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.
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.
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.
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.
posted by yair