I was up early, and had the bike packed and was on the road by 0800. It was still abnormally cold so I put a thick Helly Shirt on. I took the scenic local byway, 132 South.
Initially the ride was among grey slate & mud hills, but I did pass a couple of nice lakes that I got piccys of. Eventually the canyon opens into a huge wide plain, with mountains on either side and the plain was covered in farms & houses, so it did not make for much in the way of scenic views.
I passed through a couple of smaller towns, with no motels, but Ephraim was only 37 miles away. I found the Iron Horse Motel, just across from Wall-Mart. The line of rooms actually looked ok, but across the gravel forecourt, the office was set in a rather shabby mobile home thing. The door was wood with no glass, and the front windows were blocked off with some well worn foil reflectors. about then, in the fenced off garden, a couple of medium sized dogs appeared and started barking away. I pushed the buzzer, it had some sort of “Press for Service ” note attached to it. Well I pressed it and didn’t hear a thing, so I didn’t know if the thing worked or not, but figured the dogs barking would get some response. But no, by then I realized that there were no vehicles at the rooms, nor any clients. So I took off.
I passed 2 more motels, and both were evidently closed down. Well, at the end of the town, there was a motel, one of those 3 storey buildings with one front door and one back door, so I passed on that. We have always favoured the old ” drive up to your door ” type. It makes it easier to offload the bike, and usually nobody moans if you wash the bike, as long as you do not use the motel facecloths to do it. So I carried on down the road and got to Manti some 7 miles further on. Yes there were a couple of great motels, just what I was looking for. Unfortunately, the Mormon Temple, Is holding its yearly Mormon Miracle Pageant, over a week or so, and Mormons are piling in from all over. They offered me a tent space, but only for one night, I graciously declined the offer, as I needed to charge both my mobile phone and the camera.
Gunnison is about 15 miles further on, and I got a room for one night, again due to bookings for the Mormon Pageant.
In a way I am glad that I have to move on, there are no bars in town, there is a Subway sandwich shop, and a Chinese Buffet. I passed on that and went into the market, where there was a deli, where you could sit and eat inside. Happily I found Chicken thighs that had not been done in batter or breadcrumbs then deep fried, no these came off the grill with only a light garlic seasoning, so I had some of them and a small pot of potato salad & half a pint of milk. But they sell beer! ‘To Go’ so I grabbed a six pack of Amber Bock and walked back to the motel, where I started on this article, well actually I finished it, and was just about to copy & paste it when the mouse somehow caught on my papers, and the whole page just went blank. I only recently downloaded the programme, it is supposed to be the update of Open Office by Sun Micro, now taken over by someone else. I couldn’t find an Auto Save anywhere, but it didn.t bother me , as nothing much could go wrong! WRONG, there were no saved drafts or anything like that, the whole page was wiped clean. Anyway So I am now writing this straight as an email.
Most of you have probably seen the strange advert thing, where people buy a fiberglass dog or whatever, then proceed to paint it with logos or whatever. I have never understood what they were supposed to be good for, apart from being something else for yobs to vandalize on the way home from the bar. Well they obviously had that idea here in Gunnison, but they were done on a budget! Yes they are cut out of plywood, and wired to various things around the town, one thriving shop, had 3, all the rest, strangely enough, were grouped around what looks to be a derelict Garage
Across the street from my motel, there is an open area that is going to be a park, around a clock tower. Apparently that area was a petrol station and convenience store, until the underground tank rusted and dumped 20 000 gallons of petrol into the underground water rivulets, this motel was not affected as it is higher up the slope., but a lot of people had their water contaminated, they had pumps drilled into the ground, pumping away for 3 years, to get rid of it all. Obviously with the soil contaminated nothing can be built on it , and as it would cost to much to clean it up. they turned the plot into a park with a clock tower arriving some day soon.
One thing that is rather impressive is the restored theater. I just could not get a decent piccy without pick ups parked in front of it.
Right, it is getting close to 10pm here, and I need to look at the map & see what to do next. Kanab is only 170 odd miles away, so I will do some online motel availability tests, before charging off, and finding that the same sort of thing is going on down there, with no rooms available. If I do not update for a while, then you will know I had to dig out the tent & sleeping bag somewhere.
Take Care Out There