Roadside Attractions

On Sunday, we drove from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (Jacob Lake, to be exact) in Arizona to Zion National Park.  The nearest place to Jacob lake that could qualify as an actual town, Kanab, was nearly an hour away.  Kanab has everything you need for a grand spankin’ time:

A redneck's mecca

Also on this route is  the Roadside tourist stop, Moqui Cave, built into the side of a rock, which purportedly has the largest collection of fluorescent rocks (naturally displayed under black light) in the U.S.   The story goes, too, that the original owner, Garth Chamberlain, had built a giant triceratops  head over the entrance (perfect for a roadside attraction, right?), but when he died and the family took over, they didn’t think this was classy enough, so they tore it down and made it look like a cliff dwelling. It was closed, so we didn’t have the honor of going inside, but I’m sure it’s plenty classy now.

Plenty of parking

Even the tourist traps in Utah are closed on Sundays

I found out the backstory of this place from Roadside America, which has an excellent iPhone app that lets you know about all of the weird and wacky things nearby.

The drive into Zion National Park was just as thrilling.  We ended up at the wrong park entrance, so got to pay an extra $15 to be “escorted” through a too-narrow-for-RVs tunnel, then drove down the most switchbacky switchback ever, but we got an auto tour of the entire length of the park before setting up camp, at least.

I'm sure that big rock back there has a name — they all do.

It was 100°+ in Zion the entire time we were there, so we didn’t go hiking at all and didn’t seem much of anything. (We melt in the heat).

Byron finds some shade

There were at least two people who recommended to me that we do Angel’s Landing— are you kidding me?!  These folks obviously don’t know about my vertigo. And by vertigo, I don’t just mean Acrophobia, though yeah, after the fiasco on the drive up Pike’s Peak, I finally admit I have that too — but actual, clinical Vertigo (Labyrinthitis), in which I lose balance and fall down while the entire world spins around me.  Angels Landing, which is basically a very tall fin with a trail across its ridiculously narrow peak, is not something I will be experiencing, even if we do return in more agreeable weather!


4 Responses to Roadside Attractions

  1. Fernweh
    June 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm :

    The guns and ammo sign made me choke on my lemonade with laughter. I mean really, what better way to spend an afternoon than gettin good and liquored up shootin them thar guns at rocks and stuff! hehe The restof the area looks beautiful though. :)

    • Kerri
      June 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm :

      That’s my biggest fear of staying in National Forests! Who’s out there shooting, and how much hooch have they had? It doesn’t help that I happen to be reading a horror novel right now in which the protagonist accidentally shoots a girl in a boat while he’s duck hunting…

  2. Traci
    June 21, 2012 at 12:23 am :

    I might have stayed on an extra day until Moqui cave was open so as not to miss the fluorescent rock display!
    The Roadside America app is great…we use the one designed for the Garmin GPS, and it goes “ding” whenever we drive near a site in the database.
    Love this blog design!

  3. Laura Domela
    June 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm :

    I need to get more in the habit of checking that app…I have it…and when I remember to use it we are almost always near some local wacky gems!
    My favorite hike ever is at Zion…the narrows hike. You get to hike through water much of the time, so it’s a good one to do when it’s hot. :)

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