October 2017 – We never know what we’ll see when we poke our head out of our trailer in the boondocks at night, especially near a ghost town out west. Around the end of October, things can get a little spooky!
We were camping near Kanab, Utah, a place that was once known as “Little Hollywood” because so many western movies were shot there. Quite a few movie sets still remain in the area, and we explored the Johnson Canyon movie set.
Camermen and casts from TV’s Gunsmoke and many other TV shows worked on this set for years. It’s hard to imagine the commotion and excitement of those glamorous days. Now the buildings are falling apart.
Many of the buildings have been removed since its heyday as a movie set, and the few that remain are very dilapidated.
What’s odd about this place is that even though it was never a real town, it is very much a ghost town today. A rusty old stove stands forlorn among the tall grasses and fallen walls lie against a brick chimney.
During our stay in the area, the nights were clear and crisp, and the full moon faded away. The bright stars of the Milky Way glittered in the sky all night long.
One night Mark announced that he was going to take his camera out to the movie set ghost town and see if he could get some cool and spooky pics. Sure enough, while I was snuggled under the blankets in the wee hours of the morning, he got some real winners!
Using a small flashlight to “light paint” the buildings in the dark and a big one so he could get from building to building without tripping in the pitch dark, he captured the ghost town buildings at their most mysterious!
It was cold, and a light wind raised the hair on the back of his neck. Coyotes yelped in the distance. As he looked around, he saw pairs of eyes staring at him in the dark. A twig snapped in a tree next to him and he jumped!
Despite being a little unnerved, Mark’s camera captured one great image after another. The photo above won him “Photo of the Day” at Steve’s Digicam today! Check it out here!!
It turned out the eyes belonged to cows that were milling around, but he still got the creeps. When he burst in the trailer door a few hours later, a rush of cold air followed him. He was grinning, but his teeth were chattering too. It’s scary out there!!
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More info about the Johnson Canyon Movie Sets:
- Johnson Canyon Movie Sets – History and location
- Gunsmoke Movie Set – Visit Southern Utah website
- RV Parks near Kanab, Utah – RV Park Reviews
- Location of Johnson Canyon Movie Set – Interactive Google Maps
Other ghost towns we’ve seen in our travels:
- Terlingua, Texas – A Living Ghost Town in Big Bend 03/28/15
- Nevada City, MT – Rebuilding History in a Vanished Ghost Town 09/11/12
- Virginia City, MT – Living History in a Ghost Town 09/07/12
Utah is a gorgeous state. Here’s a link to all of our Utah blog posts:
Here’s a few posts from southwestern Utah in particular:
- Zion NP, Kodachrome Basin & Snow Canyon, UT – Great Red Rocks! 10/31/07
- Zion National Park’s Hidden Jewels – Off the Beaten Path in an RV! 12/06/17
- Zion National Park RV Trip – One AWESOME Canyon! 12/15/16
- Zion National Park “West” RV Trip – Gorgeous Kolob Canyons! 12/22/16
- Utah Scenic Byway 12 RV Trip – Driving An All American Road! 11/03/16
Photography is an ideal complement to RV travel. Here are some tips:
Our most recent posts:
- Black Hills Back Country Byway – Spring Flowers in Arizona! 04/12/19
- Mexican Hat, Utah – A Special Hoodoo in the Red Rocks 04/05/19
- Traces of Antiquity and the Not-So-Ancient in Utah! 03/29/19
- SE Utah – A Mars Colony, Wide-Angle Photography & Snowy Mountains! 03/22/19
- Monument Valley & Hite Scenic Overlook – Stone Towers from Below & Above! 03/15/19