Monday, 25 October 2010

Mormons, the Snow Canyon and 18,000 miles

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I didn’t have a National Park to go see today. I have got used to riding to such parks and adopting a tourist approach of following the signposts and stopping at most of the designated overlooks. I couldn’t do that on day 121 and I found that quite refreshing.

I found a small lake hidden away behind some trees. It just caught my eye as I rode past, so I turned around and went back to check it out. I think it was near Kanab in Utah, near the border with Arizona. I really liked the reflection of the trees in the water....


























I skipped breakfast this morning and so I was getting hungry. I rode through the Kanab Indian Reservation, but didn’t find anywhere to eat and after some time, I saw that Colorado City was ahead, which sounded as if it would have places to eat. It didn’t, but it was very interesting. The first thing that struck me about this city was its lack of paved roads. I rode through the city more still looking for somewhere to eat and I saw a gathering of women all dressed in long plain dresses and then I realised where I was. I was in Hildale and I had read about this place, a centre for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and a place where polygamy is practiced.

I wanted to stop and talk to some people, but I had an uneasy feeling about the town. Riding a motorbike, I was obviously an outsider and I felt unwanted in this place where just about everybody stopped what they were doing and stared as I rode passed. I didn’t stop the bike until I reached the base of adjacent mountains at a placed called Maxwell Park. I parked the Leading Ladies and while I was getting my camera out of my saddlebags I noticed an all female group having a picnic. Again I felt as if I was intruding and I could tell they were talking about me, so I gave them a wave and walked toward though the park. Only the eldest woman waved back.

I decided it was probably best not to take any pictures of anybody so I photographed the mountain....




















Finding no place to eat and very few other shops, I soon left Hildale and Colorado City, feeling disappointed that I hadn't stopped and talked to people.

Near the city of Washington in Utah, I went to see Snow Canyon. I had read about it somewhere when I was planning my route, but I couldn’t remember what was there. Well, it is a little treasure! Here are a few pictures....

He view from the top, looking down....




















A lava field set against the red rocks....




















A large rock outcrop....




















The Leading Ladies in Snow Canyon....




















Compared with most canyons I have seen recently, Snow Canyon is quite small, but one of the nicest as its scale is much easier to understand and take in. It is worth a visit on a sunny day.

I am not sure, but I think this is at the south western end of the Canyon....




















On Old Highway 91 between Ivins and Gunlock, I passed the 18,000 mile point of my tour, so here is the customary picture....




















Nearby in the town of Santa Clara sits this statue in the middle of a roundabout....


























Finally for today, here is a picture of myself. The picture is similar to one Sonja recently put on here blog, so I thought I would borrow the idea....

18 comments:

Charlie6 said...

nice shots Gary, liked the one of the mountain near where you found the ladies having a picnic.

re your last shot, you could caption it: A Giant amongst the canyons....

dom


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

motoroz said...

Great photos, again. Sorry you did not feel welcomed and did not stop to talk to some of the people, but I understand completely.

DCC said...

Gary:
Great shots - Love the reflections in the little lake. I think you were wise to trust your gut feelings regarding "feeling like an outsider" in a couple of those towns.

mq01 said...

ive been there, i understand the feeling and the people... another fabulous day of pics and riding gary! thank you!

FLHX_Dave said...

I grew up around there...uhhh...trust me, those people who were looking at you are not used to seeing you. What's worse is they are more "heathen" than you could ever imagine being. lol. (seriously)

Nice picts. Love the lake picture. That last one? "Look out Gary! There's a combine behind you!"

SonjaM said...

Nice shot of you in the canyon on the center line! I can't however take credit for the idea, since I 'stole' the motive from my friend Guido, and he had copied it from the Darth Peach. Who, where and when it started... remains a mystery.

So, with you being so uneasy amongst polygamists I take it that's good news for the wife ;-)

Eve said...

Great portrait Gary!!! I think it would be really cool if Jackie had that framed and sitting on your desk (or dresser) when you finally get home!!! Jackie?? What do you think!!!!
Love the Ladies at the 18,000 mile!
Ride safe Gary!

Kerri said...

super cool blog. Love your last photo. Safe travels!

bluekat said...

Interesting place to end up, Colorado City/ Hilldale. We have a friend whose grandfather was a polygamist. The friend isn't, btw. :)

I wonder what would have happened if you struck up a conversation with some of the people there. I get the feeling they aren't partial to strangers.

I really like the first picture - nice! As for the final pose, as Sonja said, it started with The Darth Peach over on advrider.com. She has a thread that is more like a blog & she has a good eye for photographic subjects. A good read.

Chris Luhman said...

Gary, love the first and last photo. Nicely done!

BeemerGirl said...

Gorgeous First picture!! The rest are good too, but I do love the brightness and still reflection in the first.

Echo what others said about Colorado City. Not to kindly to strangers. I was groaning just at the mention of the city before you even started in about your experiences. Nice that you at least had the chance to see it.

George F said...

I'm glad we finally see a picture with you in it :-) I like to put myself in the picture, one day I will look back and laugh at what I looked like just like when I see photos of me when I was in the early twenties :-) (weird clothes) Lots of bloggers just photograph the bike and the scenery.
You in the middle of the road is just about perfect, camera should have been higher to get the road behind you ;-) Great job on the pictures

Gary France said...

Charlie6 – I find it difficult to take good pictures of mountains. I think it’s because they are normally so far away and often there is a haze to cope with. I was lucky with this picture though. A giant – LOL. I know I need to lose some weight....

Oz – I really would have liked to have stopped and talked with them.

DCC – Thanks, I like that picture too. Gut feelings are nearly always right!

mq01 – Thanks. I wish I had felt better about those towns. It is a shame I didn’t get to learn more about the people and their way of life.

Dave – I did feel like hundreds of eyes were watching me! Luckily there were no combines....

Sonja – I think we should arrange a “photo on the centreline day” for all the bloggers we each collectively know so they all take a similar picture on the same day and post their own picture on their blogs. What do you think? You and I could start the ball rolling by together choosing and agreeing a date and promoting it by writing to all the bloggers we know asking them to write to all the bloggers they know and so on.... If you think it is a good idea, let me know and we can get our ideas together.

Gary France said...

Eve – When I first looked at the portrait picture I thought there was too much road in it, then I changed my mind and realised I liked it that way.

Kerri – Thanks for reading my blog!

bluekat – I now regret not stopping and talking to them. As you say, it would have been interesting to see what happened. I will check out Darth Peach.

Chris – Thanks!

Beemer / Lori – I like that reflection as well. It was very interesting to see Colorado City / Hildale but I wished I had the nerve to stop.

George – I know just what you mean. When I look back at some of my early pictures, I have to laugh too. I have one of me sitting on a motorbike, with hair halfway down my back.... For the last picture I just set the camera on the road, clicked the timer release, ran back and sat down. I didn’t even think about composition.....

Brian Bascle said...

Awesome photos as always. That last one of you is a killer. It should be the cover when you finally publish this blog as a hard-bound book.

Gary France said...

Brian - Thanks. It is odd, as I just plonked my point and shoot camera down on the road, hit the timer button and went and sat down. I maybe gave the shot 10 seconds of thought. Not sure about the cover though, but maybe....

Brian Bascle said...

http://www.basclecreative.com/FranceinAmerica.jpg

Gary France said...

Brian - That is very good indeed. I am still not sure about the photo though. It did make me smile and it jogged my memory about your creative skills!