Cedar City UT Livestock and Heritage Parade

The parade also had antique tractors, cars, camp wagons both old and new, as well as huge modern farm equipment that I’ve no clue what the function is.

This parade is not just for show. Sheep are herded down from the mountains this time of year and have right-of-way on designated roads. Camp wagons are used by herders, who live in them. Several of the camp wagons, including the one in the photo, have solar power on the back. What a great idea, generate enough power to have lights on at night and to recharge batteries.

Flat Top from the C Trail, Cedar City UT

The C Trail was built in 1996 to commemorate 100 years of Utah statehood. That snow covered mountain is Flat Top, elevation 10,600 feet. Cedar is 5,800 feet. I took this photo about ten minutes up the trail, and the trailhead is five minutes walk from our back door. This Spring I plan to hike the trail and back as a (long) day hike), maybe trying to go past the end of the trail and then summit Flat Top.

From Southwest Backcountry

For Mountain Bikers The C Trail is Cedar City’s incredible downhill romp. NOT a trail for beginning riders, this is a super-twisty flight straight down Cedar Mountain to the edge of the city. The downhill singletrack is 4.5 miles in length, dropping 2300 vertical feet (peak altitude 8400 ft) through a gazillion tight turns, and would be rated advanced-intermediate technical.

This means, as a hiker, I can expect to meet CMBs (Crazed Mountain Bikers) careening down the trail. 🙂

Groovefest. Cedar City music festival

I just got back from Groovefest, a free two-day music festival here in Cedar City.

The New Familiars. During their encore, people literally from 8 to 80 were dancing in the grass by the stage, bikers next to middle-aged Mormon moms. It was wonderful. They’re one of those genre-busting bands; rock, bluegrass, Americana, and folk mixed together with an edge.

Bill Magee Blues Band just tore the place up, even if they were without their harp player. Cedar City is 6,000 feet above sea level and the harp player had serious altitude sickness. He tried valiantly to play, but just couldn’t. And the band was still amazing.

Lubriphonic was the headliner, “Chicago rock and roll stew” with funk and soul too. Everyone was dancing.

Coal Country. The Movie

While looking at at schedule for this weekend’s Groovefest, a free two-day Americana / roots music festival here in Cedar City, I discovered Great American Taxi, who linked to Coal Country.

Coal Country” is a film by Mary-Lynn Evans and Phylis Geller that tells of the dramatic struggle around the use of coal, which provides over half the electricity in America. There is a great Compilation CD for the cause and 100% of the proceeds go to The Alliance for Appalachia to help stop Mountain Top Removal. We are proud to have “Appalachian Soul” Featured on their website as a Free Bonus Track to the album.

I’m looking forward to seeing them Friday night.

On moving to Cedar City UT

As most of you know, Sue and I moved from Orange County CA to Cedar City UT this week.

Among the reasons, there are no CPA jobs in Socal now, prospects here actually look better for Sue, and we bought a duplex with friends and are living in one unit, substantially dropping our expenses. Unemployment in Utah is 2% less than the national average while California is 2% higher. Catastrophic budget problems in California coupled with utter gridlock in the legislature portend no easy answers or solutions. Things there are going to get worse before they get better, IMHO.

Those fly-over states that coastal types mock generally are now doing substantially better economically than California, New York, and other coastal areas. The real estate bubble wasn’t as insane so the crash hasn’t been as bad. In Orange County CA, 25% of the economy was based on real estate. Most of that has gone away and won’t be returning any time soon. Also, it really does seem that fly-over states managed their budgets more conservatively and thus aren’t getting whacked as hard.

30 minutes up a trailhead literally out our back door

So, what’s Cedar City like?

As you can see from my iPhone photo, the area is stunningly beautiful. It’s near Cedar Breaks and Zion National Park with lots of hiking and camping. There’s considerable tourism here as well as a highly regarded Shakespeare festival.

The people are friendly and they mean it. It’s not faked. The night we moved in we went out to dinner. They gave us free desert when they learned we’d just moved.

Cedar is about 30,000 people and is home to Southern Utah University, so it’s a college town. In a coffee house yesterday, there were Asians speaking in their native tongue, hipsters on laptops, lots of tattoos, it could have been a coffee house in Venice CA.

A few days ago it was 27 degrees at night and 65 during the day. Wide temperature ranges are common.

A few years ago there were no Mexican restaurants. Now there are several. Grocery stores are large and well-stocked. And there’s a 24-hour Walmart.

It’s on I-15 and the speed limit is 75 mph. You can be in Vegas in 2 1/2 hours.

We’ve moved 4 times in five years and were in south Orange County for a year. Unlike other areas, upon moving, it has been erased from my data banks. It’s like we never lived there. It was just endless, enormous outdoor shopping malls and gated communities, all carefully manicured, but with no personality or unique characteristics to distinguish or separate anything. You absolutely need a car to survive. The area is totally based on the automobile. We can walk to stores now. And they don’t know what traffic is, either!

Will we be here long? Who knows, but it’s a small town with a more cosmopolitan feel than its size might imply. And I plan to do lots of hiking and I bet we get lots of house guests this summer too.