key attraction in these parts is Cedar Breaks National Monument, situated above 10,000 feet in the mountains of the Dixie National Forest. We were a bit early so the road to the monument was not yet open for the season. But the main road, Utah 14, was available for crossing the mountains into Cedar City.
Cedar Breaks has been described as a miniature Bryce Canyon. We were there in the 60's. While Bryce Canyon is on the edge of an almost desert landscape, Cedar Breaks is in a lush alpine setting. And, as I recall, the popular views of Cedar Breaks are from below the escarpment.
Our mountain drive over the 10,000 foot summit was very nice. We had not ruled out stopping another night in one of the pleasant forest campgrounds, however we still needed to check our e-mail, and the KOA in Cedar City might let us accomplish that. Besides that, Cedar City had at least one quilt shop, The Quilters' Nook, begging for a visit. It had been a week since Mary had visited the one in Vernal Utah, so she was due for another quilt shop fix. When we arrived at Cedar City before noon, finding that quilt shop was our first order of business. It turned out that it was a new shop just being set up, but Mary enjoyed her chat with the ladies there.
When it was late enough, we checked into the busy Cedar City KOA and proceeded to our assigned site. But when I got out of the van to unhitch the trailer a deep unsettling feeling came over me. It felt like we were about to make camp on a tennis court slab... minus the tall fence and the net. I looked around and felt like I was in the middle of traffic. One advantage of a tent trailer is that you can have a 360 degree view from inside if you pull back the curtains. But it can go the other way if you park in an arena.
So before unhitching, I walked back to the manager's desk and complained that the site was too bleak. I asked if he could refund our money. He counter-offered another site saying, "How would you like to pull in between those big rigs over there?" So we did. We were dwarfed, but we had a well manicured rectangle of grass, A bit of concrete, several big trees, and with the behemoths on both sides, we had a modicum privacy. Their tiny side windows, way up there, probably give them only a view of our roof. We've done this several times before, but this time it seemed like the manager was sacrificing this spot to us that could have been taken by a more worthy occupant. I recalled a similar spot we were assigned in New Mexico (another KOA). That time it was the only spot left. However a big rig had just tried to make the turn into his slot and couldn't. The manager there probably thought we were a God-send because we easily make the turn and he was able to have a tennant for the slot that night.
Although all KOA's are purposely designed to fit a common template (so that repeat customers can know what to expect) each one has a uniquie "personality." This one obviously trys to provide the creature comforts. Those who hate roughing it will love the Cedar City KOA. This kind of personality fits well at Cedar City. It's on Interstate 15, the kind of highway the befits the behemoths.
In the KOA office area, customers were provided the use of a computer with a wireless internet connection. There was no provision for connecting my laptop. I didn't ask about using removable storage media, but it makes sense to forbid it. Instead, I pulled up our e-mail via webmail and snapped pictures of the monitor with my digital camera to capture the messages for reading back at the trailer. To make reply, I later returned to the office to retyped my pre-composed messages into the office computer. This cut the time required in the KOA office to a total of about 15 minutes.
Now that we had communicated with the home front, the next 5 days would be completely free to enjoy.
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