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Kenab, Utah – A Hollywood Oasis

August 13, 2010

Previously on the Bigg Adventure:  Bikers!  Deadwood! Steak Deburgo!  Lewis and Clark’s Dog! Polygamy Pale Ale! Rob and Apryl floated in the Great Salt Lake!

Next Stop—-

Kenab, Utah.

Kenab: "little" because you can drive from border to border in three minutes flat at 35 mph. "Hidden" because it is hidden away in the mountains like some ancient Buddhist temple.

Kenab is located in Kane County at the southern border of Utah on the western-ish side.  The only reason we even found this enjoyable little hidden gem was because all the hotels in the Bryce Canyon area and Zion National Park area were booked.  We settled on Kenab.  Well, I settled on Kenab.  I made a reservation immediately, because there was only one hotel out of the six or so in town that had rooms left.  And, that was about six weeks before our arrival!  So, I made the reservation.  Then I hit google, because I would have to convince Apryl that this strange little town would be worth our time.  There needed to be something there!

A townie

The very first search I did for Kenab came back with a page referring to it as ‘Little Hollywood.’  Huh?  I clicked.  I read.  Eyes wide with excitement I discovered that the Kenab area was home to the production of more than three hundred westerns.  This is great for me, but will it be enough for Apryl?  Probably not.  She’s not really into westerns.

The day before Kenab we were looking for another hotel.  We still had doubts about our reservation.  We were going to stay at a hotel that, on the internet, seemed a little iffy for  a town we had never heard of before a few weeks ago.  Everything, and I mean everything was booked, which I knew already.  Nothing changed.  We said “screw it.”  Kenab was where we were going to stay for the night.  It placed us an hour and forty five minutes from the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  Perfect for the next morning.  We wake up and we go.   Perfect.  Almost too perfect—

Kenab Movie House. $2 Westerns on Monday nights at 7pm. I'm moving here.

20 miles north of town is the Coral Pink Sand Dunes National Park.  We thought that sounded nice.  Who doesn’t want to see a pink dune?  There are probably unicorns and elves there too.  To get there, our GPS guided us to a barely paved piece of road, skewing off 11 miles  straight into the desert.  Having seen too many ‘stranded in a weird place’ horror films, I said to myself “This is probably where something horrific could happen…  If it’s gonna happen it’ll be here.  I should have brought a gun.  Where’s my leatherman?”  Nothing bad happened.  On the contrary, it was an amazing experience.

Pinkish sand and desert plants

The sand was so soft, almost velvety.  The flowers and foliage were amazing.  There were places to rent dune buggies and dirt bikes.  We were not able to do that, but it didn’t matter.  Utah is on our short list from this trip of where we are definitely coming back to.

The whole state of Utah from top to bottom offered something different every 50 miles.  The landscape is beautiful.  The people were kind and welcoming.  I’m trying to talk Apryl into a ski trip.  I picked up a bunch of trail maps, and am constantly pulling them out of my pocket to say “How’d that get in there?”

Wind battered, sand covered, and sunburned we arrived in town to see the FREE Little Hollywood Museum.  Soooo much fun.  I played Cowboys and Indians for about an hour.  There were props.  I had a (prop)gun.  Set pieces from dozens of films were on display.  I felt like a kid.


Fair is Fair!

This land is my land. It is not your land.

We’re in Vegas now.  There are explosions outside our room every two minutes.  It is very different from Kenab, UT.

Films and TV made in and around Kenab:

The Lone Ranger (1938 and 1956), Stagecoach(1939), Wagon Train (1940), Billy The Kid (1941), Tall in the Saddle (1944), Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Best of The Badmen (1951), El Dorado (1967), Planet of the Apes (1967 and 2001), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979), Point Break (1991), One Little Indian (1973), F-Troop, How the West was Won, Have Gun will Travel, Grizzly Adams, Lassie, Wagon Train, The Lone Ranger, and many many more.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. John MacDonald permalink
    August 14, 2010 1:28 pm

    But how was your hotel?

    • August 14, 2010 1:33 pm

      The hotel was just a hotel. Nothing amazing. Not terrible. It sufficed. A 4 or 5 out of 10. The town and area were great.

  2. Aunt Karen permalink
    August 14, 2010 7:12 pm

    Happy Anniversary! Hope you’re enjoying your trip! Stay safe.

    • August 16, 2010 12:19 am

      Thanks! Having a great time. Anniversary was great! We went to a couple of wineries, followed by dinner at a restaurant called “Cool Hand Luke’s.” Happy birthday to uncle Joe!


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