In the red deserts are Utah's scenic and scientific marvels, its dinosaur bones, its cliff-dwellings, its multicolored canyons, its Indians, more natural arches and bridges than anybody knows--two more were discovered in 1940--its cow-country frontier, its vast tracts of unmapped, unexplored country. Cárdenas discovered the canyon of the Colorado, but his reports use no single adjective of color. Mormon pioneers, cowboys, and sheepherders have looked upon marvels of natural color to see them as "piles of rocks" that couldn't sprout a kernel or feed a beast. Utah has been, historically, a detoured country; the Oregon Trail went north of it, other cross-country travel south of it. Utah's deserts wait still, wrapped in multicolored serenity, for their full measure of appreciation.
It is fitting that the worthless dry deserts nevertheless should begin, profitably for Utah, to instill in popular consciousness some other definition of the State than Mormonism, for the richer land has been pressed almost to its uttermost by the Mormon struggle with the earth. Mormon enterprise was a powerful force that wrought greatly with a hostile environment; but Utah today is supported by its mines and its livestock far more importantly than by its farms, despite the national reputation of its celery and its fruit, and despite its alfalfa, wheat, sugar beets, and garden vegetables. The fertility of the land has been outstripped by the fertility of the people.