Saturday 23rd June 2001, Kanab UT

We badly needed to send a fax to the Post Office, but discovered that long distance calls from our room at the National 9 were not possible without a phone card. (A problem we had already encountered in the Motel 6 in Las Vegas.) This presents all sorts of problems for our modem, so we decided the only thing to do was to decamp to slightly more sophisticated lodgings.

We moved to the Parry Lodge motel, a few yards up the street. We had called in to Parry Lodge yesterday, as it holds a list of about 200 films and TV series which have been filmed in the area. Between 1930 and 1980 many stars stayed at the motel, and their pictures are proudly displayed around the lobby and restaurant. The big names include John Wayne, James Garner, John Ford, Henry Fonda, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr, Telly Savalas, Gregory Peck, and Maureen O’Hara, to name but a few. The plaque above our door bears the name Barbara Stanwyck.

Kanab became known as ‘Little Hollywood’, as at one time practically all the townsfolk were supplementing their income, appearing as extras in films such as The Big Trail, Stagecoach, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Fort Apache, Sergeants Three, McKenna’s Gold, and The Desperados. We felt it was particularly apt that we should end up staying here, having decided against battling the heat and traffic to visit the real thing in LA!

Looking at the landscape surrounding Kanab, you can easily imagine yourself caught up in a Western movie. Millions of years of erosion have created steep cliffs of red-coloured rock around the town. Although the soil is sandy, there is plenty of natural vegetation. We are no longer in the desert here, though when it rains, the pink earth smells strangely burnt.

Yet again, we planned to visit the Grand Canyon at dusk. Yet again, just as we set out, the weather closed in.