On Tuesday morning, we left Provo at 7 am to reach the elementary school in Circleville. Once we were finished, we headed down to Cedar City to help out with the “Evenings for Educators” event they held on SUU campus about the importance of teaching art fundamentals. On the way, we spotted a sign announcing the Big Rock Candy Mountain. We both had heard of the song, but had never even seen pictures of this location. Apparently, the song came first, and this location was given the same name later. It wasn't as large as we had imagined it might be (it's more of a foothill in comparison to most Utah mountains), but it was a beautiful site to visit.
After staying the night at Mt. Carmel, we attended the Elementary school in Orderville. We finished around noon, we had the entire afternoon to visit our sightseeing locations.
Our first stop: the home of famous artist and illustrator, Maynard Dixon. Dixon arranged a pretty dreamy set up for himself and any visiting artist friends in Mt. Carmel, complete with compact, all amenity cabin:
Bunkhouse for visitors (includes a kitchenette):
And a “Cold House,” which was for storing produce during the summer, as well as wines.
After becoming enamored by the property and wishing we could just move in, we finally pulled ourselves away to start the long drive south to Arizona. Unknown to us, park rangers were lighting prescribed fires in the area, which made for a spooky vista:
After we paid the fee to enter the park, we drove for 5 minutes tops before we saw these guys on the side of the road.
I’m not sure getting out of the car and getting so close to them was a good idea. I kept eyeing those horns and making sure there was a clear path between me and the car in case they ever felt threatened.
And then, after even more driving, we found it. The Big Hole in the Ground.
It was a surreal experience. We walked out to several lookout points around the north rim enjoying the cool breeze, and as the sun began to set, someone at another lookout point close by pulled out a trumpet and began improvising. When the sun sunk behind the horizon, he played “Taps,” and we applauded him. It was a touching experience, and we were glad to take part in it.
That night, we stayed at the Best Western hotel in Kanab, where we would visit our final school in the morning. When we went to breakfast, we ran into someone we would never have expected: Spencer Mayberry, who Rachel and I have known for years. He is also an outreach educator, but for Thanksgiving Point. We were happy to meet another POPS (Professional Outreach Programs to Schools) group out on the road. The kids love these programs, and we love visiting them.
We will be heading out to Emery this next week, so check back to read about that adventure.
Thanks for reading!!