|Why Manti? Those few friends who take the risk of checking our blog every now and then may be asking yourselves why Manti? The answer is simple, but also a little lengthy. And we will get into the 'why' shortly. But first, let us describe this oasis in central Utah.
Manti is the quintessential central Utah agricultural town. It seems over half the town read the fable about the 'three little piggies'. Much of the town consists of brick structures of one age or another. The older houses, some still occupied, are made of larger blocks of the yellowish/pink local sandstone and the rest of neat and tidy red brick. Every yard is neatly trimmed and mowed. John Deere sitdown mowers are the status symbol around here. There are no old junkers in any yards, no plywood windows or frayed curtains fluttering behind broken glass panes.
Did I mention that there is an incredibly majestic Morman Temple in town? We accidentally ended up driving into restriced areas behind the temple in the canoe-topped Rocketeer with the California plates on a rather busy Saturday afternoon at the impressive structure. This was only a few days after their president had made mention that one could 'basically get over being gay'. Suffice to say, we raised many an eyebrow amongst the white shirt and tie crowd. A few days later we read that there were larger protests outside the Salt Lake temple.
Okay, here is the why in a shortened version. Approximately 25 years ago to the month, a good golf buddy of mine, DB, and I stopped over here during a 1987 Fall road boogie. Palisades State Park was mentioned in our AAA camping guide with a note about an attached golf course. We drove up into the park, the trees were immature and still staked against the wind. There was barely any grass, the lake appeared recently filled with little growth around it. But, oh my! The golf course was a gem. 18 lush, well developed holes in this high desert oasis.
So here come Nancy and I, many years later, in the middle of our transit to our first winter roosting spot in Surprise, Arizona (near the home of our friends Danny and Linda where we got married last October). We have been driving many days through wickedly variable weather and road conditions. Because of my past experiences, we were planning on having a few relaxing layover days here before we pushed on South.
The drive here was one of our longer jumps. We came at least 230 miles over multiple 6000 ft passes. The trip encompassed numerous climbs and descents of many miles. We followed US Hwy 6/50/93 out of Ely and then just 6 and 50, and finally just 50 to the Hwy 89 junction and then a short hop North to the park.
The numerous mountain ranges of northern Nevada were absolutely splendid. Range after range we crossed on our way from Ely to Manti. The tallest ranges were covered in fresh snow from the storm the caught up to us in Ely. The air was crisp, the sky clear and the weather cool. What a great day for an address change.
We were not disappointed. The park now had mature trees, expansive and vibrant green lawn areas and the facilties were still maintained immacuately. The lake was somewhat low, but I think that is a seasonal issue.
We got to view great Fall colors while we played golf one day. We rode in a cart for nine holes. 25 years ago, I walked all 18 holes and shot a similar score to my nine hole score. Truth be told, I had way more fun this time.
One day we hiked around the park. We climbed a boulder strewn ridge that paralled the course, but 200 ft above the fairways. We were amazed at all the deer and elk tracks long the ridge. We actually 'drove' a doe and her two yearlings along the shelf just below us.
We really enjoyed our layover here. But we were glad to leave the area and head for the Green River country.