2014 Cross Country 2 travel blog

Gunsmoke characters

Buildings from movie sets in the Kanab area

More buildings from movie sets in the Kanab area

"Movie Theater" for intro movie about Little Hollywood

Sue & I role playing

They liked their women plump in the Wild West

Main Street in Little Hollywood

Sue going into Denny's Wigwam in Kanab to shop

Claimed to be Butch Cassidy's saddle

Parry Lodge in Kanab

Kanab Heritage House

Sue & I at the entrance to Zion National Park

One of the climbers we saw today

LoveLocks rack near the Zion Visitors Center

Big crow that wasn't afraid of people

At the Temple of Sinawava

A view of the bridge at the Zion Lodge from the other...

Lower Emerald Pool

The Virgin River

Sunset in Zion - the colors we could't get on Wednesday


Yesterday we hung around Kanab and visited the the Little Hollywood Museum. The museum is a collection of buildings used on the sets of movies made in the area. The buildings used in many movies are flimsily built and often are only building fronts. The adobe looking buildings are actually made of fiberglass to be light and easily transported to the location of the filming. A toll house used in a 1990 film is made out of styrofoam blocks. The Museum has collected the building over the years and moved them to it's lot behind the gift shop. They are meant to tell the history of movie making in the area. Kanab made its screen debut in 1924 when Tom Mix filmed "Deadwood Coach" along with his co-star, Tony The Wonder Horse. Since then over a hundred Hollywood productions have taken advantage of the landscape that makes Southern Utah one of the most beautiful places on in the US. The interest in Southern Utah as a Hollywood back lot goes to the Parry Brothers who leveraged their guiding business at Zion National Park into Little Hollywood by luring influential filmmakers to the area. The Parry Brothers expanded the Parry Lodge to accommodate the Hollywood elite. We ate lunch there last Sunday before we went on our first shoot. The film industry became the major employer in Kane County between the 1930's and 1960's helping the area survive the Great Depression. By the 1970's Hollywood productions began to slow due to changing movie tastes away from westerns, the appeal for alternative locations for filming, and a grumbling rebellion among the local population who burned Robert Redford in effigy in 1973.

After the museum we stopped by Denny's Wigwam to shop. It a western shop with souvenirs, Indian jewelry, western wear, and a lot of old western artifacts. There was a saddle on display that was purported to have belonged to the real Butch Cassidy. There was a letter of provenance with the saddle. Apparently it was traded by Cassidy for another saddle and has been passed down through the owner's family over the years. Looking but no buying as things were pretty expensive.

Today we went to Zion National Park. Since Sue didn't go with me this week (too early for her), I wanted her to see Zion. As you saw from the pictures from the other day it is majestic. On the drive to Zion, I got to see the scenery along US 89 for the first time since every other day last week we drove the route in the dark. It's quite spectacular. I thought we'd be able to drive through Zion and visit some of the places I missed last Wednesday, but on weekends in November they operate shuttle buses to prevent traffic jams. We took the shuttle to the end of the paved road at the Temple of Sinawava. We stopped at Zion Lodge where Sue shopped while I went to the Emerald Pool (disappointing because of low water levels). We managed to catch one of the last buses back to the Visitors Center and got to the parking lot just in time to catch a colorful sunset.

At the entrance to the Zion Visitors Center there is a rack like structure that people have hung padlocks all over it. The locks are called LoveLocks and are meant to symbolize their love. Typically the sweethearts' names or initials are inscribed on the padlock, and the key is thrown away to symbolise unbreakable love. Since the 2000's, LoveLocks have proliferated at an increasing number of locations worldwide. They are often treated by as litter or vandalism by officials, and there is some cost to their removal. In this case the rack was placed there to prevent the locks from being put in unwanted places. Who knew?

As I'm writing this it's raining and the wind is blowing a gale causing Winnie to rock. I sure hope it stops by the morning because i don't relish driving with this kind of wind blowing. We're starting our homeward leg which should get us back to Delaware by Thanksgiving.

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