I spent the last three days taking Family of Dave on a whirlwind Mountain Biking and Church History Tour of Southern Utah. I'll blog my various discoveries over the next few days. Anyway, Thursday afternoon we're blundering down a dirt road about thirty miles east of St. George searching rather cluelessly for a fabled mountain biking spot when, cresting a mild rise, what comes into view but the cover of Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven! Well, more precisely what I saw looming up before me was the view that is identical to the striking photo that appears on the cover of the book: Canaan Mountain (as it is identified in the book's photo credits).
Indeed, I saw the little towns of Hildale and Colorado City, nestled in the flat below an imposing set of red rock cliffs. In the land of dinosaur bones and fossils, there is a whole community practicing dinosaur doctrines that went extinct a hundred years ago everywhere else in Mormondom. At least they picked a fine location to perpetuate the species, with truly a stunning landscape.
I quickly turned the family truckster around, suddenly noticing while backtracking how large the neighboring farmhouses were. Yes, we eventually found the biking spot, and I have now memorized the cryptic "right, right, left, left, right, left" directions to get me there without first touring the neighborhood. And a fine time was had by all.