Welsh miners among them drilled holes in the sheer cliff into which they drove small logs. They created a log framework atop the protruding log supports for a narrow, treacherous roadway, on which they laid brush, rocks and dirt. With such innovations and superhuman effort, 250 men, women and children drove 80 wagons and 1,000 head of cattle down a makeshift road carved into or extending from the cliff, with a decline approaching 45 degrees. The brutal labor, harsh conditions, danger, and the sheer impossibility of the task would have turned most of us back. But they had a duty to perform, and they would find a way.
They later encountered another apparently impassable cliff. Scouts walked up and down the the ridge looking for any possible passage. At day's end, a scout came upon a mountain goat that waited for him to follow. The goat turned and walked slowly down the rocky cliff. The scout carefully marked the path in case this should prove to be a route they could follow. Indeed, the goat lead him to the bottom on a series of somewhat smooth descents. The party built another road on this course.
These stalwarts did not turn back, they did not quit. They lived on scant rations and traversed ground so formidable that experienced explorers said it couldn't have been done, especially with teams, wagons and stock. Miraculously, no one died and two babies were born en route. They toiled on in the most trying of conditions in a harsh land. Their “stickie-ta-tudy” led them to settle a self-reliant colony in the San Juan region. As I have become familiar with the Hole in the Rock expedition, I’ve marveled that they pressed forward and overcame what seem like insuperable obstacles.
This incredible account shows me that I have turned back too easily from some challenges. I have sometimes become discouraged by defeats. NO MORE!! I resolve to use my stickie-ta-tudy to overcome my obstacles.
Note: Gerald N. Lund told this remarkable story in his book Undaunted, from which I gained most of what I know of the expedition.