I had crossed the Navajo Bridge and was heading along highway 89A towards Freedonia and eventually Kanab, Utah when a most peculiar site on the side of the road caused me to stop.
At first I thought it to be Native American ruins, but the structures seemed all wrong, and out of place. The haunting large rocks and decaying buildings were all that remained here.
I later learn that this place came about during the Great Depression, when a highly talented dancer named Blanche Russell came out here from back East with her husband, Bill, who was suffering from tuberculosis.
In 1927, their car broke down next to these big rocks. Having no choice, Blanche threw up a lean-to of tarp and boards against one of the big rocks. She then started serving food to passers-by in return for labor to help build a bigger house.
Pretty soon, the couple had a full scale restaurant that served the early motorists going to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, as well as Mormons that were traveling the “Honeymoon trail” to have their marriages sanctified at the LDS temple in St. George, Utah.
I’m constantly surprised by the unique history of the Southwest.