Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Great Southern Arizona Road Trip - August 28 - Part XXI - End of the trip - Back to Las Vegas through the Virgin River Gorge

And so it was farewell to Utah. We returned to Ancestor Square for an early lunch at Benja's Thai and Sushi.
Benja's Thai and Sushi Restaurant - underneath The Painted Pony

Benja Peterson, owner of the Benja restaurants, became a Buddhist nun at age 18 in her native Thailand. She learned to cook by cooking for the monks.

For lunch, we shared fresh basil rolls, Thai coconut shrimp, red curry special of the day with pumpkin, Thai iced tea)

Then we headed for I-15 back to Las Vegas. We drove through the magnificent Virgin River Gorge in the northwest corner of Arizona, between St. George, Utah and Littlefield, Arizona. That section of the I-15 is one of the most expensive parts of interstate highway ever constructed.

A magnificent finish to The Great Southern Utah Road Trip.

The Great Southern Arizona Road Trip - August 27-28 - Part XX - Last evening, last morning at the timeshare

Last evening and last morning at the timeshare in St. George. Quiet times before departure.
"Morning bird": Not sure what the gray bird was that visited me during breakfast, but he was obviously quite used to being around people.
Very happy to have the telephoto lens to capture a distant Say's Phoebe - one of my favourite birds, and one I rarely get to see.
Light supper with an excellent Merlot

Evening light

Shadows and the moon

After sunset
After sunset

Morning view

Morning view

Morning bird (??)

Morning bird

Morning bird
Say's Phoebe

The Great Southern Utah Road Trip - August 27 - Part XIX - Tuacahn

Before supper, Holly drove me out to see the Tuacahn Center for the Arts.
Tuacahn is, a non-profit arts center located in the mouth of the Padre Canyon, adjacent to Snow Canyon State Park, in Ivins, Utah. The 42,000-square-foot (3,900 m2) facility was completed in 1995 and includes a 1,920-seat outdoor amphitheater, a 328-seat indoor theater, a black box theater, a dance studio, a costume shop, a scene shop, and Tuacahn High School, an arts specialty high school.
The setting is spectacular. A small waterfall behind the outdoor amphitheater affords the capability of flooding parts of the stage or pit for water scenes. Two hours before  a show begins, a step-down waterfall in front of the theater entrance is turned on.


Monday, September 14, 2015

The Great Southern Utah Road Trip - August 27 - Part XVIII - St George - Brigham Young's Winter Home

Next door to Ancestor Square in St. George is Brigham Young's winter home.
The original portion of the home was begun in 1869 and completed in 1871 when Brigham Young purchased it. He added the front addition which was completed in 1873. It served as his winter home from that time until his death in 1877. -- Plaque in front of the house, installed by the St. George Historic Preservation Commission
Original house

Two story addition by Brigham Young. Cranberry red and jade green paint were the original colours.

Front garden

Vineyard and garden
A large mulberry tree supplied the leaves for feeding silk worms, the cocoons of which provided the thread for silk fabrics produced by pioneer women here in St. George. Representative of the principal reason for the settlement of Utah*s "Dixie", the garden still produces both cotton and grapes.

 Some interesting features of the interior of the home. The woodwork throughout the house is pine taken from the Pine Valley mountains and was hand grained to look like hardwood. 

Downstairs living room

Square grand piano (1872)

Pine bookcase, hand grained.

Portrait of Brigham Young over the fireplace. The fireplace is painted to resemble black marble.

Dining and kitchen -
Soup bowls on this table hold hot water in the bottom to keep the soup hot.

Upstairs. Beautiful handmade quilts. The bed in this bedroom was stained with oxblood.

One of Brigham Young's 55 wives, Harriet Amelia Folsom Young, served as a hostess and nurse. This is a nurse's hat.

Since he couldn't move around much because of his arthritis, Brigham Young spent most of his time in this multi-purpose room on the second floor. The tall desk/bookcase was made of pine, finished to look like two kinds of maple.

This chest contained his things when he traveled - hence the numbered drawers.

Pine chair designed by and built for Brigham Young.

The fabric for this chair was woven from horse hair.

Quilts and a handwoven linsey wolsey coverlet.

Vents in the ceiling for air flow.

Ceiling light

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Great Southern Utah Road Trip - August 27 - Part XVII - St George - Ancestor Square

We returned to the timeshare in St. George on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, Holly took me on a tour of part of the town.

In Ancestor Square, we had a fantastic lunch at the renowned The Painted Pony Restaurant.  (Once again for my gastronome friends: We shared phyllo baked brie with roasted garlic and blueberry compote, coconut shrimp with mango chili sauce and cucumber noodles, and gorgonzola salad with torn lettuces, grapes, walnuts, bacon, pickled onions and croutons)

We then strolled through the square, looking at some of the earliest buildings erected in St. George.

These included the Jail House, built from black lava rock hauled from the foothills about 1880 by Sheriff Hardy. It retains the original window bars. The Jail House is reputed to have housed Butch Cassidy on several occasions.

The Sandstone Building, was built from leftover rock from the original tabernacle in the 1860's.

Modern architecture, including design studios, art galleries, and restaurants, has been designed to blend in with the older buildings in Ancestor Square.