One doesn’t need a “Welcome to Manti” sign to know what town is up ahead.
The presence of the LDS temple cannot be ignored. The crew and I are at the Manti laundromat at noon when chimes ring out over the town, followed by twelve strokes of the temple bell.
As is my habit, I take Bridget and Spike on a walk around the neighborhood while the washers do their thing.
Oddly the laundromat is surrounded by residences. Every home is well-kept with fresh flowers blooming in beds. Not a scrap of litter anywhere. We walk past the temple, the site of last week’s “Miracle Pageant” that drew tens of thousands of people to this central Utah town.
By the time we get back to the laundromat, Bridget and Spike are worn out. A drink of water and they’re both happy to settle into the PTV for a nap. I leave them and go inside to fold the laundry.
Laundry done, I drive us up Main Street.
The street is decked with flags for Independence Day. I’m looking for the brown national forest sign which points to Manti Canyon.
I glimpse the red Town Assembly Hall down a side street. I quickly recognize it from having seen it as a backdrop in a photo of Jim Harmston, notorious polygamist, and his eight wives (Click to see photos.).
The crew sleeps as I drive up Manti Canyon Road.
The gravel road takes us along Manti Ridge.
I drive carefully, scanning for the free-range cattle grazing near the road.
I’m curious about Manti Canyon as a possible place to boondock in the future.
The ridge is to our left as we gain elevation; the canyon with creek flowing through it is to our right. I note spur roads where campsites are established but I don’t drive down them to investigate. It’s Independence Day and a lot of people are around. I don’t want to disturb people at their private campsite.
We arrive at Yearns Reservoir.
People are taking advantage of the holiday by fishing with their families.
I let Bridget and Spike out for a brief look around, and then toss them back into the PTV. I don’t want Spike getting into the water which looks greenish. Plus we might disturb the fishing. As we’re pulling out, six ATVs roar into the parking area.
Within walking distance is Manti Community Campground.
Campsites are crammed together. Families sit outside their campers right next to the next family.
I am so spoiled! Once you camp by yourself, it’s hard to go back to community camping.
On the way out of the campground, the PTV approaches a boy walking down the lane toward us.
I recognize him from the lake (photo above). He’s about eleven or twelve and in his hand he proudly holds a stringer on which is a lovely trout.
I bring down my window and stop.
“Wow! That’s a nice-looking trout! What kind is it?”
“A rainbow,” he replies, holding the fish up for my inspection.
“Do you mind if I take a picture of it?” He poses, I thank him, and we part ways — He to take his catch to his campsite and me to continue up the mountain.
After much driving we still aren’t above the juniper line.
Having reached a point where I wouldn’t be likely to tow the BLT any further, I turn around and head back. Camping along Manti Canyon Road is not as appealing as camping along Ephraim Canyon Road. It’s not as lush with vegetation. There are more rocks and dry, dusty areas. Obviously one would have to drive further up the mountain to reach the altitude of aspens, spruce, and wildflowers. It’s a long drive.
Right before a small bridge, I park the PTV and let out the crew.
Bridget, Spike, and I walk a short lane leading to a good-sized creek.
Spike is the first one in.
Bridget gives it a try but not for long.
I take the crew out of their suits and put them back in the PTV.
A mile or so and Sanpete Valley and Manti appear, similar to the view coming down to Ephraim from our camp on Badger Mountain. (The LDS temple is out-of-frame, to the right.)
On the way to Ephraim I become aware of how hungry I am.
Gee, we haven’t had a rotisserie chicken in a long time. I pull into the market at the corner of Ephraim Canyon Road.
After the winding climb up the mountain, the crew and I have our own Fourth of July celebration, feasting on the tender, tasty chicken. I top it off with a bowl of cookies-n-cream frozen yogurt. What a treat!
Happy Birthday, United States of America!
THANK YOU, RVSUE SHOPPERS! All your purchases, large and small, are sincerely appreciated. Here are a few recent orders:
Qwik Fill Hand Pump
Wi-Fi Smart Scale
Simplicity Rotary Cutting Machine
Bass Women’s Sharon Sandal
Booster Car Seat