An old family friend (actually she’s more of Mom’s friend but that’s a whole other story) is kind of estranged from what’s left of her family (that’s a big part of the story) and because of that and other things in her past that were beyond her control doesn’t seem to have many friends or even a decent boyfriend. One family member she does have and could/wants to visit runs an Airbnb called Happy’s Bus Stop in Kanab, Utah (UT).
If I decided to accompany this person to that place, I have already suggested to my only remaining high school friend who now lives in Tucson, Arizona (AZ), that we could also visit her oldest daughter in nearby (to Happy’s) Northern AZ. This daughter teaches school on the Native/Indian reservation that is close to where she lives in Page, AZ.
I have been in the Kanab area before. It is just over an hour away from St. George, UT. St. George is the first city over the state line between Nevada (NV) and UT heading north on Interstate Highway 15 (I-15). I have made the 28-hour round trip between Los Angeles and Malad, Idaho (ID), more times than I would care to count. Malad is where my in-laws lived and we made at least one annual trek up there when the kids were growing up and we were still living in Southern California (CA).
The closest I ever got to Kanab, though, was on one of the few very enjoyable side trips we took when Malad was the family’s final destination. This was during the first year after we’d moved to Nashville when we rented a family van and drove there from the Southeast instead of the usual Southwest point of origin. By that time, when the kids were in their teens, they were so tired of visiting national parks (Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks were two side trips we’d made more than once when “visiting Grandma in the desert”) that after driving through Zion National Park (between St George and Kanab), they protested that they were beginning to think all national parks looked the same!
On that once-in-a-lifetime family vacation, though, the idiot (my ex husband) got the biggest kick out of fishing for trout with our two girls on semi-frozen Panguitch Lake. Neither he nor I had heard of this place till I found it as one of the stopover points that offered places to stay in the middle of winter! Since Daughter #2 is more like her dad, we’d expected she’d take to fishing with as much gusto as he did. Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised that Daughter #1 was the one with the patience required to actually catch a fish. In hindsight, this early father-daughter bonding with #1 may have been the initiating event of her rise in his eyes and affections.
Given that I-15 runs through Las Vegas, I have been there many, many times – before, during and after marriage and motherhood. It is also a pretty central point on this potential upcoming road trip with interim end points of Tucson and possibly even as far north as Gunnison, UT, the ancestral home of my high school friend. I heard so much about it during those years that if I get that close to it again, especially with my friend and her family’s fond memories and enduring presence there, I must finally make that pilgrimage!