Saturday, August 25, 2012

Farmers' markets and tiny towns

This particular trip to Utah has been replete with Stuff!  And Things!


Last night we went to a local farmers' market...

...where my brother Tim was busy shilling his wares.

People kept coming around to take a look at his recycled glass pieces, copper wire jewelry and other assorted gewgaws.

Meanwhile, Miss V developed the yen for a waffle.

So we got one off the waffle truck.  This particular waffle was slathered with Nutella and cream.

The next day, my mom and I hopped into the car and took a short road trip to central Utah, home of several picturesque small towns.

One of my favorites is Mount Pleasant, which bills itself as the geographical center of Utah.  And here's the center...

...right in the middle of a downtown sidewalk.

They also have a memorial hall...

...complete with a copy of The Spirit of the American Doughboy on the corner.

For a very small town, that's a whole lot of lives sacrificed to a cause.

We also visited an old 19th-century blacksmith shop (located right next to the local burger and ice cream joint)...

...and a bell with a marker discussing the end of the Black Hawk War (apparently the treaty which ended the war was signed here).

Here's the local history museum, complete with telegraph office.

And here's the old train depot (now an antiques store)...

...with a converted caboose still parked out front on a short section of rail.

Mount Pleasant is a charming little town, with many pioneer-era buildings that have been well maintained and cared for over the years.  It gets a gold star.

Next up: Spring City.

Here's the spring for which the town is named.  (The water is cool and tasty.)

Here's a typical public building in Spring City: the old schoolhouse.

Schofield's used to be a general store, but is now an art gallery.  This old Squirt advertisement lives on, though I think you'd be hard pressed to find a bottle for five cents.

While I was taking this picture a couple pulled up in a car and asked me if I were a Schofield.  I replied that no, actually I was a waymarker, which led to a conversation on that particular hobby.  As it turned out, the woman had Schofield relatives and assumed I probably did too.  (Not as far as I know.)

While in Spring City we stopped by Horseshoe Mountain Pottery (not pictured here, because I'm dumb) and I picked up a little mug on the honor system, since the Bennions were off on a whitewater rafting trip.  They usually just leave the place open and assume people will pay the going price for anything they take.  That setup must be working pretty well, because it's the same one they had in place when Captain Midnight and I first visited Spring City in the 1990s.

Finally, the Spring City pioneer cemetery.

I think I'll just let this plaque speak for itself.

Utah small towns, especially the ones that have been well cared for, are amazing.  The work that was put into every building and structure, the desire to make things beautiful and lasting even in the middle of the wilderness -- these things are visible even now.  I appreciate them much more than I did when I was a teenager, complaining that Utah wasn't quite the end of the world, but you could see it from here.

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