Highway 89 Return

This Monday return trip to Hurricane spread across a 36 degree temperature spread and 353 miles. The route was the same as the previous ascent up the State on her scenic Highway 89.

An advantage of  repeating a route is dog-earring certain pull-outs for a pic and maybe a story. I kept telling myself, I’ll get that next time when the light’s better,” indexing in my feeble head stops I’d make on another leg of a commute, much like I did on the way up.

The first dog-eared roadside index was at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon where these giants turn canyon breezes into power.


The conversion of naturally sustainable conditions into power always amazes me. It’s a clash of elements and engineering, not unlike riding.

A motorcycle is an amplifier, it magnifies everything that runs across your nervous system. Every channel is electrified. Temperature is the most obvious since it has the potential to make you the most uncomfortable, but once you’ve dialed in the right gear to cover the range of temperature and humidity and rain and hail and wind, you feel like you’ve accomplished something. I’ve never felt like that. Instead I take a little pleasure in warming up, drying off or cooling down.


This Corner Station is in Fairview, a perpetual-Sunday town.


Leaded gasoline flowed through the veins of this pump, a smell lost now on at least three generations. When we lived in Montreal, during the winters my dad would warm up his Buick Electra in the garage. It burned high octane leaded fuel and when he pulled out of the garage and closed the garage door I’d go out into the blue haze and inhale like some kind of octane addict. It was delicious. And maybe that explains a few things about me.

Manti has this remarkable religious edifice, built in 1881 to serve the need of its minority population in the area, that of Presbyterians.


Today it appears to serve as a spot to meet for the local VFW as well, and it should be noted it is NOT the site of the Presbyterian Miracle Pageant.

And lastly, as promised in my previous post, at the Mt. Carmel Junction there’s the Thunderbird Restaurant, “Home of the Ho-made Pies.”

Seriously. It’s a gimmick, tongue-in-cheek in this ultra-conservative culture. I get it. I even bought a shirt there on a ride a few years ago after I enjoyed some pie. But today I stood there and stared at her and realized until we have a compassionate exchange of equality between the sexes, we’ll never arrive at a tolerance for anything else.


Such are my thoughts, neurons still vibrating from that amplified stimulus of my motorcycle.

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