Utah House Passes Bill to Rename Hog Hollow Trail

10.19.2006 | 5:52 pm

Salt Lake City, UT (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) – The Utah House of Representatives met in special session today and overwhelmingly approved a measure that will rename a popular mountain biking trail in the Alpine Area.

Currently known as “Hog Hollow” the trail is to be renamed “The Hollow” when the bill becomes law. The measure is expected to pass the Senate and be signed by Governor Jon Huntsman no later than November 15.

The measure is an attempt by the Utah Legislature to end what has become one of the more bizarre chapters in recent Utah history. Once virtually unknown outside of northern Utah County, the site began attracting attention worldwide when internet savvy cycling enthusiasts wrote about it in their web logs. Some of these authors (known as ‘bloggers’) referred to the area as “Hog’s Hollow” which touched off a firestorm of debate and bickering among cycling aficionados, area educators and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Most of the bloggers were just making an innocent mistake.” stated Rep. Elden C. Nelson (R-Alpine), who authored the bill. “The real trouble began when people who knew better would deliberately goad those who are a little too uptight about spelling and punctuation marks. That’s when things got out of hand.”

The contention reached crisis proportions when a Draper resident—known only as Doug—was arrested at the Hog Hollow trailhead for brandishing what appeared to be a giant metal apostrophe and threatening bodily harm to any cyclist who dared to say “Hog’s Hollow” in his presence. “We knew we had to take action,” Nelson said, “or somebody was bound to get hurt.” Doug is also suspected of releasing several dozen wild boars into residential areas in Alpine and Draper.  He could not be reached for comment.

Ironically, this is not the first time the area has been embroiled in a struggle for its name. Early Mormon Pioneer and polygamist LaVerle Willey Hoaglund originally owned most of what is now Hog Hollow. Hoaglund, who settled in Alpine in 1849 under the direction of Brigham Young, was affectionately nicknamed ‘Hogg’ by his seventeen wives.  Personal journals of Alpine residents and most Utah County newspapers referred to the area as “Hogg Hollow” until the early twentieth century.

In 1906 Lehi schoolteacher Thelma Thistlebloom successfully mounted a campaign to rename the area Hog Hollow “as to quell the rampant ignorance and lack of refinement in the community, especially among the children who cannot spell even the simplest of words.” Three of the four representatives who voted against the present bill—LaWanna Lou Shirtlift (D-Ogden); LaVar Christiansen (R-Sandy) and DeMar Bud Bahmann (R-Cedar City)—are descendants of Hoaglund.

In an effort to end the current controversy, legislators first considered “Swine Hollow” but faced considerable resistance from Alpine residents. “Piggy Hollow” was also considered but lawmakers feared it would raise the ire of the Jim Henson Company. Though “Pig Hollow” had popular appeal and ample legislative support, it did not resolve the apostrophizing issue. “But nobody is going to muck up ‘The Hollow’ with an apostrophe,” said Nelson. “Only an idiot who’d spell ‘moron’ with an ‘a’ or write ‘loose’ when he means ‘lose’ would be stupid enough to that.”

Jeff Alexandre (R-Provo), the other lawmaker who voted against the measure, isn’t so sure. “The bill makes it clear,” said Alexandre, “that the area shall be named ‘The Hollow’ and shall be manifest in all printed form as such and without deviation. It won’t be long until a renegade blogger types The Hollow or THE HOLLOW and that whole pack of rascals will be at it again.”

PS from Fatty: Today’s fake news comes to you from "KeepYerBag." Good stuff, KYB! By the way, I’m now very glad I’m taking this break from writing; I’m finding these entries are a breath of fresh air here. If you’d like to submit something to be posted here, send it to fatty@fatcyclist.com.

PPS from Fatty: If you want to read something I wrote today, I’ve posted a new review at RandomReviewer.


  1. Comment by Unknown | 10.19.2006 | 7:01 pm

    A post worthy of the Fat Cyclist Fake News Service.  Sounds like you did a lot of fake research!  Good Job, KeepYerBag!

  2. Comment by Jsun | 10.19.2006 | 7:26 pm

    Hollowed be thy name

  3. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 10.19.2006 | 7:35 pm

    I can not begin to fathom how the politicizing of such a contentious issue has distracted all and sundry from the true issue.  Sadly a bunch of simple minded politicians have distorted the debate and turned it into some oversimplified punctuation Jihad.
    The whole saga is really about ownership and pluralism.  Hog/Hog’s/Hogs’ Hollow is an institution that needs to be heritage listed and entrusted to the care of a foundation with no political affiliations.
    A public awareness campaign would also assist with rectifying the issue.  Signage in prominent locations in the area with the correct spelling and a brief history to assist with a deeper understanding of that spelling would be a good starting point.  $12,000,000 should prove adequate during the set up stage.  As long as it is followed up with ongoing fortnightly letterbox drops within a 200 mile radius of the trailhead.

  4. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 10.19.2006 | 9:01 pm

    Dateline: Alpine, Utah
    Hog Hollow re-naming turned on its ear.
    The hotly debated re-naming of Hog Hollow to ‘The Hollow’ was infused with new controversy today when an Alpine bike mechanic, known only as Superledge found an 1897 deed to the land stuffed into the frame of an early prototype mountain bike. The deed, signed by Alpine pioneer LaVerle Willey Hoaglund leaves the area to his prized hog, Charlotte. Although the deed has been certified as authentic, local historian, Bob Bringhurst, speculates that the deed may have been a hoax perpetrated by Hoaglund to try to regain control of his 17 unruly wives by threatening to leave them nothing when he died.
                Utah State Senator Elden Nelson, who sponsored the original house bill to change the name of the area said he would rescind the bill and author a new one renaming the park Hog’s Hollow, “Although in the vernacular of most locals the area is already known as Hog’s Hollow, many resisted calling it that because clearly, it would be ridiculous to imply that a hog owned the hollow. However, now there is concrete evidence that a hog really did own the hollow, and the name change is justified.”

  5. Comment by Random Reviewer | 10.19.2006 | 9:15 pm

    This Hollow is mine, dag nabbit!
    I hereby demand y’all call it Hogg’s Hollow from this time forward or I’ll get Roscoe to come after you!

  6. Comment by mark | 10.20.2006 | 3:22 pm

    I’m just glad I was not at work when I read this. I startled my son half out of his high chair, I was laughing so hard. Between this and Fatty’s review of the terror ride mural, it has been an epic last couple of days in blog’s hollow. A truly brilliant piece of news, KYB. Congratulations on the scoop.

  7. Comment by Random Reviewer | 10.20.2006 | 4:42 pm

    that tears it. i used to ride the hog with my dog, maisey, but i’ve switched her out for a killer hog, borrowed from the set of hannibal. if i see any of you twits out there, i’m turning her loose.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.