An Article from Aaron's Article ArchiveMollie's Travels in Utah
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Mollie's Travels in Utah
Friday, 12 August 2011 11:40 PM MDT
Yakkity Yak, Astounding Adventures
Having grown up in Hurricane, Utah (well, mostly), no one in town would think twice to announce "I'm going to hike up Mollie's Nipple" when talking about hiking up the nearby Hurricane Cliffs escarpment and then surmounting the 400 foot hill on top, Mollie's Nipple. It was just the name of a geological feature overlooking the Hurricane Valley, albiet descriptive.
I recall while in Varsity Scouts ascending Mollie's Nipple with mirrors to send signals to other Varsity Scouts on surrounding mountaintops as part of On Target. Quite fun!
Owen Sanders of Hurricane—a neighbor of mine who has since passed away, a kind and talented gentleman who befriended me as a teenager and who would share his poetry with us fellow Hurricaneites—composed a poem that is inscribed on a historic marker in Heritage Park in Hurricane, placed there in 1991. The poem by Owen Sanders and subsequent marker text reads:
SEE MOLLIES NIPPLE "IT'S A BUTTE"Even though as a kid I thought Mollie's Nipple was a volcano, it is not. It is a remnant of an ancient lava flow that ran in a valley, subsequent erosion and the changes in the Hurricane Fault having left it now a high point overlooking the valley. Todd Furse pointed out this article, titled Inverted Topography in St. George Area on the Utah Geological Survey web site that describes the process that formed Mollie's Nipple.
SEE MOLLIES NIPPLE - CLIMB MOLLIES NIPPLE
by Owen Sanders
This pinnacle piercing the skyline
On the crest of the Hurricane Cliffs
Is a vivid, visible landmark
That has sparked many frontier tiffs.
The playful pioneer naming the nipple
Was lost in the annals of time
But Mollies who winced at jabbing jest
Survive in sparkling rhyme!
Breathtaking vistas of awesome charm
Can be seen from the Nipples crest
And silently vie with any view
That is lauded throughout the West!
To clamber like goats to the Nipples Nib
Takes vigor of muscle and wind
And laggards with fleeting devotion
Are left on the trail far behind!
The magic of mind to climb for the crown
Is the goad for gaining a goal;
Should your body grow weary from climbing—
Consider the gift to your soul!
Mollies Nipple was given its historic name by pioneer colonizers of Toquerville, Virgin City, Grafton, Rockville, Springdale and other communities along the Rio Virgin.
The unique symmetry of this visible Dixie landmark is protected from rapid erosion by a massive capstone of volcanic rock.
Indian throwing sticks for hunting small game, and hardwood fire tongs used to pick up hot stones from camp fires and drop them into pitch lined baskets for cooking purposes, were found in small caves at the base of Hurricane Cliffs below Mollies Nipple.
Hundred of hikers have climbed to the crest of Mollies Nipple to view a vast circle of breath-taking, colorful, geologic and historic wonders, unmatched by any view in the world! Pottery shards were found by hikers on top of this butte, indicating Indians likely used this landmark to send up smoke signals to hunting and seed gathering parties.
Take the time to make this scenic climb! It rises 400 ft. above the crest of the Hurricane Cliffs. The historic Nipple rises 1353 feet above the fertile Hurricane Valley.
Being a Geocacher, I placed a cache up on top appropriately titled the Mollie's Nipple Cache in the summer of 2001, and have revisited it periodically to do cache maintenance.
Mollie's Nipple and Molly's Nipple Locations in Utah
When I placed the cache, using some topographic map software on my PC at the time, I searched the U.S. Geological Survey database included in the software for the term "Mollie" and discovered there were five peaks in the state of Utah bearing the name "Mollie's Nipple".
Prior to posting ths 'blog entry, I decided to search again for "Mollie" and "Molly" within the state of Utah. Using the online U.S. Geological Survey National Geologic Map Database I learned that there are indeed five hills or peaks in Utah that are officially named "Mollie's Nipple" but also a few more named "Molly's Nipple". Additionally, there's a place called "Tatow Knob" that unofficially is yet another "Mollie's Nipple". Wow!
Here are the one's I found this time:
Mollie or Molly apparently was quite the explorer and managed to make a name for herself all over the state of Utah. If the Molly in question was a Mormon, then she must be the very Molly Mormon I've heard so much about. Or perhaps not.
It turns out, someone has put together a Mollie's Nipple Wikipedia article that lists most of these places too.
UPDATE: 24 Aug. 2011
I found this page with pictures and information about the Mollie's Nipple northeast of Kanab in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
Date: Friday, 08 June 2012
From: Bob Durtschi
Subject: another one in Wasatch County
There's another "Mollie's Nipple in Wasatch County just north of Midway Utah. My dad would point it out to us as we drove to my grandpa's home in Midway where Dad grew up. Dad said there would be a lot of lightning strikes there during a thunder storm