Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Little Vacation

A couple of weeks ago I turned off my computer. Some would call this a hiatus -- but I don't want to talk dirty. I considered it part of my vacation process. Another part of my vacation was to celebrate our wedding anniversary at a casino for a weekend to be greeted by a surprise anniversary party upon our return home. A second part of my vacation was to spend a few days in southwestern Utah.

I toured Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Kodachrome Basin State Park, and one aborted attempt at visiting the Escalante Grand Staircase. But at the moment my mind turns to Panguitch, Utah.

 Like all folks in Utah, the citizens on this small town appear to be hard working, God fearing, kind and gentle folk. I landed there exhausted after conquering the wilds of the southwestern part of that fair state. In fact I can tell you the time that I plopped on the bed in the motel room. It was 4:49 pm, give or take an hour.

You see, before I landed in Las Vegas I had wisely set my watch back two hours which adjusts for the shift from Central to Pacific time. Then I drove north clipping Arizona into Utah and had spent two days touring wonderful sites. So my watch said it was 4:49 pm when I entered that motel room. I turned on the TV to see the local news and on the corner of the screen it said 5:49 pm. Boy did they screw up. I switched to another channel and there on the screen was 5:49 pm. In my exhausted state I pondered the possible explanations for this. Either the kind people of that part of Utah were in truth idiots, or I was living in the past, or I was in the Twilight Zone. It wasn't until the next day that it occurred to me that somehow, somewhere I might have slipped into another time zone.

I figured a quick shower was in order, then I could take a little nap. Yikes, the shower had no hot water! I called the nice gentleman at the front desk who was an Indian from India whom I couldn't understand and it was obvious he couldn't understand me. While I complained about no hot water he insisted on telling me the washing machines were located behind the office. I gave up and just curled up for a nap.

I awoke at 8:30 or 9:30 that evening starving. I jumped in the car to find a restaurant and drove from one end of town to the other and found four restaurants, all closed. Aha! The fifth one, Arby's, had a sign that said it was open but when I entered they told me they were closed. The effects of starvation began to hit and I went into desperation mode. Finally I spied a gas station with a little market inside....and I frantically roared through there grabbing a loaf of bread, bologna, a package of cheese, and a jar of mayonnaise. And a bag of Fritos. Just like the Morman settlers of that fair state, when faced with adversity I made do.

I am positive that the fine folks of Panguitch are wonderful, strong and kind people, but I probably won't be visiting them again.

There are a few places that I will return to though. Zion National Park for instance -- except I will come back when I don't have to battle a zillion people all trying to do the same thing that I was. Maybe next time I can call ahead and reserve the park. Zion is a place that...well, let me show you a picture or two.

Somewhere in my wandering I stumbled a little hole in the ground called Bryce Canyon. I took a picture or two.

Now it is kind of silly having these National Parks that you flock to when I figure all of southwestern Utah should be declared a National Park. Take a look at a non-National Park picture taken just driving along the road.

Cedar City is a wonderful clean town of about 10,000 folks. This is a small town that thinks it is big with wide streets, an University, a major fine arts program, wonderful restaurants and a myriad of fine shopping opportunities. West of Cedar City....about twenty miles straight up is Cedar Breaks National Monument. You know you have gone straight up because while it might be 105 degrees in Cedar City, it will be 70 degrees in the park. Cedar Breaks is a relatively small park and blessedly uncrowded....and a wonder to behold. Take a look.

These parks are internationally famous. If you don't believe me, just stand still and listen to the patrons talking. You can't understand a word. Being as perverse as I am, my favorite park is sort of unknown and pretty much unvisited. At this park, instead of looking down to see magnificence, you are in the magnificence and you can walk around and touch and climb. Kodachrome Basin is my place -- so don't tell anyone. We need to keep it private.

I'm back home now. My computer is on. Life is back to normal....a little tired but glad to be back where I belong. The area of Utah I was in is truly awe inspiring and I highly recommend visiting.....that is, everywhere but Kodachrome Basin.


  1. Wow, those pictures are breathtaking! Sounds (and looks) like you had a great time but glad to have you back. And I promise, I won't tell a soul about Kodachrome Basin.

  2. Great post Jerry! I love photo-stories. I posted something similar to this a few months ago. Unfortunately, we couldn't get to the high places in Zion (including Cedar Breaks) because there was snow storm the night before and all the high country roads were closed. Still a good trip.

    It sounds like you had a good time despite not showering or eating...

    GREAT photos!!!

  3. Oh, my goodness, these pictures are awesome! You told your story so well, I felt like I was right there with you! Thanks so much for sharing, and I'm so very glad you were finally able to eat and shower again!!!

  4. Wonderful photos, Jerry. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit.

  5. Utah was just a little sunnier while you were here! Glad you enjoyed yourself and found something besides green jello to eal.

  6. I'm sorry to say that we lived in Colorado for decades yet never made it to Utah - and now we're on the other side of the country. So thanks for sharing the photos since I'll probably never get there!

    Glad you're back - you were missed!

  7. It's nice to have you back again. The photos are stunning - I love looking at travel photos.

  8. You're right, Jerry: Almost all of southern Utah should be a National Park. Zion is truly awe-inspiring.

    It's well worth no shower, no idea of the time, and a bologna sammich to see such natural wonders.

  9. Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. Thanks for taking us along, Jerry. TBG and I have had the same experience in these little towns. Arriving at 8pm to find that only the Sizzler is open and they have 2 very tough pieces of "meat" left... cold cereal and a 6am departure were the orderof the day. But, as with your trip, the views were worth it.

  10. I wonder how you liked your computer hiatus. I am finding mine to be kind of nice..although it is not a complete shut down like you did. I am so glad you had a wonderful trip with so many beautiful pictures to share. Thank you for stopping by my blog...I do plan on coming back...probably at summer's end. Happy Anniversary to you and your wife. It is so nice to have you back!!!

  11. Have been googling like crazy all the places you mentioned *sigh* What a trip!

    You knew that Panguitch had a library and Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP) Museum didn't you?- what more can you ask for?!*wink,wink*

    And that Bryce Canyon has American Indian ghosts- check your photos-they are said to be seen in orbs!

    Flash flooding in Zion National Park and erm, a nudist colony at Kodachrome Basin---ahhh got you on that one!!

    Off to enjoy some more armchair traveling
    Lovely to have you back!

  12. I loved Utah! So glad you enjoyed it. But the name of your favorite spot, Kodachrome--who named that, Kodak or Paul Simon? And is it like race cars and baseball stadiums (and schools, next, and maybe state capitols)? Corporate sponsored state parks? How the hell does THAT work? And where was I?

  13. Beautiful!! The southwest is a truly beautiful region. I tend to avoid it because it's so darn hot. (yes, yes, I know, it's a dry heat). We lived in Arizona for a year and then my folks lived in New Mexico for a couple of years so I've done enough sightseeing there to realize how awesome it is. If you stand quietly in those canyons you can almost hear the Native American ghosts of long ago, can't you? Or maybe that's just me and my overactive imagination.

    In any case, glad you had a fabulous time! And thanks for sharing your fantastic photos!


  14. Nancy was born in Moab just outside of Arches National Park. Her grandparents ran the Red Rock Lodge there in town; all the old cowboy stars used to stay there and knew her grandma - John Houston, John Wayne, Jack Elam and the rest. They would stay at the Red Rock when they were filming westerns back in those days.

    We visited Arches one year in July... HOT HOT HOT! We would get up at 5:00 AM to do our hiking then be out of the place by 9:00 seeking the comfort of the "swamp cooler" until evening. It's a beautiful place but did I mention HOT!

  15. They say you can see the world in New Zealand, but that sort of scenery is something it doesn't have! I would love to see all that in reality.

  16. What a grand vacation. The photos want to find me racing for the airport with a fistful of cash. I was reminded why everytime I travel I hoard food like a hamster.

    Absolutely great that you are back, in one piece and hopefully at the same weight you began at, I missed being able to read your new posts and forget about life for a while, hmm, was that a song....

  17. Um. I don't think the Mormons ate too much balogna, cheese and mayo...but I agree that you were totally roughing it.

    Those pointy red rocks sure are pretty! And...there's so MANY of them! Rocks make me think of neosporin...or drinks with lots of ice (on the rocks...get it?). But I'm imagining they frown on people drinking so close to such pointy rocks.

    I'm glad you had a good time in The Twilight Zone/Utah. But I'm glad you're home again.

  18. Oh those pics are gorgeous! Everytime hubby and I went through there He would wake me up just so I wouldn't miss it. I have always loved all the beautiful red rock formations.
    So glad you got to get away to such a lovely place and come back and share it with all of us!

  19. Absolutely lovely pics of your travels. Your post, makes one feel as if they're there with you, exciting to be sure! You've a wonderful talent for telling a story that will sweep one along while reading. Keep them coming! Welcome back, you've been sorely missed.

    Lady in L.A.

  20. Zion's one of my favorites. It not only doesn't fit in my camera, but doesn't quite fit in my eyes. Your pictures sure look more like Bryce Canyon, though. Is this another way of not telling people about Zion?

  21. Hi Jerry, just stopping in...I remember how much you liked the National Parks. You might want to pick up the August issue of Sunset magazine, it has "awe-inspiring National Parks from Maui to Montana". Hope all is well with you, your wife and family. Glad you had a good anniversary and an enjoyable trip!

  22. Jerry! The same thing happened to me and my cousin when we were out there on a road trip. Same town, too! We checked in, then drove all over, desperate for food...and we ended up getting a stale sandwich and chips at a gas station. Too funny that you suffered the same fate! I will have to send my cousin to your blog so he can relive that night. Thanks for sharing.

    Cindy. http://www.cindydyer.word

  23. A little vacation never hurts, especially when you're really tired on your daily life and needed an outlet, that's why I am pretty fortunate that I got my own car with the help of Burlington, Ontario car dealers to find the best one for me. With that, I can easily go with my family, friends, or both on a road trip!