Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument

Josie Bassett Morris Homesite.

Josie Bassett Morris Homesite.

Wild and dangerous, romantic and adventurous, the American West is for most
people today an almost mythological world, one separated from ours by time,
technology, and civilization. Yet, for Josie Bassett Morris, the Wild West was a
stark reality. Josie lived most of her 90 years of life in this austere, yet beautiful,
landscape in a time simpler than today, when people depended directly on the
bounty of the land for survival and ?neighbors? for companionship.

Josie?s cabin would be considered a
modest structure. It is hard to imagine this
place as a hub of activity, a site where one
individual poured heart and soul into endless
hours of chopping wood, cooking meals,
milking cows, entertaining guests, and tending
the chicken coop and vegetable garden. Look
closer at the walls and envision a bed where
Josie slept through bitter cold nights. Breathe
in and imagine the rich aroma of Josie?s
homebrewed coffee and homemade biscuits.
Envision how it would have been to be a guest
at the generous hostess? table. Take a moment
to sit in the shade of the trees surrounding
Josie?s cabin ? trees she carefully planted to
provide the shade and fruit necessary for
survival in a harsh environment. Walk the
short trail to the box canyon where Josie
penned her livestock; the wooden fence still
stands. Imagine living in this place without
plumbing, electricity, or neighbors for over fifty
years. Relax and let the stillness enchant you;
it is this same peacefulness that Josie may also
have felt here.

Directions

Two box canyons provided a natural corral for Josie?s
livestock. The Box Canyon Hiking Trail is an easy ¼- mile
(0.4 km), one-way trail through the shady canyon. The Hog
Canyon Hiking Trail is an easy ¾-mile (1.2 km), one-way trail
through a partly shady canyon with a spring-fed creek. Both
trails off er a cool, shady escape from the heat of summer.