Slowing Down in Monticello, Utah

10 08 2012

It was hot, we had been driving a lot, and we were totally ready for a break. Enter Monticello, Utah – population 2,000 and elevation (key!) 7,000 feet. We did the unthinkable and paid for three nights at an RV park, enjoying the cooler weather and the San Juan County Fair that happened to be going on while we were in town.

Hiking around Lloyd's Lake in Monticello

Hiking around Lloyd’s Lake in Monticello

Ayo Taming a Wild Bull at the Great Salt Lake

Ayo Taming a Wild Bull at the Great Salt Lake

The slower pace was so welcome. Each day we took the scooter off into the Abajo mountains, either joy riding or hiking around one of the area lakes and picking apricots. We explored the tiny town (and its disproportionately massive LDS temple) and went to the fair each evening.

Ayo feeding steers at the fair

Ayo feeding steers at the fair

The San Juan County Fair was small but was lots of fun. We attended a rodeo – which was a good time but left us with mixed feelings about rodeos and animal treatment – talent show, comedy act, and a really enjoyable night of audience-participation carnival games held on stage in front of the crowd. (Ayo aced a competition where she needed to balance an oreo on her forehead and wriggle it into her mouth without dropping it or using her hands.) And it was all free! Check out a video of the synchronized horse show and a completely unrelated clip of Ayo doing one of her first ever pull-ups in a Monticello park.

Some sort of noodle stringing competition at the fair

Some sort of noodle stringing competition at the fair

The weirdest thing at the fair was that everyone knew everyone. Really. There were a few times where I thought that groups had come together but in reality they all just live in the same super-tiny town.

On the way into Monticello we spent a morning at Arches National Park, revisiting a place that we thoroughly enjoyed last year. It was ridiculously hot so we went on a morning hike and then chilled out under an arch for a half hour before heading on. Monticello, you were great.

Yair chilling in an arch

Yair chilling in an arch

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4 responses

12 08 2012
Nicky

Interesting little factoid: The Monticello, UT temple is actually one of the smaller ones. It’s for the everyone in southeastern Utah and neighboring areas of Colorado, etc. to use, so it’s not just the residents of Monticello. =) Because there is such a high population of Latter Day Saints in Utah and temple work is so important to Latter Day Saint worship, the LDS Church has been utilizing donations for temple construction to build smaller temples in more out of the way areas so that people don’t have to travel as far or go as infrequently to attend the temple. They probably chose Monticello because it is one of the larger cities in southeastern Utah… which shows you just how middle-of-nowhere southeastern Utah is. My husband and I are LDS and we are still surprised by the out-of-the-way places these smaller temples have been cropping up. We were going through Arizona on our way to New Mexico last year and we stopped in Pima, AZ and were floored to find the Gila Valley lDS temple sitting on a large lot next to an LDS meetinghouse. We were in the middle of friggin’ nowhere and all of the sudden there was a temple! They really do look huge in these small towns because there’s nothing else around!

12 03 2013
Meridith

I like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and exposure!
Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve you guys to my own blogroll.

18 03 2013
lisa

Am I the only one that notices how much the “wild bull” looks like a buffalo? Lol

7 04 2013
Frieda

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