Letters From a Bus
April 2008: Springtime Desert
11th entry for April

Camp Life & a Supply Run to Cedar City

Hatch, UT, Day Six at Cherokee Springs Golf & RV Resort, Site: I-18

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 — Eleven Months

Monday, April 28. We enjoy a campfire and take a walk around Cherokee Springs.
When we returned from Bryce late Sunday afternoon, we sat outside with the dogs for a while.  They had been alone for a long time and needed attention.  They got themselves in trouble too.  We discovered a mess of cake crumbs on the kitchen counter.  They got on the counter and ate a row out of my flat cake where they were able to push back the tinfoil cover.  I should have stored it in the oven while we were gone.  I didn’t know they liked cake!  They rarely get in trouble so we thought this was pretty funny.  We scolded them and cut off the bitten margin on the cake.  There was still enough left for dessert.

At six I lay down and watched CBSE (east) to see the Big Brother finale.  I am a big reality TV fan.  I was pleased that Adam won because he is putting all of the 100K-prize money towards a school for autistic kids where he works.  I was also happy that the viewers voted James their favorite juror and he got 25K.  He earned it.

After our big day of sightseeing in Bryce Canyon we felt like we needed a day of rest.  We are sleeping later and getting up about 6:30 or 7:00.  With the heat left on all night and set at 50° it is cold but not too cold in the morning. 

Despite the cold outdoor temperatures in the morning, it felt warm outside when we sat in the sun.  Dennis started a fire.  I made second cups of coffee and baked croissants.  I brought out a tray with butter and jam and glasses of juice.  At 9:45 it was 43° but it felt warm in the sun.  It was fun to sit by the fire and linger over coffee and pastry.  The dogs poked around and we enjoyed the morning.  The blue sky had some high clouds but there was not much wind — so far.  It was so quiet.  There is absolutely nothing to disturb our peace here.  It is amazing. 

This was our first campfire, the morning before we went sightseeing in Bryce. There wasn't a big wind but the little breeze kept swirling in circles forcing us to frequently switch positions around our fire. The dogs played and explored and were happy to be with us. This was also our first campfire since we started living in our bus. There have been no opportunities anywhere else. 4/27/08 8:30 a.m.
This is our second campfire the morning after we visited Bryce. We have a wonderful lazy morning sipping coffee and sitting by the fire. The dogs are in seventh heaven because they are free to play in the yard and roam the range — within limits. 4/28/08 8:52 to 10:15 a.m.

At noon we took a one-hour walk.  There was a wind but not a cold, harsh wind like the other day.  It was more like a cool marine breeze — stiff but refreshing and not cold.  When we got back we sat in the sun and ate salsa and chips and Dennis called James to see how he’s doing with his radiation treatments.  I put on hot weather clothes and suntan lotion and sat in the sun for an hour, until I came in because I don’t want to burn in this high elevation sun. 

I worked on my website.  My first Zion web page is ready to upload — but I can’t.  With no Internet, I’ll have to wait until we move.  I took out the Harris Ranch pot roast and some carrots and small red potatoes and broccoli and made an excellent dinner.  There was just enough cake left over for dessert.

We take our loop walk and spot the driving range.. 4/28/08 noon to 1:00 p.m. Above the road we spot a depression filling with water. 4/28/08 noon to 1:00 p.m.
Further down Crow Loop we discover that Bandito has turned on water and is filling a pond. Is it to water the golf course? Upon our return I take a photo of the Park Host sign propped up at our site. Our spot is not reserved. Bandito just put the sign there — I think to maintain his own privacy! 4/28/08 noon to 1:00 p.m.
Left, I take a photo of the sun setting over the Markagunt Plateau. Right, I take a photo of sunset light reflected on the Pink Cliffs of the Paunsaugunt Plateau to the east. 4/28/08 8:06 p.m.

Tuesday, April 29.  We sightsee and shop in Cedar City.
The temperature was 35° — warmer than Monday morning but there was heavy cloud cover and the sun was just breaking through at 7:15 a.m.  Maybe the cloud cover makes the air warmer. 

Over coffee and leftover croissants, I downloaded over 400 photos.  They include our scenic day at Bryce so Dennis and I looked at them in the iPhoto slideshow program.  In terms of showing details in the distance and also depth perception we are astonished at how well this little camera does (Canon PowerShot A710).  Our Bryce Amphitheater photos came out surprisingly well. 

Wow!  The rest of Tuesday was arduous — a long day of shopping and errands.  We started out for Panguitch, a town 17 miles north on SR-89.  It is bigger than Hatch but not as big as Hurricane.  We discovered a grocery store there but not a major supermarket.

I had a list of odds and ends that would call for something more than a grocery store — a Wal*Mart at the very least.  For kitchen supplies I wanted a sifter, a sieve and a colander, plus two 8” round cake pans and a cake saver.  In hardware, I needed to replace my battery recharger and at the rate I’m going through batteries for the camera, I need more batteries.  I still have dog shampoo and dog treats but would have bought more if I’d seen PetSmart or some pet supply store.  I wanted birdseed and I also needed shampoo for me. 

Horrors!  We were about to run out of Starbuck’s French Roast. I needed to buy a pound of whole beans.  I needed a decent supermarket where I could buy things like cake flour.  Dennis needed to pay bills.  So he took the air card out of the router and put it in his laptop.  This he brought with us together with his notes on bills to pay over the Internet.

Dennis wanted to see new scenery and I wanted to find a bigger city.  In Panguitch, I stopped a woman coming out of the market with a basket of groceries and asked here where she goes for major supplies.  She told me to go to Cedar City by way of SR-20.  From Panguitch that is faster, so we kept going north on US-89 to SR-20, a twenty-mile cut westward to I-15.  The summit is 7,920'. Then we went south for 32 miles to Cedar City.  We left the bus at 10:30 and by the time we got to Cedar City it was going on 12:30 p.m.  Of course, by then, I was getting hungry and tired.  But it took time to get oriented in Cedar City.  We found the Cedar City Visitor Information Center.  I had a lovely talk with the lady there and I found out where to look for Wal*Mart and Starbucks.  I also found out that I could buy Topographic Maps of Utah nearby at the Bureau of Land Management, so we drove there first. 

Dennis sat in the car and paid bills on the Internet while I talked to the information people and the BLM people.  We had the dogs with us and they needed to take a walk, so we went back to the Information Center and parked.  Next door is a museum, the Iron Mission State Park, with lawns and paths. We didn't go inside but we walked the dogs around the building and looked at the old homes they have moved and are setting up there as well as a huge collection of farm equipment.

Driving north on SR-89 we approach the small town of Panguitch. It is a cloudy day. Mt. Dutton is in the distance. 4/29/08 11:14 a.m. In Cedar City we walk the dogs around the grounds of Iron Mission State Park. It is very windy and Dennis is hanging onto his hat. 4/29/08 1:30 p.m.
Cherry blossoms are out in Cedar City. Spring follows us. We had Cherry Blossoms in the Bay Area in February. 4/29/08 11:14 a.m. I can't remember the last time I saw dandelions. They spring up everywhere on the lawns around here. I am happy to see them 4/29/08 11:14 a.m.
We walk by log cabins that are being set up on the grounds of the museum. I assume they are old and have been relocated. 4/29/08 1:31 p..m. The dogs are missing collars because I was combing them and we forgot their extended leashes! Dennis walks Margot on a short leash with the handle loop around her neck. 4/29/08 1:32 p..m.
We looked at Harrows and Furrows. 4/29/08 1:37 p..m. We looked at Earthmovers and Scrapers and Hay Balers and Wheels. 4/29/08 1:38 p..m.

We looked at the Disk Harrow and the Spike Tooth Harrow, both designed to cut and turn soil. We saw a Spring Tooth Harrow that cultivates fields by digging out grasses and weeds without harming crops and we saw Furrows that create garden rows. We looked at Fresno and flat scrapers that haul and dump soil while leveling roadways and ditches. Wheeled scrapers had the advantage of lifting their load off the ground, thus being ble to move a greater payload with ease. We read about the Snow Tank.

"Brought to the area by Gronway Parry in the late 1940's, the tank proved a popular and valuable resource for local farmers and outdoor enthusiasts. One of only two in existence and towing its companion sled, the tank hauled skiers, horses, and during the brutal blizzard of 1948-49 carried hay to the starving cattle in the Cedar Valley. Powered by a large gasoline engine the tank proved well suited for the Iron County winters and became a familiar sight on Cedar Mountain."

Dennis was amazed by this old Snow Tank. Because he was raised on a farm in the Utah mountains, he immediately saw the value. 4/29/08 1:37 p..m.

After walking the dogs we drove south on Main St. to a Wal*Mart shopping center.  We didn’t see a lunch restaurant on the way so at two I was faced with shopping without having eaten all day.  This is a very bad situation for me.  I found all my stuff but by the time we were out of there fifty minutes later I felt dizzy.  Fortunately we saw an Applebee’s in the same parking lot so by three we were able to sit down in a booth and eat.  We both chose an Applebee’s “favorite” — orange chicken something.  Bits of chicken have an orange flavored fried crust, which was very sweet and slightly spicy.  We didn’t like it.  They were set over brown rice with vegetables, which sounded healthy, but somehow it didn’t work.  I am not an Applebee’s fan, but it served its purpose.  I got to rest and put something in my stomach. 

Next we went across the street to Starbucks and then we drove north on Main St. to Albertson’s where I did a big shopping to lay in supplies for our remote location.  Dennis sat in the car and finished his Internet bills.  Then he came inside and helped me finish shopping.  I bought my ingredients to make a cake from scratch as well as icing.  No more box mix and canned icing. 

It was five by the time Dennis stopped to put gas in the car and then we came home over SR-14, a more direct route.  It was 47 miles and we got back an hour after we left.  As we pulled up on the dirt road to make our turn into the RV Park we saw five Mule deer up ahead.  We went forward slowly in hopes of getting a good look at them.  They aren’t like California deer that are small and timid but yet tame.  These were huge and wild.  They took off and ran off to the horizon as soon as they saw our car approaching.  We see tracks where they go by us at night but we haven’t seen them up close as of yet.  I doubt we will.

It was terribly windy all day and it got worse in the evening.  We were back to shake, rattle and roll. 

We drove down Cedar Canyon when we made the loop around Zion almost three weeks ago.
4/29/08 5:21 p..m.
This time we are going up the canyon from 5,800' to the summit at 9,910''. It is an awesome and scary canyon — particularly going downhill. 4/29/08 5:23 p..m.
We drive east across the Markagunt Plateau passing Cedar Breaks National Monument. 4/29/08 5:38 p..m. Continuing east, Cherokee Springs is below the pink cliffs straight ahead. 4/29/08 5:56 p..m.
On the dirt road going towards Cherokee Springs RV Park, we spot deer. I tried to get a closeup of them but not much luck. It's possible they were Elk.
4/29/08 6:12 p..m.
We pull into the entrance of Cherokee Springs. There's a lot of rabbits in the corner on the right. Bandito's house is throwing a shadow to the left. The metal hangar is a good landmark that always shows from a distance. 4/29/08 6:15 p..m.

Wednesday, April 30.  We stay in camp.
I was tired from our shopping outing.  And it was very, very windy all day, so we never went out.  We did take our one-hour walk with the dogs.  To beat the wind, we walked north on the path by the hill first and then came back on the road.  But this time the wind had switched and was blowing from the south! You can't win....  I thought I’d never make it back to the bus on that open road with full exposure to a 35 – 45 mph headwind.  I was out of breath and stumbling from fatigue. 

For the rest of the day I worked on a second webpage about Hurricane and Zion.  Of course, none of it can be posted and we’re thinking about staying longer.  I also made calls to talk to family and friends as I can’t send or receive email.

On our walk we discovered that the pond is filling up. (See photo above.) Of course the dogs ran right over to the edge and got wet. 4/30/08 12:58 p..m. Next to the pond is a small metal corral and a gate to a road going up the hill. Where does it go?
4/30/08 12:58 p..m.
Near the pond we see this pile of wood. Was it a fence or a building? 4/30/08 1:02 p..m. We continue on Crow's Loop Rd. north toward the Pro Shop. It was very windy. 4/30/08 1:03 p..m.
On May Day we will get out again and take a scenic drive. We want to see more of the Paunsaugunt Plateau on the north side of Highway 12.
Elsa Walton, Cherokee Springs Golf & RV Resort, Hatch, UT, Wednesday, April 30, 2008