A rustic scene from Orderville, Utah. A land where time seems to have forgotten; a small town just outside of Zion National Park, it's a strange, unwelcoming place filled with strange, unwelcoming people. Religious fundamentalism runs rampant; the town's two stores -- a grocery store, and a gas station, are both owned by the same individual. He is staunchly LDS, and has felt the urge to enforce his practices upon all others in the town vicariously through selectively carrying products approved by the Doctrine and Covenant. Suffice it to say, it's a dry town.
Small towns in Utah all feel about the same to me. They're all strangely suspicious of "foreigners," all predominantly LDS, and generally averse to any kind of change or growth. Politically conservative, with nearly all of the population proudly, and religiously, voting for the elephant. There are so many nuances of Mormonism I'd need to express to make others relate, to fully understand what these people are like. I do not possess the ability to intelligently articulate all subtleties. . . but to say that I do not get along with these people is, to get to the point, a fair assessment.
My recollections of Utah will forever remain bittersweet. While home to arguably some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes in the world, it's also home to its residents. In a strangely melancholic way, my love for the landscape is tainted by my knowledge of its strange, inhospitable inhabitants, and their strange, exclusionary, and often illegal practices.