Seven years have gone by since Roy and I moved to Monticello. While we've been happy, for the most part, to say it was challenging is an understatement. We still have struggles, but we face them together; and we've developed several friendships with locals that have helped us keep our sanity.
I predicted that within ten years this town would change, and it has slowly and surely. New larger businesses are Maverik, Family Dollar, Spower Wind Farm and Canyon Country Discovery Center; some smaller businesses are Paca Pantry (Alpaca products and more), Door No. 3 (florist and gifts), Draper's Auto Repair and Towing, Desert Stone Studio (my husband's venture into videography, animation and editing). The new City Council and, still acting, Mayor (Tim Young - owner of Main Street Pharmacy and Gifts) acknowledge that business growth is needed to keep this small town viable.
Proudly I can say that many new citizens have moved into the area due to what they have read on this blog. Tourism is up, and I know many visitors have come, once again, due to this blog. Now how can I say this? Well, they tell me! I've met many of them, and I'm not shocked anymore to see my blog on someone's phone or tablet.
There are still citizens here that live in a time warp bubble; as far as they're concerned, it's still the 19th century when the first pioneers settled in San Juan County. Their children's children, however, have a more modern view mainly due to all the technology and internet of the 21st century. Monticello will continue to change as more "outsiders" move into the area; as more businesses open; as more visitors from all over the world come to experience this part of the Southwest. Oh, that term "outsiders" is one that those born and bred here call everyone else; then again, what small town doesn't do that?
So, why should you consider visiting Monticello, or even moving here? Real blue sky that goes on forever; stars at night that shine as bright as diamonds; the moon so large that you can't help but reach up and try to touch it; air is clean and crisp with the scent of sage; open land as far as the eyes can see...need I go on? Alright, I will then...how about the definition of a traffic jam out here? Three pickup trucks in front of you and no passing lane; much more preferable than a backed up major highway through an overcrowded city full of dirt, pollution and wall to wall people. Peaked your interest yet?
Lets take a photographic tour of the town...
|North Entrance - Welcome Sign and Canyon Country Discovery Center.|
|View of town from Young's Machine Shop.|
|Junction of Highways 191 (North/South) and 491 (East/West)|
|North Main Street|
|San Juan Record - Local Newspaper which I write food articles for thanks to owner, Bill Boyle.|
|Veterans Memorial Park|
Traveling east along Route 491 will bring you into Colorado; only a 20 minute ride to another state! Westward is Blue Mountain Foods (local grocery); local elementary and high school; San Juan Hospital and Clinic.
|Highway 491 East.|
|Shops Along South Main Street.|
|San Juan County Building - Monticello is the County Seat.|
|This is where I work, so stop in and say "Hello!".|
|Monticello Welcome Center, Frontier Museum, Big 4 Tractor Building|
|Looking northward from the Welcome Center.|
|Looking southward from the Welcome Center.|
Hideout Golf Club and Community Center.
|Panorama View of the Golf Course from the Community Center balcony.|
|Hideout Golf Course.|
Continuing south on Route 191 are the small towns of Blanding and Bluff; outside of Bluff, continue onto Route 163 for Mexican Hat, the San Juan River and finally Monument Valley. As you can see from the photos, I wasn't lying about the blue sky and open landscapes.
...and for your viewing pleasure, Monticello Utah - Main and Center; the Video!
After seven years, I've finally seen and held a Desert Horned Lizard (aka Horny Toad).
...and yes, there are rattlesnakes here in the desert. Utah has the Midget (aka Pgymy) Faded Rattlesnake which is very deadly; about 10 to 20 minutes before you're a goner.
Video of Midget Faded Rattlesnakes c/o Desert Stone Studio.
In the Manti-La Sal National Forest is an elusive creature, the Abert's Squirrel; well I finally saw, not one, not two, but three! It's at the lower elevations, and we found these on the forest road (FR 085) which passes by Devil's Canyon campground.
I've still to capture a Golden Eagle on camera, but here's a Red Tailed Hawk in flight.
...and who doesn't love the Praying Mantis? The ones I've seen out here are slightly larger than the ones back on the East coast.
Living out here in the Southwest, I've been able to see and experience places and things that I never thought I would. Luckily, I have the best companion in the world, Roy Cokenour; my husband, bestest friend, cohort and co-conspirator, fellow adventurer and explorer.
Three more years Monticello, three more years to give my prediction of change more to go on.
Note: Roy is currently working on a video of Monticello and will be posted on here asap.