Cannonville, Utah

Good morning, my friends. We've moved along to Cannonville this morning. It was a fairly short drive to reach the new spot. We were just five miles away and an hour too early, and so we stopped in a very small town for some lunch. While we were eating, a text message came in from the RV park asking when we thought we might check in. Probably, it was somebody's Friday (everybody's Friday, actually), and they were hoping to leave early. In any case, very friendly folks here. 

The park is nothing fancy, but nice enough. It's also an equine park, and so we'll probably walk down and visit the horses at some point over the next few days. We'll be here until Tuesday morning. We have wi-fi here, and I'm told a very weak cell signal unless we have Verizon. Thankfully, we do. So let's just see if I can upload some pictures. Fingers crossed. Aaaannnnnnnnd? It works!!!!! Yay!!!!

So, okay. Here we go. It was a beautiful drive getting here...designated scenic highways on the map from start to finish. For most of the drive, we were on Hwy 89. 

We passed through a lovely valley with a few barns.

Fall color is starting to appear on some of the trees.

Sorry for the power lines in this next image. Lines of Cottonwoods like the image below, generally indicate the presence of a river or stream.

And, sure enough...there it is.

As we approached the turn-off for Hwy 12, we started seeing more red rocks.

Hwy 12 leads to Bryce Canyon National Park. We've both been to Bryce Canyon as kids and together as adults, and so we won't visit this time around. Still, the landscape tells us the national park is nearby.

A sign indicated a tunnel ahead with a clearance of 13'6". No worries. We were well under that.

As we rode along, I had an idea we would enter two tunnels in quick succession.

I remembered traveling this road in the opposite direction, from Escalante, Utah, to Kanab some years ago.

And sure enough! Here they are. Sorry about the glare off the windshield. That's one tunnel...

Two tunnels! (Too bad The Count isn't here to continue counting.)

So, it isn't just the national park. It's the whole area, and it all looks a lot like the national park.

Continuing on...

This scenic highway is listed in my book. Today's drive will be to Panguitch, which is the "official" start of the National Scenic Byway, and so I'll guide our tour as we make our return trip today.

When we reached our final destination, nothing would do until Smitty and I took our shadow selves out for a walk. There was almost no one in the park when we arrived, and so it was smooth sailing for cats who are mindful of woofies and Mans.

We looked all around for some suitable Mew-tah grass. This stuff was not to his liking at all. It was too dry and stickery. 

We could hear horses neighing in the distance. Then, we heard Mans talking, and that was enough for us to cut short our walk.

I tried to get him to walk down this path directly behind our rig.

It leads to a wash on the other side of the trees. It's mostly dry, but there is a small stream of water flowing there.

On my way back, I took pictures of every blooming thing. My phone tells me that this is Gumweed.

It tells me this is "Mallow." I've seen mallow before in different forms. These flowers are much smaller than what I've seen in the past, but who am I to argue with my phone? (My phone is very smart.)

Of course, these have been blooming virtually everywhere this trip. Sometimes, there is just a singleton, like this one.

I like the blooming grasses too, although these can give me a bad case of hayfever.

As the afternoon wore on, more and more people arrived to fill in the empty spaces. We're packed pretty closely here, but we've seen worse. Also, our next-door neighbors have not one, but two woofies. Sadie was appalled when these two moved in. There goes the neighborhood.

For dinner last night, I tried a recipe that came down from the NYTimes while we've been traveling. We looked for fish while we were in Kanab. The only thing they had that was suitable was this Atlantic salmon. And it was good. It's super easy, and it's one of those recipes that you can put in the oven, set a timer, and then sit down. This is One-Pan Fish with Cherry Tomatoes. On the side...a pear salad. The salad is a combination of the way Mike's mom and my mom did this. It's a scoop of cottage cheese, several canned pear halves, a bit of canola mayo on top, and then some grated cheddar. It's one of Mike's favorite salads. If I'm feeling really fancy, I sprinkle some paprika on it for color. 

I'll give you the recipe for the fish right here. I didn't do any of the lemon zest, basil, nor mint at the end. I thought I had a lemon, but then couldn't find it in our tiny refrigerator. Maybe it's there, and maybe it's not. In any case, it would have been more of a decoration than anything else. We though it was fine without any of that. Also, I only made half the fish, but used all of the tomatoes. Here's the recipe if you want to give it a try. 

So that's all I have for you this morning. We have four nights here (three now). As I mentioned, today's goal is to visit the town of Panguitch, some 30 miles away. I mentioned Panguitch in yesterday's post. It has an interesting history related to quilts. I've linked to it there, and I would encourage you to read the story. From that, you'll understand why I wanted to visit. And there is a quilt shop there, which would be reason enough to visit even without the town's history.

And with that, I'll leave you to your day. I hope it's a good one. And I'm thinking of you if you're in New York City right now. Yikes! Stay safe and dry.



Good morning, my friends. We took our day off very seriously yesterday. As a result, I don't have a lot to tell you. We didn't laze the whole day away, though. Mike walked about one block to the Family Dollar store to see if he could find a few things. While he was off doing that, I did some laundry. By lunch time, we figured we'd earned the Chocolate-chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans and Dried Cherries. They're big cookies, so one each is enough. We had those with our afternoon cup of espresso.

While I was waiting for laundry and baking cookies, I took the first stitches on Block 3 for the Kittens quilt. It's still the same Smitty-in-Drag kitten, only this time, he has a turquoise ball of yarn for playing.

Of course, we all had nice long naps. Even dinner was easy. I like a dinner that can be done without a lot of stirring and monitoring, and this is one of those. This is Apricot Chicken with Almonds. It was published in our local Oregonian newspaper back in 2008, and it's a great camping recipe. No exotic ingredients and easy to put together without dirtying too many dishes. 

We almost always eat fresh vegetables. I just think they taste better. However, the produce at the grocery store here in Kanab was pretty sparse. We didn't see much that sounded good as a side dish, and so we turned our thoughts to canned and frozen. Canned green beans are pretty good, but I wanted to spruce them up a little bit. We only made half the chicken recipe, but I made the whole recipe for the apricot sauce. I added a little to the green beans, and also sprinkled them with some of the sliced almonds, and that was a pretty easy and tasty dinner.

Okay, so this is our last morning in Kanab. We'll be moving up the road just about 90 miles to Cannonville, Utah. It's a central location for visiting three sites. We've looked ahead at the weather, and decided on a schedule that makes sense. Saturday, we'll visit the town of Panguitch. It has an interesting history quilt-wise, and so I want to see it. Bonus: There's a quilt shop there.

On Sunday, we'll visit Kodachrome Basin State Park. These are both things we missed when we had to abort our previous visit to southern Utah. We'll do some hiking in Kodachrome Basin. Also on my list for hiking is a hike through Willis Creek Narrows. I love slot canyons, and this looks like an easy hike through some interesting rock formations.

So you can see there's still plenty to keep us busy as we wind down our trip. We have just a week left, but a lot to see. Our drive this morning will be short, and so we'll be killing time here, staying until check-out timet in order to arrive at the appropriate check-in time for our next stop in Cannonville. It should give me some time to work on my slow-stitching this morning.


Belly of the Dragon Trail

Good morning, my friends. I'm happy to tell you that we checked off a big bucket list item yesterday morning. When we traveled to Colorado/Arizona in 2021, we'd planned to do this hike as we ended our trip. But then, the weather turned cold, and snow started to fall. We cut short the last leg of our trip and headed for home. Still, there is much in this southwest part of Utah that I want to see, and this hike was at the tippy-top of my list.

We drove about 16 miles north of Kanab to reach the trailhead. We saw some pretty scenery along the way.

This is the sort of thing you'll see during a visit to Zion National Park.

And that isn't surprising because that's Zion over yonder there.

Eventually, we turned off onto a dirt road and traveled just a short distance to a parking lot. I walked a little farther to a spot where I could see the opening to the dragon's belly.

The trail actually started higher up from where that picture was taken. So, let's go. Please mind your manners.

There's a short scramble down some rocks to reach the cave opening. This happens to be a drainage area under the main highway. The cave is a natural formation, however, some concrete reinforcement was poured at the opening at some point. We believe this was probably to prevent more erosion of the opening.

Looking inside, it starts as a narrow passageway.

And it continued to get narrower as we went. The information I had suggested the most light was inside the cave during the early afternoon hours. We were there in the late morning, just before lunch time.

It got very dark toward the middle, and we used the flashlights on our phones to make our way. Near the middle, the passage is a little tricky. Without light, we could have stumbled over the rocky path.

There was a father and son ahead of us.

Reaching the end...maybe one-tenth of a mile on...we could see the light at the end.

Beyond the tunnel was a short trail through a red sandy wash. Wildflowers were blooming along the way.

Also, we saw this huge horsefly. It was about the size of an almond. Those things bite. We encountered them when we lived on the East Coast.

This is our old friend Rabbitbrush. It's blooming in abundance in Utah.

My phone tells me this is "Sea Rocket."

And it tells me this is Evening Primrose. 

It tells me this is Broom Snakeweed.

We met a kindly old gentleman along the trail who guessed that this is Prickly Russian Thistle. He also reminded me that I could look up flowers on my phone. Duh. So this was an interesting plant. The flowers begin as thorns, and then open. They are tiny.

Here, you can see the flowers where they've bloomed and turn the plant purple. On the right, where it is green, it is still all thorns.

Continuing through the wash a short distance, one comes to a dead end. You might see a cable there, running vertically, just left of center. I suppose if you were a more intrepid person, you might climb up or down there. Not these hikers. We turned around and headed back the way we came.

Heading back to the tunnel, we went through and out the other end. We had some giggles wondering what it said about us that we entered the mouth of the dragon, passed through its belly, and then came out the other end. One of my Facebook friends suggested it was something along the lines of a colonoscopy tour. 

Heading back, it's only dark in the very middle where neither opening can be seen. At the beginning and end, there's plenty of light.

Some of these photos were taken with my camera using flash. Some were taken with my iPhone. The phone pictures make the lighting spookier.

This image gives you a better idea what it looks like inside.

After that, we drove back into town to take care of some life business. We needed to refill one of our propane tanks, and we needed fuel. Then we did our grocery shopping for the week. There aren't many grocery stores in the little town of Kanab. We selected this one, called Glazier's. The entire side of the store was painted in a mural.

I zoomed in a little at the beginning where you can see a depiction of this store when it existed as a "trading post."

Back at the RV, I finished up block number two for the Kittens quilt. There's a lot of stitching in these, but they're fun to do.

These are the two blocks I have for this quilt so far. Sorry about the wrinkles.

Next, I'll start on block 3...this one:

I realize I'm a few days early, but I'm still making this October's goal for

I'll link up there when the party starts.

We made good on our promise to walk to a Mexican restaurant just across the way. The food was good, and we got there just ahead of the dinner rush. Sadly, they had different Mexican beers and plenty of soft drinks, but they did not have a full bar. Even their menu apologized for the lack of margaritas. Oh well. We had our dinner and then headed back to the RV for post-prandial margaritas. Smitty joined us on the veranda.

Sadie stayed in her catio. She has appurreciated the purrivacy this tree affords her. Sometimes people come up and poke fingers and try to talk to her. It's extremely rude, if you want to know the truth. She's barely visible in there, and so people don't bother her.

While we drank our margaritas, we enjoyed a pretty sunset.

Day is done.

We don't have any other plans for this stop in Kanab, and so we'll take a day off today. I'll probably spend most of my day on my slow-stitching, but I'm tempted to bake us some cookies for two. There's no telling what else we might do. It's a cute little town, and if we're feeling very energetic, we might walk into town and see what we can see. Don't count on it, however. We're not above working on our lazy skills either. Napping is always a good idea.

So, off I go. Mike is waiting for breakfast, and my stomach is growling too. Time to get started on whatever else the day holds.