Odds N Sods (and some strange facts about Utah; and ‘The Bull With The Big Cojones’)

Monday, 29th June

Last night we went into the casino (not really any place else to go really) and we did very well on the dollar slot at the bar; over one beer and one wine, we managed to increase our single dollar to $6! I wanted to cash the money at that point; ‘ Know when to hold em, Know when to fold em’ – that’s me – but Jan wanted to risk all.

Behind our stools were around 8 gaming tables. Some seemed to be for poker, others that mysterious game known only to American mobsters in films about Hell’s Kitchen in Jersey, New York, called ‘craps’ (no idea) and there was a roulette table. Jan kept pestering me to have a go but I am neither a game person nor a gambler. He would not let it go so we wandered over to the roulette table and asked the lady croupier how the game works. She explained it at a very fast pace – totally losing us two. And now, having taken up 10 seconds of her time, Jan decided to throw $20 at the woman – $10 for me, $10 for him. We placed our bets – the croupier waved her hand across the table saying, ‘no more bets’ and she threw the ball into the spinning thing.

Something came up – oh yes, I had put one pink chip on ‘Even’ and the number ws even – so I won one chip.

Same thing and the next winner was Jan – wow, he got a great big pile of green chips! No idea why.

Feeling flush, he started putting multiple chips onto multiple squares; I eked mine out like Missus Fagin.

Before long – Jan was bust and I won one more chip. I was, again, ready to cash in but it seemed a little peevish so I bet my last 2 chips and…… lost it all.

It was a fun experience but I don’t need to do that again 🙂

Photos were not allowed but here are a couple from passing through to the breakfast room next morning.

P1070129 DSCF6342

On our way back to our room. Jan went on yet another of his snake hunts – taking the room key with him; I had nipped to the 2nd floor of the motel to take a photo of the bike from above and one of the complex.



When I tried to get into the room – I couldn’t and had to go walking towards the desert calling his name. I heard a voice from somewhere deep in the scrub, ‘I’m here, come and get the key’; I started out but very quickly made a retreat – those damn cactus needles go right through flip-flops and are soooo painful


The casino is open, and in use, 24/7. You really don’t need to leave the casino – there are 3 restaurants, a Starbucks, a bowling alley, shops, and various other ‘helpful’ franchises.

Rooms, Monday to Friday, cost only $27. An all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet for $6.99, complimentary drinks – if you put $10 into a slot, then your drink is comped.

I was amazed at how many elderly people were in the casino – many of them pushing oxygen tanks! Of course, smoking in bars is entirely legal in Nevada.

Tuesday, 30th June

After a breakfast of fruit, we returned and packed the bike – in the car park we saw the usual mode of transport for many Harley bikers (no offense, friends, but it is true)


We were on the road by 8am. There’s a section of I-15 from Mesquite to St George, Utah that passes through the northwest corner section of Arizona

IMG_2189 IMG_2190 IMG_2197 IMG_2198 IMG_2202Riding got a little worrying in a section of road works – the lane was narrow, the wind a bit brisk and the camber of the road was unnatural for the bike – a couple of times, I thought we would ride into a ditch in the centre lane.

IMG_2224As soon as you enter Utah, the rocks become iron-rich red again; a nice change from all the bleached out desert colors in Cali and Nevada.


IMG_2236 IMG_2290


Our motel wasn’t spiffy – but it was adequate and clean; we have seen three cockroaches in our room but both were on death’s doorstep so we can assume the motel has been treated with insecticide.

It wasn’t quite as hot in Utah but it was still over 100 degrees farenheit and it was nice to get to our room and air conditioning and get out of the bike gear. And my sunburned arms were now full of itching blisters.


Once unpacked and showered, we went on the hunt for a cold drink. One block down was an interesting bar called, Baristas.

Quote from their website, ‘Barista’s was started in Summer of 2009. Restaurants in Hurricane, Utah seemed bland and boring until Barista’s Showed up.’ 

After a couple of visits to the bar, we are now aware of the controversy the bar has caused in this deeply Mormon town. This is quoted from a local newspaper, The Spectrum, March 2015


‘HURRICANE – Allegations of unscrupulous business practices and a hostile attitude toward patrons at Barista’s have angered the citizens of Hurricane, leading to a call for the restaurant to be shut down.

However, owner Stephen Ward said he is the victim of unjust persecution and harassment by residents as well as the city, claiming the city has tried to drive him out of town for years.

“They are my haters. They resent me because I’m expensive and they don’t like the way I do business,” he said. “But I’m not going anywhere and they will not put me out of business. I’ve done nothing illegal.”

A petition to the Hurricane City Council to revoke Barista’s business license was created on change.org by an anonymous user two weeks ago and had over 600 signatures as of Wednesday.

The funniest thing is, Steve had to remove his bulls cojones;

‘Residents have also taken offense to an addition Ward put on Barista’s sign earlier this month — a copper sculpture of a bull with very large genitals.

In response to the uproar and numerous complaints the city has received, Fawcett said officials are evaluating whether there are grounds to have it modified or removed.

Although Ward went through the proper channels and the sign was approved by Hurricane’s planning department, “the dimensions of certain parts of the animal don’t seem to be built the same way as in the plan that came to us,” Fawcett said.

Ward said the sign is just another excuse for the city to harass him.

“The reason they don’t like the bull is because they know it’s beautiful and amazing and it’s going to get me even more business, which it already has,” Ward said. “It has nothing to do with the genitalia. If you drive around the LaVerkin area, there’s (a business with) a horse’s weenie hanging out that’s 15 inches long. I’ve never heard anyone say anything about that. It’s not the bull; it’s me.” ‘

Steve Ward, Owner of Baristas
Steve Ward, Owner of Baristas – beware, residents of Hurricane; he is good with a chain saw.
The 'offending' bull (now castrated)
The ‘offending’ bull (now castrated – sort of)

And, to be fair, Steve has some great metal sculptures around – and plans many more

DSCF6468 DSCF6470 DSCF6471

DSCF6512 1It was the entrance to the bar that really grabbed my interest – Steve’s mother was the first person to be given permission to arrange tours of Antelope Canyon in Arizona and she has some fabulous photos of her own (she is now deceased); these are displayed in the entrance hall.

DSCF6475 DSCF6476 DSCF6488The food is, indeed, excellent and the wall art is testament to this

DSCF6498 DSCF6501Finally, a couple of odd facts about the State of Utah

  • Utah has many laws which are unique to its borders. While most states allow their grocery stores to sell a variety of alcoholic products, Utah restricts their supermarkets to only sell packaged beer. Liquor and wine can only be sold at state liquor stores.
  • The alcohol laws of Utah regulate the selling and purchasing of alcohol in the United States state of Utah and are some of the most restrictive in the United States.
  • Current Utah law sets a limit of 3.2 percent alcohol by weight (4 percent by volume) in beer sold at grocery and convenience stores and at establishments operating under a “beer only” type license, such as taverns, beer bars and some restaurants.
  • You can only have a drink in a bar as long as you have food in front of you and you cannot order another drink until your glass is empty.
  • Despite all this ‘moral restriction’ in reference to the consumption of alcohol, polygamy is commonplace. I read a great review on Yelp when looking for the nearest place we could buy a bottle of wine (a state liquor store 9 miles away, so we didn’t bother); the reviewer wrote, ‘Skip Zion National Park; THIS is the best tourist attraction in the area!!This Wal Mart serves all the families from the many nearby polygamist compounds in Colorado City, so if you want to get an eyeful of poufy-haired women in long prairie dresses shopping for industrial-sized cans of powdered meatloaf, this is your spot.It’s FASCINATING! Minivan after minivan rolls up, disgorging bevies of polygamist tots and their puffy-sleeved moms, many of them pregnant with kid #17.

    Once inside, there are shelves upon shelves of canned, powdered foods, perfect for stocking the apocalypse bunker maintained by every good Mormon mom: powdered milk, powdered Jell-O, powdered chipped beef. GROSS!

    I can’t emphasize enough how interesting this place is, from an anthropological standpoint. CHECK IT OUT!!!”

So, let us say ‘cheers’ to that with one of Steve’s micro brewery beers


Why stop at one (wife)?
Why stop at one (wife)?

That’s if for now. Panguich tomorrow for one night and then on to Torrey for three nights, including July 4th. Capitol Reef NP, here we come.

4 Replies to “Odds N Sods (and some strange facts about Utah; and ‘The Bull With The Big Cojones’)”

  1. Glad things are going well…..couldn’t quite figure out your itinerary….would have suggested the back road into St. George, but the Gorge is fairly scenic….had to laugh at the Hurricane story….former in-laws lived there….like most of Utah, it is VERY conservative.
    If you go over the mountain to Panguitch, watch for deer and sheep…..the deer will sometimes run up onto the road rather unexpectedly….only a real problem for those riders who get going too fast….
    We used to have a Guzzi rally at the fairgrounds in Panguitch, but sadly the organizer crashed and died a few years ago, so that one is no more….nice place, though….
    Best of luck on your trip….


    1. Hi Tim. Thank you for the comments and the useful advice re riding to Panguich ; good to know. Shame about the Guzzi rider 😦


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