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THE GOBLET of VENUS (Gone…and almost forgotten) —Stiles

In 1940, Utah: A Guide to the State, was published by the Writers’ Program of the Works Projects Administration. The book was a fascinating and comprehensive look at the Beehive State, and from the perspective of 50 years later, an historical document. Among the thousands of descriptions of cities and towns, parks and forests, historical and geographical oddities comes this observation:

“At 17 miles, a posted trail leads 100 yards to the GOBLET OF VENUS, a piece of freak weather tooling in vermillion sandstone. This goblet bowl, six or seven feet in diameter and weighing about five tons, is delicately balanced atop a symmetrical stem six feet long and not much thicker than a man’s leg.”

Not long after I arrived in this country, I saw a picture of the Goblet of Venus, and immediately wanted to find it. I took the photograph to a friend of mine at Natural Bridges NM, with hopes of getting directions. The information I received was not what I wanted to hear.
It seems I was about 25 years too late. In the early 50s, a group of kids from Blanding drove out to this precariously perched treasure, and with a length of heavy chain, tore the goblet from its fragile pedestal. What took Nature thousands of years to sculpt, required five minutes to destroy.

But recently, while studying the old photograph, it occurred to me that the fallen goblet was still out there somewhere. It took the better part of an afternoon, using my old WPA book, the photograph, and some luck, to finally locate what remains of the Goblet of Venus. The old trail to it has long ago vanished, the pile of rubble is slowly being dissolved into sand and blown away with the wind.
I opened my pack, pulled out a glass goblet of my own, and drank a toast to the Goblet of Venus…Gone, but not forgotten.

Jim Stiles. 1996

In the 1930s…

Fifty years later...

The Remains…

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9 Responses

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  1. Rob Gay said

    I’ve always wanted to hike out to where the Goblet used to be. Neat that you did it.

  2. Shane Bumgarner said

    fucking douchebags. I hope someone hooks a chain to their balls.

  3. Clark Phelps said

    True or Not …I’ve always blamed the Boy Scouts … but … I have it in for them.

  4. There are those of us who will always talk or better to write about the loss of what is right with the world. Be it a standing rock or the deserted beach underneath that hideous pink condo where you enjoyed a fresh coconut 20 years ago. Those who see it as complaining are missing the point….

  5. Kit said

    It’s too bad the Goblet didn’t fall on those kids and kill them. They are old geezers in wheelchairs now. If I could find them I would push them and their wheelchairs down the stairs.

  6. I tried to locate the site back around 1980 with no luck. Wish I could have followed you there.

  7. I would like directions to the site, too. I am working at Natural Bridges and people have a lot of interest in the Goblet since there is a classic photo in the Visitor Center of Zeke Johnson, the first Superintendent of the park, standing at it. It would be good to display a photo of the remains to help educate the public.

  8. Mike said

    Cool you found it. I just googled goblet of venus and found this site. I saw a picture on my father-in-law’s wall and asked him about it. He told me it was the Goblet of venus and that his picture was probably one of the last ones of it still standing.

    He told me years ago (he’s now 85) he took his scout troop to it. They took pictures and camped nearby. But the next day a group of scouts he says was from Canada, got a log or long piece of wood and pushed on the top of it and pushed it over.


Continuing the Discussion

  1. THE GOBLET of VENUS (BEFORE & AFTER) – The Zephyr linked to this post on February 11, 2015


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