Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rainy Day Exploration

There were a couple of days of our Spring Break week in Zion that were stormy.
One day started out windy and we wandered into town that morning to explore shops and galleries.
Rain started to pour soon after we got back to our trailer.  It dumped the rest of the day and all night.
There was still a chance of rain the next day.  That would make it dangerous to do the hike we had planned to do.  So, we decided to head out in our truck to do a little exploring.

We stopped in town for more of that awesome Cafe Soleil coffee and headed west to check out a part of Zion National Park that we'd never been to, Kolob Canyons.  It's off of the 15 freeway that runs between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.  There's a small visitor center to get info and purchase a pass to enter (if you don't already have one from the other side of the park that we were staying in).  From there, it's a very short drive before we found ourselves gasping at the beauty that was surrounding us.

The area is immense and it seems impossible to truly capture the beauty in a photo.
But, we tried.  We took a LOT of photos as we stood in the cold wind with snowflakes blowing around us.  Here's a panoramic photo taken with one of our cell phones.  If you click on the photo, it should enlarge for a better view. We want to go back there to do some hikes and maybe backpacking.
The beauty was breathtaking!

After driving through the Kolob Canyon area, we headed back to the 15 freeway and north to Cedar City.  We had lunch at a place called Costa Vida.  They had delcious, healthy Mexican food.
It turned out to be a great choice as just about everything they had could be made gluten free.
Plus, the people were friendly and the food was very good.  

After that, we drove into the older part of town to visit an antique store we've always liked.  Unfortunately, it had gone out of business. However, as we drove through town, a store caught our eye and we had to check it out. It was a farm supply store called, IFA Country Stores.  It turns out they've been around since 1923. They had a lot of fun things to look at and the people were nice too.

We enjoyed looking at everything from western wear and boots to varieties of pasture seed to camping gear and even adorable baby chicks....they had at least half a dozen varieties.
Aren't they cute?!  I miss having chickens!

On our way back to camp, we crossed over a bridge in Rockville to visit a ghost town we'd heard about, Grafton.  Even though it had rained the night before, the dirt roads weren't any problem.

Here's Grafton as we came up the dirt road...

It's a very small ghost town with only about half a dozen buildings and some of those are barns and sheds.  I thought this was one of the most interesting buildings.  It's a tiny home.

I think it's interesting that the window is right up against the doorway.

They allow visitors to go inside.  I was hesitant but hubby coaxed me in.
The ceiling was very low and it was a little creepy to me.
I'm assuming this was the main living space as it was larger than the rest.

And, there's a fireplace on the other side...

It's interesting to look at the texture of the logs and see the marks from hand shaping them.

Across the road was the church and a larger house.

That house seems fancy compared to the tiny one across the road.
It has a large front porch with decorative corbels or brackets.
There were two chimneys.  And, it had lots of windows and rooms.

It even had a cellar!

This was the only other home.  I'm curious as to why there are two doors.
And, I'd really like to know what that little door on the side, way up high near the roof is for.
This home seemed kind of fancy too.  It had two chimneys and three covered porches.

These barns were in fenced areas next to the last house.
They looked very old and weathered.  I think they hadn't been preserved
like the three homes and the church had been.

I like fences like this that are made from natural branches.
It looked especially beautiful with the green fields from the spring rains.

There was an old tractor in another field.
I don't think it was from the time Grafton was a living town.  But, it made for a great photo.
The residents sure had great views when they lived there.

I just had to get a shot of this old farm equipment too...

I was creeped out by the cemetary and didn't want to go in.  My husband and daughter were fascinated by what they saw on headstones and I was so fascinated by what I was reading
on the sign outside of it that I found some courage and went in to look around.

I took a photo of the sign.  The history was very interesting.
The people there had an especially difficult time in 1866 when they lost 13 of their loved ones.
Many died of disease, some were killed by Indians, and...what really got me...
two little girls died when their swing broke!

We heard that movies have been shot in Grafton.  One famous movie, 
"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was partially shot there. 

We had a fun day exploring nearby areas and found some interesting places.
At the end of the day, we headed back to Springdale (just outside of the main part of Zion National Park and where we were camping) for dinner.  Then, it was back to camp to get our packs and hiking gear ready for an all day hike on Friday to Observation Point.


Michelle said...

*sigh* I love Zion and all the area that surrounds it. I would love to visit Grafton. I really enjoy old towns and their history. You captured some great photos.

judith said...

I love touring ghost towns and cemeteries. Could be the larger house was a hotel or stop for the stage coach. With the family living on one side and the hotel room on the other side.

Cindie said...

What a fun trip. Thank you for sharing - I love seeing all the beautiful pictures.

mamasmercantile said...

What a great trip, sad to think that children died from falling off a swing. Some amazing history.

Mereknits said...

I have never been to a ghost town, I would love it. I love old cemeteries and old buildings. What a fantastic trip.

Delighted Hands said...

Beautiful pictures-I loved seeing Grafton!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Very interesting. I love old sites like that. We used to visit ghost towns and such when we would take family summer vacations -- every year until I was about 14 (our last family trip was to Hawaii). My mom always planned hiking and my brother and I always hated it as it was all we would do and as we got older, we wanted to do other stuff. So now I can understand when my own kids complain because we want to visit old historical sites and hike. Ha! I love walking through old cemeteries, reading headstones. Good for pondering. Best wishes, Tammy