Southern Utah News Articles
Take road trip back in time through 14-episode Discovery Road series this month on KUEN
Manti, Utah—Road trip! Not your daily commuter trip, but more like a pleasure cruise or an old fashioned Sunday drive – a time to check off those boxes on your Utah travel wish list. “Take it slow on this stretch of Highway 89,” producer and host James Nelson says in the introduction to an episode of Discovery Road, a series dedicated to telling the stories along Utah’s Heritage Highway – U.S. Highway 89, All-American Road State Route 12 and Scenic Byway State Route 24.
The Utah Education Network (UEN) recently launched a summer series of the shows, which give the viewer a chance to join Nelson and various co-hosts as they motor in vintage automobiles, such as a 1927 Ford Coupe and a 1955 Pontiac Chieftain dubbed “Love Me Tender,” along Utah’s most historic highway.
Through 14 half-hour episodes, viewers will explore uncommon stops such as “Soup Town,” otherwise known as Orderville, Utah, population 500. Soup was often the fare when residents gathered to share a meal, and meals weren’t all they shared as they lived the United Order in the late 19th century.
Another stop along the road is Kanab’s “Little Hollywood,” where visitors play parts in their own John Wayne-style Western movie. Viewers get to meet Maude Adams, a legendary late 19th Century and early 20th Century actress, famous for her role as Peter Pan and the inspiration for the movie “Somewhere in Time.”
In one episode, viewers join in to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Panguitch Quilt Walk, retracing the steps of seven brave men who traversed snow-covered mountains in the winter of 1864 in a desperate effort to save their town from starvation.
Let the Discovery Road series inspire you to take your own trip down Utah’s Heritage Highway this summer.
In other episodes, viewers will walk the Mormon Trail with pioneers whose stories are little known: blacks, the disabled and the ones who didn’t make it all the way to Zion. They’ll encounter a mysterious story about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid through an intriguing set of events surrounding the life of a man named Hyrum Beebe who claimed to be the real Sundance Kid.
The Discovery Road series is offered by the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area (MPNHA) in partnership with UEN. In addition to the Discovery Road series, the MPNHA has produced longer feature films, available through UEN and on DVDs sold in gift shops, campgrounds, and other outlets along the heritage area corridor.
In one of the DVDs, “Stories from Highway 89 and the Boulder Loop,” host Spencer Kinard explores the inspiring stories of the Old West with segments about Native Americans, outlaws, artists and movie stars.
In “Utah’s Blackhawk War: Cultures in Conflict,” host Merrill Osmond recreates the cultural and political affairs of the 1860s as the American Civil War came to a close, yet the Utah Territory erupted with violence as Ute Indians and Mormon settlers clashed over the same land.
Monte Bona, director for the MPNHA, says the purpose of the Discovery Road series and other videos is two-fold: “It’s a great venue to tell these great Mormon stories, and it’s a way to encourage people to do what people did in my day: Go on a Sunday drive and explore the area. We hope this series will inspire people to drive the heritage highway and explore our heritage.”