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Here we are in Circleville, Utah, less than 800 miles from our winter home in Benson. We’re kind of anxious to get back to Benson, so we aren’t chasing down scenery or fancy points of interest. We won’t be stopping at the nearby Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands, Arches, Cedar Breaks, or Grand Canyon, although they are all within easy reach of US 89.
However, when you are driving on US 89, you can’t help finding both scenery and points of interest.
For example, the little town of Manti is perhaps the smallest community the Mormon Church has ever chosen for one of its international temples. In 1877, the local church members began quarrying oolite stone locally to build a temple. When the site was dedicated, Brigham Young, who had planned the structure, decreed that no money was to be spent for labor. Labor was donated, and construction was completed in 1888 at a cost of a million dollars for materials and furnishings. One outstanding feature of the interior is a spiral staircase, which extends to the top floor.
The temple, which we spotted when we were about five miles from town, is the tallest structure around, dominating the landscape. It is majestic close up, and visitors are invited to tour the grounds, but only church members are allowed inside the temple.
The red rock country began to show up near Richfield, only a tiny hint of what’s yet to come.
Further south, US 89 follows the Sevier River through its canyon, inviting travelers to stop and enjoy the scenery. We paused to have lunch along the Sevier.
Even further along, we came to a place we both knew from past years: the Big Rock Candy Mountain.
We identified it when we stopped to take the first pictures, then confirmed as we got closer.
HOWEVER! All is not peaches and cream. The peaches are delicious, but the cream soured in Circleville! When we arrived, we found that our phone service is not available in Circleville. So we checked the Internet, and no, no service through Verizon.
In the late afternoon, our toilet flush mechanism decided to quit working with the foot pedal (we have found a work-around for the time being). As we watched “Hello Dolly” on the DVD player, the player stopped and we can’t get it started.
And the phone cradle fell off the wall.
With the phone in it.
And I just got a mouthful of coffee grounds as I drained my morning cup. Bleccchhh!
The good news? The microwave oven worked for breakfast this morning. There’s a nice clean laundry facility in the park, and the park offers WIFI at no extra cost.
TUESDAY, 9/23 Our older daughter's birthday) – We moved on south to Kanab, Utah, and once again found scenery along the way.
The red rock formations are splendid, and they seem to invite us to change our minds about sightseeing!
Even this old custom-handmade RV was an eyecatcher.
WEDNESDAY. 9/24 – A serendipity! We were in the mood for a hamburger, and the first place we stopped at was closed, so we moved on to Big Al’s Burgers. As it happened, Big Al was celebrating twenty years in business, and on this day was selling his regular hamburgers for 20 cents each! (The day before, he had offered a 20 oz, soda for 20 cents. We got the better deal!) We each ordered two burgers, then dumped one bun each and had double burgers, 40 cents each. Who says it doesn’t pay to travel!!!
After burgers we gave in and took a drive out to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. The pictures speak for themselves pretty much.
Like White Sands National Monument, the dunes here are built from extremely fine sand blown about by the wind.
Where a plant gains a foothold, it gives a little stability to the sand, and soon other plants come in to further stabilize the spot. Hummocks develop, and life goes on.
In this hot country with its sand and wind, plants and animals both have had to evolve, some of them significantly, until they have become subspecies which survive here and nowhere else in the world.
THURSDAY, 9/25 – Time to move again, this time along Highway 89 to Page, AZ, near the seriously depleted Lake Powell. But we aren’t here for the lake. We added a third day to our stay here because Suzy persuaded me to take a photographer’s tour of Antelope Canyon. This in on Navajo land, and licensed and approved guides are needed. My tour will be Saturday, and it will last two and half hours.
If I get some good pictures, you’ll see them in our next posting along … Our Life on Wheels.