Farewell, Tumblr. ›

We’ve got our new website up and running! Sorta. There are still a lot of kinks to work out, but our new blog is ready to go: http://ruralandproud.org/blog. Epicenter.tumblr.com will exist only as an archive of our past three and half years, and will no longer be updated.

From now on, please follow our daily progress at http://ruralandproud.org/blog.

#blog  #website  

Daniel Splaingard’s Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship

Check out the great work our fellow Auburn Alumnus has been doing as a Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow in Chicago! “Expanding the role of the modern architect,” … we’re impressed! Way to go, Dan!

Getting Financing for Your Business ›

We thought this was a nice little write-up on the Etsy blog that makes the whole world of capital access a little more approachable.

Cheer Up, Melon Queen ›

(via High Country News)

Today is Maria’s 28th Birthday! Hooray!

Designed for Habitat: Collaborations with Habitat for Humanity ›

Two of our former professors, David Hinson and Justin Miller of Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction, have just released a new publication! The book features projects on which our own Jack Forinash worked. What a great resource for Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country! Go here to buy a copy.

If you’re looking for ways to give back to your community, then this book, the first to profile thirteen projects designed and built by architects and Habitat for Humanity, will help. Detailed plans, sections, and photographs show you how these projects came about, the strategies used by each team to approach the design and construction process, and the obstacles they overcame to realize a successful outcome. The lessons and insights, presented here will aid you, whether you’re an architect, architecture student, Habitat affiliate leader, or an affordable housing advocate.

Located all across the United States, these projects represent the full spectrum of Habitat for Humanity affiliates, from large urban affiliates to small rural programs. These cases illustrate a broad range of innovative approaches to energy performance, alternative construction strategies, and responses to site context. And each house demonstrates that design quality need not fall victim to the rigorous imperatives of cost, delivery, and financing.

Armando at ASSIST, Inc. in Salt Lake City, Utah

We spent the day at ASSIST, Inc. learning about accessibility and critical home repair from the experts! ASSIST, Inc. is a community design center that has been in the field for around forty years, so they are a great resource for Epicenter right here in Utah. Thanks to David Woodman for hosting us, sharing resources, taking us on home visits, and inspiring us through years of great work.

Ding and Dang Canyons: soon to appear on the next set of day trip brochures!


Dang, Utah! (.info)

As I watch from afar this year’s Melon Days in Green River, Utah, I took the time to compile a little video of a GoPro time lapse from my last Great Hike in Utah.

Ding and Dang Canyons are a series of slot canyons in the San Rafael Swell (full of many amazing slots). 45 minutes south west of Green River, Utah, take a left instead of the right at Goblin Valley. I was wearing the GoPro head harness and set the photos at every 30 seconds. 

Ashley & Armando

Hooray! Melon Days 2012 was great! Photos of the First Annual Seed Spittin’ Contest, the parade, and our booth coming soon!!!

For the last three weeks Raphael Griswold has been making artwork in Green River, Utah as a Frontier Fellow at the Epicenter. In the next few days, he will be finishing a number of sculptures, drawings, site-specific objects, digital works, and essays. His goal is to encourage and redirect interaction with specially selected locations, chosen for their historic and aesthetic properties. He has been creating an online resource for this work at: http://cathedralofviewing.tumblr.com/

Tonight, at the close of his residency, he will have an exhibition of his work, CATHEDRAL OF VIEWING, at the Epicenter as well as at several outdoor locations around Green River. There will be an opening with special events at 8:00 PM on Saturday, September 15 at the Epicenter, 180 South Broadway, Green River, Utah. We hope you can join us in person, or follow his progress online.

Melon Days 2012 Schedule

Friday, September 14th
9am —- Three Man Golf Scramble (Green River Gold Course)
12pm - Dark —- Vendors (O.K. Anderson City Park)
All Evening —- Softball Games (City Ball Fields)
7pm —- Melon Queen Pageant (Green River High School)
7:30pm —- Square Dancing (O.K. Anderson City Park)

Saturday, September 15th
All Day —- Vendors (O.K. Anderson City Park)
All Day —- Softball Games (City Ball Fields)
All Day —- Free Watermelon from local melon growers (O.K. Anderson City Park)
7am —- 5K Melon Walk/Run (starts at the High School)
7-9am —- Breakfast by the Scouts (O.K. Anderson City Park Pavilion)
7:30am —- 4 on 4 Volleyball Registration (Green River High School fields)
9am —- 4 on 4 Volleyball Games (Green River High School fields)
10am —- Parade (Main Street)
3pm —- Duck Races (on the Green River)
6:30 - 7:30pm —- Charley Jenkins (O.K. Anderson City Park)
8pm —- Square Dancing (O.K. Anderson City Park Pavilion)
8pm—- Cathedral of Viewing (Epicenter)


There’s a Seed Spittin’ Contest tonight at the Park sponsored by the Green River Business Group (aka “Potluck”) and Epicenter. The contest takes place during dinner and before the movie. See ya there!

First Place Prize: A Cleveland golf baseball cap (courtesy of the Green River State Park & Golf Course) and a gift certificate for two free burgers at Ray’s Tavern!

Second Place Prize: A Robber’s Roost Motel baseball cap (courtesy of the Robber’s Roost Motel) and a gift certificate for one free meal at the West Wind’s Restaurant!

Third Place Prize: A gift certificate for the Green River Thrift Store and a Rural and Proud tote bag (courtesy of Epicenter)!

Black Pyramid video and music by Raphy Griswold (Frontier Fellow)


There is a giant black pyramid in Green River, UT next to I-70 and across the river from “downtown”, just a short distance from the John Wesley Powell River Museum in the village of Elgin. The pyramid is a tomb, into which have been dumped 382,000 CUBIC YARDS of contaminated soil and other materials, the waste from a uranium processing mill - still standing - next to where the pyramid is. I call the pyramid a tomb because like most other pyramids it is a permanent repository for specific materials. This pyramid entombs - or predicts the entombment - of the Atomic Age in general. Like other pyramids, it is a tomb but also a monument.


We’re on Instagram, and our handle is ruralandproud. Now you know. Also, we recently changed our Twitter handle to ruralandproud (instead of epi_center). We’re so Rural and Proud it hurts.

Ashley Ross and the Crystal Geyser

We’ve been in Green River for almost four years now, and none of us have seen a full eruption (rumored to be sixty-feet high in its prime). So, our plan was to camp at the geyser, and we would have to see it happen, right? Unfortunately, no. Upon arrival (7pm), the geyser was erupting, but only reaching about ten-feet high. Through the night and into the morning, the geyser rumbled, bubbled, and released plenty of odors. For a full twelve hours, there was a steady flow of water traveling down the travertine terraces, but no major eruption. C’est la vie. We’ll try again sometime soon. But, it makes us question the geyser’s life span. Is she dying? Is it clogged? Are the eruptions happening underground? We highly recommend a trip to Crystal Geyser if you’re in the region, especially since it may not exist forever.

Crystal Geyser
A rare cold water geyser, the Crystal Geyser gets its power from carbon dioxide. The geyser erupts sporadically (every 12-16 hours) and can last for over an hour. It’s said that the geyser can shoot up to sixty-feet high, but typically is seen to erupt around twenty-feet high. To get to the Crystal Geyser, begin at the intersection of Main Street and Hastings Road driving east. Cross over Interstate 70 (do not get on the interstate) and turn left onto the frontage road. At mile 3.7, turn right onto the graded dirt road. Over the next several miles, you will pass through varied landscapes. Pass under the power lines and veer right at mile 7.2 to head west towards the Green River. After another half a mile, you’ve arrived at the Crystal Geyser. The mineralized water will not hurt you, but it is not potable. Even if you miss an eruption, the amazing mineral-formed travertine terraces are incredible to explore and view along the riverbank. Visiting this odd landscape, where the surface is wrinkled and pools of water linger, is reward enough for the short trip to the Crystal Geyser. Once you’re done exploring, return to Green River the way you came.