Bryce Canyon to Panguitch - The woman who sat on the toilet too long (and other odd American tales) - CycleBlaze

July 6, 2014

Bryce Canyon to Panguitch

IT'S A PLEASANT enough place, Panguitch. Except that it's a Mormon town and it's closed on Sundays. Except for the old cinema. And that's worth going to, not just because the café in the foyer sells better than your everyday burgers but because, after we persuaded the owner that it should be so, all visiting touring cyclists will henceforth receive a free scoop of ice cream.

The significance of Panguitch for us was that it would be open on Monday and that, on Monday, Karen could collect things she'd arranged to have delivered there. That left all Sunday afternoon to fill. The Tour de France riding through the northern English hills did part of that and so did eating at the café. But time still hung on our hands, even after reading books, and so we wandered back to the cinema and asked when the next showing would be.

Well, you know the story of the rundown rural cinema? You ask when the next film will be and the answer is: "When can you get here?" It was like that. "Soon as you've eaten," John, the owner, said, "I'll start the film for you. Fact, if you wanna go in there before you finish, I can give you trays so's you can eat as you watch."

We declined the tray, finished the meal, walked past film posters into the sloping array of fold-up seats in front of a small screen, and waited to see Spiderman 2, or Superman 3 or whatever it was. Not that it mattered: the fun was in being there, not in what we were going to see.

Which was just as well because John put the wrong film on and we sat there, alone at our private screening, watching some enjoyable and time-consuming nonsense about flying dragons and heroes who spoke with American accents and bad guys who had British ones. But who cares? This was small-town Americana at its best.

Do go if you get the chance.

Panguitch's lovely little cinema and café: free ice cream for all touring cyclists
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Panguitch: a pleasant sort of place
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Panguitch's little coffee stand; it said it was open but I'm not sure that it was
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Today's ride: 37 km (23 miles)
Total: 4,815 km (2,990 miles)

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