Rather than following the Interstate south as far as we can, at Nephi we pick up Highway 89. From here we can slip over to Mount Pleasant and Spring City before heading down through Manti and Salina and then on to Capitol Reef.
This is a generally rural area, with small towns and scattered ranches surrounded by green irrigated fields.
A guidebook I had seen billed this as a bucolic route through lovely old Mormon farm towns with stone buildings and quaint Main Streets. While not what I am expecting (I must have missed the quaint Main Streets), there are some lovely stone buildings scattered about – amid a variety of other historic structures.
The stone used here is mostly white, probably local limestone or Navajo sandstone. Unlike marble ,the rough texture of the stone gives these structures a solid, practical feel.
In Spring City – along with a wealth of lovely historic buildings – we come across a group of children selling lemonade and cookies outside the Mormon church.
The children have large, handmade signs advertising their wares that they hold above their heads as they run after passing cars shouting out. The lemonade and fruit drinks are provided by one of the children’s grandmothers and, at 25 cents a glass, it makes for a nice break. They say they are having a good day, sales-wise, and it does appear that their adult neighbors and friends are giving them a good amount of business…
The land becomes drier and rockier as we head south, making this small reservoir (probably along Highway 24) seems incongruous.