Day 6: Monticello & Rocks

A long lie in and since we have a washing machine and dryer we put some clothes through.  The Mormon Temple looked quite pleasing in the early (ish) morning light.


Lunch was at the Peace Tree Juice Cafe.  Jane bought a bracelet.  I didn't.  I do still need to find a stupid holiday hat though and time is ticking.


Back home for more loafing about and then out to see some rocks with names.  First, just off  U.S. Route 191 is Church Rock.  If you remember the Home of Truth cult and the items we saw belonging to its founder Marie Ogden.  Well, Marie Ogden thought the Church Rock was the centre of the spiritual universe. 


From the Church Rock we drove to the Newspaper Rock (another day - another rock).  On the way we drove past some of the remains of the Home of Truth.  You can't roam around as it's on private property but you can see some from the road.


Newspaper Rock is 200-square-foot and contains many petroglyphs showing human, animal, material and abstract forms.   The petroglyphs were made around 2,000 years ago, left by people from the Archaic, Anasazi, Fremont, Navajo, Anglo, and Pueblo cultures.  In Navajo the rock is called "Tse' Hone'" which translates to a rock that tells a story.


Day 5: Moab to Monticello

Awake at 6 am.  Up at 7 am.  A quick breakfast and we were in the car on the way to Monticello (pronounced sello not cello).  The first stop was Ken's Lake.  Of course, we took a wrong turn and ended up going down yet another wrong road (thanks, GPS).  It took us down a gravelly path where we ended up in snakebite canyon or coyote-bite-you-leg-off underpass or wolf-chomp alley - some name like that.  After a long retrace of our steps, we found the lake.  Ken's Lake you'll be surprised to learn is named after Ken.  More specifically Ken McDougald (former Mayor of Moab).  It was the first expanse of water we've seen in a while.


From the lake, we were about fifteen minutes from 'Hole in the rock' which is more impressive than it sounds.  (Yes, the GPS took us the wrong way again.)  You weren't allowed to take photos inside the house so here's one from their website and since I was there - and to save me typing - here's what it says. "Travelers along U.S. Highway 191 in Southwestern Utah are amazed to discover this historic 5,000 square foot home which began taking shape almost a century ago by the Christensen family. What began as a small alcove for the young Christensen boys to sleep in at night grew into a man-made engineering marvel 20years in the making. A fireplace with a 65' chimney,14 rooms arranged around huge pillars and a deep bathtub built into the rock delight visitors who visit this most unusual home in the dessert. Original furnishings, Alberta's paintings, Gladys's doll collection and many of the tools used to create this home remind you of the past.

In a 12 year period Albert excavated 50,000 cubic feet of sandstone from the rock. During this time he completed his famous painting Sermon on the Mount and his sculpture of Franklin D. Roosevelt on the face of the rock above his home.

When Albert died in 1957, the home was not complete. Gladys's in keeping with his wishes & lifelong dreams continued to develop the property, opening a gift shop and giving tours of her home until she passed away in 1974. Gladys is laid to rest next to Albert in a small cove within the rock near the home."


Jane was more pleased that the Hole in the Rock contained a petting zoo, though since it had raccoons and the like which would have your hand off as quick as look at you, petting really wasn't advised.

With hands intact, we continued towards Monticello via Wilson's Arch.  Again, naming inanimate objects after people.  In this case after Joe Wilson, a local pioneer who had a cabin nearby in Dry Valley.


We'd rented a house for two nights, but check-in wasn't until three and we got into town by at twelve so we went and had a nice hand-made pizza.  Much excitement from the owners that their Coke Fridge was being swapped out for a Pepsi Fridge.  It's all go in Monticello.

Every shop window and in the back of every car is a silhouette of a bear with the hashtag; #NOMONUMENT inside.  It's protesting the move to make a piece of a land a Bureau of Land Management property.


Having a proper places to stay (with an oven - get us all fancy being trusted with 'fire') we went hunting for supplies to fill the fridge up with.  That done and with more time to kill we took a drive around town.  If there's any doubt we were still in Utah then in a town with a population of just 2,213 there were two Mormon churches AND a temple.  Well, it gives you choice I guess.  We walked into the temple but a nice guy dressed totally in white said we couldn't go into the back room as it was "secret."


We took a quick visit to the Frontier Museum which had some artefacts from Home of Truth whose remains lay out in the southeastern Utah desert and once comprised a religious colony that set out to be a post-apocalyptic utopia, formed in 1933 by a wealthy widow from New Jersey.  We'd definitely go for a visit but it's now on private land and isn't that accessible.  Boo. More interestingly than that is this painting which looks just like Keith Richards.  You're welcome.  Enjoy it.


Eventually, 3pm came round and we could get into the house.  We presume the area is pretty safe since the key is just under the doormat (or perhaps it's because the owner is an FBI agent).

We have absolutely no idea what we're doing tomorrow.  Fun times.

Here's our house.


Booking Hotels and Planning/Not Planning

It's most unlike us to book many hotels in advance but we've actually booked three hotels (well, two hotels and a house) for the first six nights.  A night in Springville, then onto Moab for three nights where we can drive out to see the ghost town at Cisco then onto stay in a house for a couple of nights in Monticello.  Then as we're meeting Jules for a photoshoot in Albuquerque we've booked a hotel near the airport for picking up duties. And finally, we've re-booked the hotel in Springville for the return flight at the end of the trip.

As with Route 66 last year we're trying to draw the line between planning so we don't get back home and realise we were ten minutes from something cool, but equally not letting serendipity taking care of things.