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Kanab, Utah

Louise Speaks:  Day 9:  Well our Utah trip is almost over so we are heading south and heading home.  We did find a few quirky things to see on the way home, but interesting as well.  Turns out Kanab, Utah is a cute town that you could spend a few days in.  But it was the drive to Kanab that we found the “Quirky” things.

100_8821The first stop was the Mysterious Concrete Totem Pole.  It is right along the highway behind a gated fence.  Apparently at one time it was a roadside stop as there is a pull off space off the highway and there are picnic tables behind the fence.  Something must have happened to have it fenced off now.  We actually drove by it the first time, but if you’re looking for it, it is pretty easy to spot.

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Just a mile or so up the highway from the Totem Pole is the Moqui Cave.  Moqui Cave is located just five and a half miles north of Kanab on Highway 89, and is a museum of artifacts, fossils and history, depicting life in southern Utah spanning the centuries.  The cave’s history is as interesting as its artifacts.  A cool room in the back once housed a fully operational tavern, where those wanting to imbibe could hide their “devil’s brew” from prohibitionists.  The late Garth and Laura Chamberlain purchased the cave in 1951, rescuing it from years of disuse.  The Chamberlains, along with their five children who helped operate the cave, worked hard at making Moqui Cave a first class tourist attraction. That same goal has been continued today by Garth’s son and daughter-in-law, Lex and Lee Ann Chamberlain who live in Kanab.  Your imagination will be piqued when you enter the cool sandstone cave and see the large collection of dinosaur tracks that once 100_8825inhabited the area.  The cave also boasts one of the largest fluorescent and fossil mineral displays in the U.S.   Moqui Cave also has a gift store in a side sandstone chamber which features items for purchase, including Indian arts and crafts, kachina dolls, rugs, pottery and turquoise. We didn’t pay for the tour but we did visit the gift shop and were able to see the inside of the cave.  We were also told this was the location of many old films, as we found out later, the entire area of Kanab is knick named “Little Hollywood.

100_8831Finally we approached the small, quaint town of Kanab.  Once in town we could tell why Kanab is known as “Little Hollywood”.  It has several spots of actually movie sets.  Our first step was known as “Frontier Movie Town”.  It is a museum and gift shop that continues outside.  Behind the museum were some old movie sets.  When I say old I don’t only mean old movies or TV shows but old sets.  They were not even recognizable.  They were just facades and it looked like an old town or old parts of buildings…not a true movie set.

100_8836Back in town, we had to track down the “Worlds Largest Shopping Cart”.  We were told that it was in the Honey Marketplace parking lot.  It is actually right on the curbside on the street, and it is HUGE!  They turned it into a place to display plants and they set it right next to a normal size shopping cart so that you can see the difference in size.

100_8840While at the store we decided to get a few things and right at the door to the store is a talking truck.  It is so cute.  It looks like out of the movie cars except it talks.  It announces store specials, nutritional facts and it just welcomes you as you enter the store.

We also found the best RV park right in Kanab.  It had the best cable channels and the fastest internet that we had on the whole trip.  They had a community dog that loved to come over and visit Gracie.  Because today was a short day, it was nice to have an early day and be at a great RV park.

All in all I would rate the town of Kanab an A.  It’s a great town with lots to see and lots to do.  I don’t think I could spend a week here but I could definitely spend a few days here and have many things to keep me busy.

Thelma Speaks:

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Zion National Park, Zion, Utah

100_8745Louise Speaks:  Day 8:  We started the day with a few RV problems.  As we parked last night we had the ceiling vent open and it came in contact with a tree and broke off.  So before we left we wanted to have the vent at least taped down so that if it rained it wouldn’t come inside.  First problem, we don’t have a ladder on the back of the RV so getting on top of the roof was going to be a problem.  But, lucky for us, the RV park we stayed at last night is adjacent to the Quality Inn Motel so they have a maintenance dept and the guys were more than willing to help us…and they had a tall enough ladder.  So once the vent was taken care of it was off to Zion.

100_8776Next obstacle, you are not allowed to drive through the park of Zion, you must take the scenic shuttle.  Of course we have Gracie with us and no pets are allowed on the shuttle.  So we have to trust that Gracie will be okay being left in the RV while we take the hour and half scenic shuttle tour.

We board the shuttle to find out there are 8 stops and you can get on an off and stay at each viewpoint as long as you’d like.  The shuttles come by about every 10 minutes.  So off we went.

To me….and it is my opinion, but I was not impressed with Zion.  There were huge rock formations, but they were just rocks.  It was like a huge mountain, but again I’m from Arizona so seeing mountain ranges is not that impressive.  We did stop at all the stops and take our pictures and then it was back on the shuttle.

100_8796The one stop that was interesting was “Angels Landing”.  It is called that because the top is supposed to be so high that only an angel could land there.  What is interesting is that you can actually hike to the top.  And if a hiker is wearing white you can actually see a spot at the top of the mountain.  The trail to Angels Landing is 2.4 miles.  It begins at the Grotto drop off point one of the park’s shuttle stops.  thIt roughly follows the path of the Virgin River for some time, slowly gaining elevation in sandy terrain.  As the trail gets steeper and leaves behind the river, it becomes paved.  After a series of steep switchbacks, the trail goes through the area between Angels Landing and the Zion Canyon that is a gradual ascent.  Walter’s Wiggles, is a serious of 21 steep th1switchbacks, and are the last hurdle before Scout Lookout. Scout Lookout is generally the turnaround point for those who are unwilling to make the final summit push to the top of Angels Landing.  The last half-mile of the trail is strenuous and littered with sharp drop offs and narrow paths.  Chains to grip are provided for portions of the last half-mile to the top th2which tops out at 5,790 feet.  Footing can be slippery even when the rock is dry.  Unevenly surfaced steps are cut into the rock with major cliff drop offs on both sides.   The National Park Service website officially recognizes five fatalities where suspicious activity was involved along Angels Landing, however other deaths have been reported.  I’ve copied the pictures from a web site to give you an idea…there is no way I am doing this hike.

100_8785One of the stops on the shuttle was actually one of the recommended stops in Patricia’s book, “1000 Places To See Before You Die.” the Zion Lodge.  If you are a guest at the lodge you are given a special pass so that you can go to the lodge without having to take the scenic shuttle, but you cannot just drive to the lodge without this pass.  The lodge is literally blended into the mountain.  Very similar to Bryce, the lodge is painted to match and blend into the mountains.  Like with any lodge in the woods it is very rustic with log furniture and of course a huge wood burning fireplace.

100_8792Also inside the lodge and in Patricia’s book is the Red Rock Grill.  The staff was wonderful and the smells coming from the dining room were wonderful.  Turns out the restaurant and the lodge were closing in just 3 days for the winter, but today it was filled with people and the setting was breathtaking.  Eating lunch on the patio with the mountains in the background was just like being in a painting.

100_8759Once we were done with the scenic shuttle it was back to the RV and Gracie and then on with our day.  However, to get out of Zion we still have to be escorted through the tunnel.  Going up the hill to the tunnel seemed much easier and quicker than coming down the hill from the tunnel.  The reason for the escort is because of the height of the RV we have to drive right down the center of the tunnel, where normally it is a two lane road.  Obviously we made it and once we were out of the tunnel our campsite for the night was just outside the park so it was an early day for us.

Like I had said earlier, it’s not that Zion isn’t impressive, it’s just that it wasn’t that impressive to me.  That being said I would give Zion a C rating.  It is impressive, but nothing like Bryce.

AM…802

Thelma Speaks:


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On Our Way to Zion, Utah

100_8714Louise Speaks:  Day 7 Con’t:  From Bryce, we headed to Zion, however there were a few stops and a few obstacles.  First stop was another hidden gem…Red Canyon State Park.  Now again, being from Arizona and having Sedona in our back yard red rocks don’t really impress me, but this was different.  In this case it’s not about the red rocks but more about the formations and what they have done with these red mountains.  Today especially since it has been raining, the red rock, or sand is deep and light at the same time.

100_8720Red Canyon is part of the Dixie National Forest and is divided into four areas with Red Canyon being the most diverse.  It is near Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  The red sandstones will grab your attention as you enter Red Canyon.  This is not what you expect to see in a National Forest.  Red Canyon hoodoos are unique in appearance and organization from those of nearby Bryce Canyon and Cedar Breaks.  In Red Canyon the numerous red hoodoos line the road.   You might be asking, “what is a hoodoo?  Well Hoodoos are tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and broken lands.  Like in Bryce they are usually in a canyon, but here in Red Canyon State Park, they just line the roads.  It gives you a feeling that there are people greeting you along the highway.

100_8712We also had a few surprises along the road. For example, the road goes through the mountain. That means they had to cut out tunnels, not once by twice. Now remember we are in an RV so height and width are always a concern.  But the first tunnel looked much larger than the one on Route 66 (to be talked about later) and we made that one, so this first tunnel seemed easy.  The second one looked much shorter, but we hung on and drove through with no obstruction. It was a relief however once we were on the other side.

100_8727Continuing on our journey, we come across a Buffalo Ranch where you can just pull over and see the buffaloes, so of course we do.  Turns out they have chickens roaming the grounds, one who has just had baby chicks, a few hens and roosters and a field of beautiful horses.  The Buffaloes is what caught our attention, but after a few pictures and lots of smells, we were on our way.

We arrived at Zion National Park, only to discover that because we are in an RV we need to buy a tunnel escort pass.  Seems like Zion has other tunnels to deal with and due to our height we have to be escorted through.  So okay, we buy the tunnel pass and go to the visitors center.  Then we discover that all of Zions scenic routes are done by shuttle and there is a time restriction of when we can go through the tunnel.  Also our camp reservation for tonight is on the OTHER side of the tunnel.
So due to the time factor, we make the decision to change tonight’s reservation for tomorrow night, find a campsite on this side of the tunnel for tonight, and visit the “real” Zion National Park tomorrow.  So for today other than Bryce, and the Red Rocks we haven’t seen much of the sights.  Really looking forward to tomorrow.

Thelma Speaks: