Roads less Traveled

A few weeks ago I made my last in person visit to see a few clients I have down in southern Utah — Kanab and St. George.  Months ago, I had originally scheduled this client trip to coincide with a car show down in Las Vegas that my friends and I had wanted to attend. Unfortunately, the trip was starting right at the very beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak here.

I got nervous with Las Vegas being such a large tourist mecca and cancelled my hotel there. About two days later the show was cancelled as Las Vegas began to shut down. My clients were still up for the visits however.  Southwestern Utah is quite far removed from the masses of Las Vegas, so we all felt safe about the visits

Marysville Rocks
This is just south of Maryvale, Utah on US 89.  I took this photo last July.

Those who have followed my blog for awhile know that I am not a fan of the interstate highway. It’s too crowded; people drive at ridiculous speeds, and follow too closely. It’s just a stressful experience. So, I had planned to take the two laners, mainly US 89 down to Kanab, my first destination.

Closely watching the weather (spring in Utah can be anything from snow storms to warm and sunny), I decided to take my trusty Ram 2500 truck with 4 wheel drive and great winter tires. My plans got changed. Eight miles from home, the dreaded “check engine” light suddenly popped on. Crap! (I really said much worse.) I turned around and headed home. Not wanting to disappoint my clients, I quickly moved everything from my truck to my high performance sports car — rear wheel drive with high performance summer tires, not rated for temperatures below 45°F (7°C). This was iffy, but I thought I would miss the storms given the weather forecasts.

The burger joint in Salina. I’ll have to remember this place. The people were great and the food was amazing.  (Taken with my Samsung Galaxy S9+)

The drive down to Kanab was beautiful. I stopped for lunch at a little drive-in burger place in Salina, Utah. Wow, that was one of the best burgers I’ve had! Experiencing the local culture is always one of the things I most enjoy about travel.

This is near Marysvale, Utah south of Salina on US 89. The mountains here have these odd yellow deposits; sulfur I imagine. (Taken with my Samsung Galaxy S9+)

Having lost a little over an hour of travel time due to the truck, I didn’t take very many photos on the way to Kanab as I was supposed to meet my clients around 4 pm. The photos I did take were on my phone, and they aren’t quite as nice as with my Nikon.

Further south along US 89 I took a break in a little town known as Panguitch. This is a stopping off point for folks heading to Bryce Canyon National Park or Cedar Breaks National Monument in southern Utah.

Heading into Panguitch, Utah on its main street. (Taken with my Samsung Galaxy S9+)

While there I snapped a few photos as I was walking around getting myself refreshed.

Another shot in Panguitch looking north up US 89. As you can see, here in southern Utah, there were still people carrying on with life as normal. (Taken with my Samsung Galaxy S9+)

As I proceeded southward toward Kanab on US 89, I finally really relaxed as I knew I had plenty of time to make my meeting. Down the road I finally reached a little town called Orderville. Yes, that’s spelled correctly. I decided to make a pit stop there and get a quick drink as well.

I saw this cute little shop in Orderville across from the gas station. Life in these little towns is so far removed from life in the Salt Lake City metro area. Even as of a couple of days ago, there were still no Coronavirus cases in this part of the state. (Taken with my Samsung Galaxy S9+)

Once I made it to Kanab, I had arranged to drop off a good supply of Rajah’s leftover prescription cat food to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and then I checked into my hotel. So, with all of that there wasn’t really time for photographs. But, here are a couple of shots I took last summer while in town.

The Parry Hotel. This is one of the oldest hotels in Kanab. During the heyday of the big western movies, many movie stars stayed in this hotel during filming.
Angel Canyon just north of Kanab. This is the home of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the largest no kill animal shelter in the United States.

After a wonderful evening spent with my clients, I woke up to a gentle rain in Kanab, but managed to get the car packed between the cloudbursts that came after breakfast. (I brought oatmeal and juices in small bottles to be extra careful about virus exposure.)

Off I went toward through the cold morning rain toward St. George via Fredonia, Arizona. In Fredonia I take left onto west Arizona 389 back toward Utah. For those who are history buffs, the route goes right through Colorado City, a big polygamy settlement on the Arizona/Utah border. That is the town that had been run by Warren Jeffs who is now in prison on numerous child rape charges and other related matters.

Looking back eastward toward Fredonia from AZ 389 near Pipe Spring National Monument, an old pioneer settlement.  As you can see, the storm was moving rapidly.

Anyway, I had been dodging a rain/snow storm for many miles, but I did manage to get a few shots here.

The sun was trying to shine a little on the redrock, and as you can see the storm was bearing down. These cliffs are just west of Pipe Spring National Monument.

By the time I hit Colorado City it was snowing, but the temperature was holding steady just a few degrees above freezing. Boy was I really wishing for my truck with the winter tires. Well, the road finally began to descend into the greater St. George area west of Hurricane (pronounced hurricun here in Utah), and the snow had turned back to rain. Whew!

St. George was beautiful, and the rains subsided for the day. The client meeting went well that afternoon and evening. I was supposed to have had another meeting the next morning, but the weather reports looked ominous for Friday – the day I was supposed to drive home.

So, I called and explained things to my client, and made a run for home on Thursday morning.  She was quite understanding given the circumstances

I found this old homestead on the road between Cedar City and Milford. Still chasing storms, or maybe they were chasing me. But what great skies!

The route from St. George to my home is quite mountainous, so I found an alternate westerly route northward from Cedar City. I took UT 130 and UT 21 north out of Cedar City to Milford, Utah, a little town in the southwest Utah desert.  This area of the state is extremely remote with very little traffic and few settlements.

I spotted this old water tower in Milford as I was coming into town and had to get a shot before I left. More storm clouds and more snow later.

From Milford, I took UT 257 north to Delta, and from there US 6 to Eureka, an old mining town, and then local routes home.  It’s a little over 75 miles (121 kilometers) from Milford to Delta with nothing in between. The rest of the trip went well other than some sphincter tightening moments of snow between Milford and Delta.

The Road - Delta BW wp
I just love this in black and white.  I think it captures the intense mood of those fierce spring storms better than the color version.  I took this not far north of Delta, Utah on US 6.

Friday, I found out the poor truck had a defective computer that was a rather spendy repair, but now she is better than ever.

Here’s a shot of my ride for this trip. For the car folks out there, this is a story for another day.

Parked in Milford while I was photographing the water tower. Now you know why I was nervous about the snow.

Hopefully, you enjoyed my virtual tour of the two lane roads of Utah. Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting my blog. Drop me a note with questions or comments.