….minus the goats and the weed, of course.
“So, how did you end up in Panguitch of all places?”
That’s the #1 question I get from my guests. If you haven’t been to Panguitch you might wonder why that would be such a common question. If you HAVE been to Panguitch you probably also wondered why so many middle-aged Californians end up in this little rural town in Southern Utah?
There are plenty of good reasons. Clean air, clean water, slower pace of life, affordable, friendly country folks, easy access to hiking and ATV trails…..you get the drift. Who wouldn’t love that! Ok, so it’s a two hour round trip to Walmart and four hours for a Costco run and the nearest McDonald’s is 65 miles away but to me those are good things.
So here’s how it happened for this California girl. We moved from our dairy farm in Minnesota when I was five and so my memories of country life are the fun, playtime memories of a little girl and I always had a yearning to go back to the country. Someday….sigh.
I was kind of a hippie kid in the late 60’s and early 70’s so the idea of living in an old farm house in the country was even more appealing. There would be a little herd of goats that I could milk and make cheese and soap and leather products from. I would hang my homemade quilts on a line out by the road and people would stop to buy them. I could have my friends and their friends come to rest and relax and I could cook for them and we would sit in the rockers on the porch and watch the sun go down and sing songs and smoke a little weed and it would all be kumbaya.
Then one night in June of 1986 I met Brett during a failed blind date. (That’s another story for another time.) On our 2nd date he wanted to know what my 5, 10 & 20 year life plan is. WHAT!!! I wasn’t sure what I was doing that weekend, other than hoping it was something with him.
So we chatted about things we hoped to do someday and I told him about my long dormant hippie dream of a home in the country. He laughed and said that other than the goats and the weed, that was called a bed & breakfast. I had no idea. But now my dream had a name. A year and a half later we got married, bought a house, moved, worked, etc. and time went on but occasionally we dreamed my hippie dream together.
I had a job I loved very much but it was all-consuming and stressful and when I started crying on the way to work, not just home from work, Brett said “You’re done, we’re doing the B&B.” Shortly thereafter a friend retired to Panguitch and while visiting them we looked around and thought, yeah….this could work. There were lots of big old, affordable homes and there were 2 national parks nearby to support tourism. It took a couple years but eventually we found the home that became our inn and on December 1st, 2000, I moved in and began to work on cleaning, painting and decorating a 5,000 sq. ft. house….on a serious budget. It’s been lots of work but also lots of fun and our many new friends make it all worthwhile.
So here we are, 30 years into our marriage and 18 years of innkeeping and it all seems to be working out…..minus the goats and the weed, of course. And yup, Kumbaya has been sung around the backyard fire pit a time or two.