided evidence of indigenous activity.[5][6]

The springs were first called Egan Spring for explorer Howard Egan, but renamed Simpson Springs for Captain James H. Simpson following his work to establish a military mail route to Californiain 1858.[7][5][8]

Simpson Springs was established as an Overland Mail station by George Chorpenning for mule train connection between Salt Lake City and Sacramento.[5] It later became an important Pony Express, Overland Stage, and later, Wells Fargo stations on the trail through Utah desert. The station was discontinued after completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. It continued to be used for local freight between Fairfield and Ibapah into the 1890s.[5]

The location was used as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the late 1930s and early 1940s. In January 1942, the U.S. military established Dugway Proving Ground in the area, which was occupied by military personnel through World War II.[5] The existing building on the site was built by the Future Farmers of America as a replica in 1975.[5]

Two or three other adults were driving other youth out there, along with me.

We had decided as a group to work on our Wilderness Survival merit badge.

Here are the requirements.

Well, because I don’t like waiting — the youth in my car were the first to arrive at Simpson Springs campground.

We found our campsite, set up our tents and shelters, built a fire out of the desert brush that was there — and joked about how true “Wilderness Survival” would mean the youth would have to:

A. Catching, kill, skin, and prepare the meat of a desert antelope. or

B. Catch a winged scorpion the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at Dugway Proving Grounds frequently cooked up, among other infectious weaponry.

“According to Utah State University, the following scorpions are found in Utah:

1. Anuroctonus phaiodactylus (Wood Scorpion), large scorpion found in the Great Basin

2. Centruroides exilicauda (Arizona Bark Scorpion), medium scorpion found in Kane County

3. Hadrurus arizonensis (Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion), large scorpion found in southwestern Utah

4. Hadrurus spadix (Black Hairy Scorpion), large scorpion found in southeastern Utah

5. Paruroctonus becki, medium scorpion found in Washington County

6. Paruroctonus boreus (Northern Scorpion), medium scorpion found in all of Utah

7. Paruroctonus utahensis (Eastern Sand Scorpion), medium scorpion found in southeastern Utah

8. Vaejovis confusus, medium scorpion found in western Utah

9. Serradigitus wupatkiensis, small scorpion found in southeastern Utah ( https://www.tripsavvy.com/what-to-know-about-scorpions-in-utah-4580503).” For a list of the even-more fun top 20 Arachnids in Utah, please click here: http://utahpests.usu.edu/uppdl/top-20-arachnids

After we put out the fire, we all got in our separate tents/shelters and got ready to sleep. At that time the others arrived, having survived the “concrete jungle” and having stopped and ate dinner at restaurants. I guess the requirements are sometimes read in “Spirit of the Law” way. :)

Luckily, I was prepared for this and had extra Stromboli my wife had made for dinner the night before.

The next morning while we were walkign aroudn our campsite, we saw a live Rattlesnake and gave it the necessary space it needed. We turned around and then hiked up to the bajada — or rocky detritous and had a powerful spiritual lesson before driving home.

Due to the thick grading that the BLM does on the desert roads out there, my Honda Accord got a flat tire.

Thankfully, I was prepared for that with a spare tire.

Unfortunately I had purchased the car from a neighborhood friend — and the spare tire had a rim that would not fit — it was one lug-nut hole short.

Fortunately, some fellow campers — not of our group, oddly enough — gave us a ride to Tooele to purchase a spare tire.

I asked the youth with me, on our way to Tooele, what can we learn from this?

“God hates us?” was the first suggestion.

We all laughed until tears came to our eyes.

I couldn’t disagree with the lesson but suggested we update that lesson a little:

“God hates the scouts.”


HOMEMAIDE helps you sell your style and buy the things that make you smile, seamlessly! Any recipe you create, any delicious meal you eat with friends or at a restaurant, or on an international trip, or at Simpson Springs— all you have to do is upload a picture or video clip of that to your existing social media sites and Homemaide will send you a commission for every purchase your friends make. AND — they don’t even have to buy the entire Stromboli meal for you to earn a commission! If they bought farm-fresh eggs only from the above example, you’d earn money. If they bought pepperoni (pork or turkey), or flour to use int eh dough of the Stromboli, you’d receive a commission! If they purchased a campground reservation at the same place (like Simpson Springs — only less filled with death) based on your story, YOU would also receive money from their purchase!

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