Hmmmmm, for almost 3 years we have tried to keep our travel days to mid-week or Sundays but it seems we have been traveling on Fridays a fair amount the last couple months. But it’s been working so no harm no foul I guess.
Friday 10/2 we lifted our jacks and departed the Zion River RV Resort and headed out on a long 75 mile travel day LOL!! We took highway 9 into Hurricane then took Utah-59 into Arizona where it turns into AZ-389. We then followed AZ-389 to US-89 and tuned left which put us in Kanab Utah just a few miles up the road and to our new home for the next week at the Kanab RV Corral campground.
Once again we chose this route to avoid driving through the tunnel in Zion National Park. It added roughly 30 miles to our drive but once again, adding 30 miles to make it an easy travel day was well worth it.
Because it was such a short travel day we managed to hold off on our routine 9am departure that we normally do on travel days and didn’t leave until almost 10 LOL!! By that time Diane had opened and closed every door in the RV at least twice and I had walked around the rig a dozen times so we gave in and hit the road. The drive was all on 2 lane secondary roads so I was able to poke along killing more time so we didn’t arrive at Kanab to early.
Why did we decide to visit Kanab, well our friends Leesa & Gary who we met a few years ago while on the road had been coming to Kanab for a few years now and every time they hit town Leesa would post something on her Facebook page like “Home again” or “we just love this place” or “I COULD LIVE HERE!!” so we just HAD to check the place out for ourselves. Plus Leesa & Gary were in town which cinched the idea.
When I made reservations at the Kanab RV Corral I did a little name dropping and mentioned we were friends with Leesa & Gary so we ended up with a site right next to them. That will teach them to let us know where they are LOL!!!
Once we were all settled in we jumped in the Jeep and did our normal “get the lay of the land” drive around town making a stop at the visitor center to get a couple maps showing a few hikes in the area before returning home.
Kanab is a nice small town with a population of around 5000 but blossoms in the summer because of its proximity to Bryce and Zion National Parks. There are couple nice sized grocery stores and pharmacies along with restaurants to fill your needs.
Before long Leesa & Gary returned home to find they had a new neighbor and stopped in to say hi and invited us along to Leesa’s ##th Birthday Dinner at the Rockin V restaurant to which we of course said YES to. (I won’t fill in the ## Leesa, far be it for me to tell a girls age you spring chicken you LOL!!).
We all (Gary & Leesa and Gary & Sherry and us) gathered at 6 for dinner and had a great time catching up again. After all it had been a whole 3 weeks since we had seen each other in Moab LOL!! But hey, when you travel around fulltime in an RV a lot happens in 3 weeks and you never know when you will hook up again.
It must have been close to 8 by the time we all buttoned our pants back up so we could stand and leave the restaurant. A good time was had by all and it was a great start to our visit.
DAY 2, 10/3 – As luck would have it we found out when we checked in that there was a Remote Control Airshow going on!!! So after our morning routine we jumped in the Jeep, stopped and said our “see ya down the road” to Gary and Sherry who was lifting jacks and moving on that day and then headed to the airfield, the show was scheduled to start at 9am.
We have been to a few RC Airshows and some really really big ones but for a small town this one was pretty darn nice and there were some darn good pilots.
The weather was almost perfect, blue skies for the most park, little or light wind until early afternoon and once it warmed up temps in the mid 70’s.
We took our lawn chairs along and packed a lunch planning to spend the day there but there was an organization BBQing hamburgers and hotdogs so we didn’t eat anything we brought along. A burger or dog with chips and a drink for $5, not bad.
They have sort of a strange setup right now for the RC Airfield because it is shared with the municipal airport. Luckily the airport is not that busy but when a full sized plane would start its approach to land it would be announced over the loud speaker and the RV pilot would keep his plane closer or land. And the same thing would happen as a full sized would take off.
When Diane and I had our burgers we sat at a table with a member of the city council and the organizer of the RC event and he informed us that they have raised enough money to build a new RC Airfield away from the municipal airport and it should be built next year, that will be very nice for both the RC pilots and the full sized plane pilots as well as the flight controllers in the tower (not really a tower, just a room with a big window LOL!!)
When a person wants to fly a RC plane there you need to check in with the flight controller on duty so he can communicate with you and let the full sized plane pilot know there are RC planes in the air. Sort of odd but I guess it works. I plan to give it a shot some time during our visit.
Speaking of larger planes (but not much) they were offering free rides in a Cessna 182 around the valley so we signed up.
The Cessna 182 is 4 seater and was piloted by Dave who has been piloting for 55 years without incident so that was reassuring. It was actually a nice little 15 minute flight circling town and back, I mean it was free after all.
We hung around the airshow until about 2pm and called it a day, returned home, had a nap, cleaned the windshield and front of the motorhome and chilled around camp the rest of the day. Our friends Gary & Leesa had to work so we didn’t see much of them.
DAY 3, 10/4 after a leisurely start to the morning we jumped in the Jeep and headed to Johnson Canyon road for a backcountry drive. It was a pretty drive past the Vermillion, White, and Pink Cliffs of the Grand Staircase region. Johnson Canyon Road is paved for eighteen miles and then becomes dirt and gravel as it continues through Skutumpah Terrace.
One of the highlight along the way was the old Gunsmoke film set. The set is on private property but can be viewed from the road so we stopped and took a couple pictures. The place was certainly run down and in disrepair but neat looking none the less. Here is a link to a small article if you’re interested. http://movielocationsplus.com/JOHNSON.HTM
I don’t know how far we drove out that direction but eventually we decided we had gone far enough and turned around and headed back to town and then continued on out the other side for some more exploring. Actually I had a destination in mind.
The destination I mentioned was the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a no kill Sanctuary for dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses, pigs, goats, mules, sheep, burros and other wildlife. Some are ill, some have been neglected or abused, and all are homeless. But once they’re at the animal safe haven they receive everything they need, physically, emotionally and psychologically, to thrive and find good homes.
They offer guided tours but we opted to walk around a little on our own, watch a short movie and take a drive through the grounds. Even just doing that it was obvious it is a special place.
We were amazed at the Angels Rest Pet Cemetery, It is HUGE!! I had actually never seen anything like it and even though we are not wind chime fans the chimes hanging in the trees gave it a mystical feeling. Heck I would be happy to rest there when my time comes.
Here is a link in case you’re interested http://bestfriends.org/
After Best Friends we stopped at a couple small touristy spots on the way home. During the evening a pretty good storm just missed town which offered up a great lightning storm. In the middle of the night we had some pretty heavy rain that pretty much continued off and on the next day.
DAY 4, the rain we just mentioned continued throughout the day and pretty much kept us inside until evening when we went to dinner with Leesa & Gary at Escobars Mexican restaurant.
To be honest we have stayed so busy since August that a rainy day keeping us grounded didn’t hurt my feelings at all.
DAY 5, rolled around and it started as another wet day. Ok, one wet rainy day keeping us stuck inside was ok but two was starting to push it LOL!!
I went up to the visitor center to see about signing up for the lottery drawing to hike the Wave the next day but after listening to the rangers explain just how bad the road was to even get to the trail head and how after all the rains the last couple days people actually were stranded over night from attempting the trek the day before even before the last bout of rain I decided to hold off. You see if you are lucky enough to be drawn in the lottery and for whatever reason you can’t get to the trail head or make the hike you cannot sign up again for 2 weeks so I decided to hold off one day. This was the second morning I went up and backed out, it just wasn’t worth the risk in my mind.
The Wave is a very famous spot among hikers and photographers worldwide so it can be difficult to get a permit to see the Wave. We have been told that during the best months of April, May, September and October there can be over 150 people applying for the ten permits issued daily for walk in’s so odds are not all that good but worth a shot.
The rain continued until mid-afternoon so we just chilled most of the day. But as soon as the rain stopped we jumped in the Jeep and headed to a nearby trailhead only to find it was so muddy we didn’t want to hike it so we killed a little time downtown until the sun popped out and I decided it might be a good opportunity to head to the airport and get a little stick time in.
We headed home, I got the plane out and put in the Jeep and we were on our way. As I mentioned before the RC pilots share the municipal airport which is odd. Normally airports do everything they can to keep RC planes away but not here.
When we reached the airport I went inside the terminal expecting to check in with whoever was on duty but couldn’t find a sole. I walked around checking offices and calling out “Hello” but nothing. I walked outside and looked around but no one could be found. I then saw a phone number on the front door saying “for service to call this number” (the sign was a pretty substantial type sign so I assume this is common) so I called.
The person answered and I explained I was a visitor and would like to fly a RC plane at their field. He then asked if I was an AMA member, I answered yes, he then said inside the terminal is a log book where I could write down my AMA member number and sign in and gave me the gate code so I could just drive right out to the main runway and taxi areas, and again not a sole could be seen.
I will admit that it felt pretty strange to just be given access to an airfield like that but it was pretty cool to have a full sized airport at my disposal to fly in!!! And to be in a part of the country that seemed to put trust in people was refreshing.
I hadn’t flown in a few months so I had a little case of nerves but all went well and I had a pretty good time as Diane acted as my spotter in case any aircraft came in the area. I flew for about an hour before we packed up and headed home for the evening.
DAY 6, was a beautiful day with blue skies and temperatures in the upper 70’s and a light breeze. After my morning coffee I headed up to the visitor center to get in the lottery for the Wave hike once again.
Once you listen to a ranger talk about conditions and what you can expect on the back country hike you are shuffled into a room at 8:30 where you fill out a short application and are given a number for the lottery drawing.
The drawing takes place at 9am. All the balls are tossed into a small cage like used at a bingo parlor and the numbers are drawn. There were only 50 groups in the drawing so I felt we at least had a chance.
There are 10 spots available for the next day’s permits so when a number is drawn and that group has 2 people there are only 8 spots left (only 1 person per group can be in the drawing) and if the following number has 4 people in the group there are only 4 spots left and so on.
Even though our number was not picked it was sort of fun sitting through it. There was a sense of excitement in the air which actually made me chuckle at one point. It was unfortunate for us that there were a couple days of rain during our visit which cut down on the days we felt like taking a shot at the lottery but maybe next time.
After returning home we decided to take a hike on the Squaw Trail just outside of town.
It’s really a rather short hike of 2 miles round trip but the 1 mile in is all up hill and has a 800’ elevation gain during that 1 mile and is on a trail that I wouldn’t call groomed. It’s a nice trail but does have a few obstacles and is narrow in spots. On the hike down we had to use our hands in a couple spots to navigate through rocks but all in all an easy/moderate hike.
During the hike up there are some great views of Kanab and once you reach the top there are nice views looking towards Zion and the surrounding area.
At the top there is a bench where you can sit and take in the views. About then I reached into my backpack for a little snack only to find nothing!!! About that time Diane mentioned she had cleaned out my pack, WHAT!!!! It was after 12 by that time and my body seems to ask for nourishment around noon every day. I told her she was trying to kill me off by depriving my body of the needed fuel to make the hike back down and all I got in response was an evil chuckle and no denial.
After the hike we headed home for lunch and I had full intensions of making another trip to the airfield for a little more stick time but ended up taking a nap instead lol. After the nap we just hung around home and walked up to Pizza Hut for dinner because the steaks we took out had not thawed enough to BBQ. And that was it for the day pretty much.
DAY 7 and our last full day in Kanab was another beautiful day with blue skies and temps that hovered around 80 degrees and an ever so light breeze. We didn’t have any huge plans so after our morning routine we jumped in the Jeep and headed to the airport for a little more stick time while I had a chance to fly at such a convenient spot.
Once again not a soul was around but we knew the routine this time. The airport did have a little more activity however, I think two planes came in for a landing while we were there.
The pilot of this nice jet came over to talk about my RC plane and said I could take his plane up if he could fly mine LOL!! I just told him that I’m sure my plane would come back in better shape than his would and we had a little laugh before they went on their way.
After flying a little over an hour we headed home, Diane did some laundry while I started stowing things away in preparation for our next day’s travel and we made a trip to the store. The remainder of the day we just kicked back until about 5 when we went to dinner with our friends Gary & Leesa one last time before leaving town.
After dinner we gathered outside at Leesa & Gary’s to watch football but pretty much gabbed more than watched the game LOL!! Close to 9 we all figured it was chilly enough and called it a night.
We enjoyed our visit to Kanab, probably didn’t get in as much hiking as we had planned because of the weather but again to be honest I was not disappointed, Like I mentioned earlier, I enjoyed having a little down town after being so active over the last couple months.
I have a suspicion we just might stop in Kanab again some time in the future, a nice small town, some hiking we didn’t get around to and a nice new RC airfield coming in the near future all add up to another visit.
But it’s now Friday (once again I was up and around at 5am) morning and it’s again time to lift our jacks and make another move. And another huge travel day of about 75 miles it will be LOL!!
We have already booked a guided hike at another well know and protected trail for this coming Sunday so be sure to come back and check it out, it should be great!!
We will try our best once again to hang around until 10 instead of our normal 9am departure so we don’t arrive at our next stop to early but I won’t hold my breath.
We will be in our next spot for 4 days and I have read that internet service is spotty so we probably won’t be touching back for a few days.