I recently read a story on a Utah history site about Grafton, Utah, a ghost town near Zion National Park.
Hmmm....that qualifies as a good excuse for a ride.
I leave on a Monday and ride south to Hurricane, Utah where I stay overnight.
Tuesday morning I ride to Grafton. Grafton was a Mormon community founded in 1859, the population started to decline in 1907 and the last residents left around 1944.
Floods, harsh winters, and Indian attacks led to the towns demise.
This is the church/school/town hall.
and other buildings..
Almost all the buildings were open for wandering through and viewing.
However it is wise to be cautious...this is a ghost town after all!
(ps. they weren't kidding! I tried the knob [without closing the door] and it just spins on the inside, and this door was the only door that wasn't sealed shut...)
There are numerous stories about visitors hearing a baby crying, or seeing a woman in a calico dress wandering among the headstones. However sadly, (or maybe gladly) I didn't hear or see anything unnatural, mostly the only sound I heard was the traffic noise of nearby SR 9.
The road in/out.
I think this guy is the chairmen of the board...or maybe he is just a fence sitter..
Wet and dry conditions covered...
The Grafton Bridge.
Then I ride toward Zion NP
The best part about visiting Zion NP during the off season is you can ride up Zion Canyon whereas during the 'on season' you have to ride the Zion NP bus up the canyon. Either way the canyon is a beautiful place.
But....riding up is SOOOO much better!
I ride back down the canyon and
make my way out of the park via the 1.1 mile tunnel.
After leaving the park I ride to the Paria Township,,,a "Ghost town" that is/was a movie set built by the locals and apparently used in several films.
Unfortunately, in 2006 vandals burned down the entire set.... *sigh*..... so this is all you see today.
However, the 12 mile (round trip) dirt ride is still worth it to see this gorgeous area!
Leaving the Paria township, I ride the 30 or so miles to the Johnson Canyon western movie set....which also has seen better days.
Then I make my way north, homeward bound, and stop overnight in Panguitch.
*Deep voice, thick accent*
"Have you ever seen the moon over Panguitch?"
I leave Panguitch in the chilly (20 degrees) morning and head for home.
I make a comfort stop along the way and see this sticker on a mile marker post...
....Soooo.....what HAAAAVE you done?
About 815 chilly but fun miles.
Utah has a lot more ghost towns I can visit...I need to start planning!