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Monument Valley

Kieran picked up on the redesign of the New York Times website and points to some thoughts of the always interesting John Gruber. I like that the old lines that separate boxes or categories are fainter and less distracting—the page seems more whole without them. But it’s crowded, yes.

What attracted me first was the photo leading to this story on visiting Monument Valley, which was prominent on the front page of the site last night. A few nice photos and tips for seeing the valley, one of those iconic Western landscapes that I still haven’t made it to see yet. It’s on my list, along with the now record-low Lake Powell, where the Cathedral in the Desert has been uncovered for the first time since the reservoir filled.

There’s one odd bit to the story, and that’s this line: “One night, I stayed in the secular setting of Kanab, Utah, where I drank Polygamy Porter — a fine beer — over dinner with a man who told me he used to have three wives.” While I quite agree that Polygamy Porter is a fine beer (as are all the beers from Wasatch Brewing), what does the author have in mind when he writes the secular setting of Kanab? Could he mean this Kanab?

The picturesque community of Kanab threw itself into the national spotlight early in 2006 when the city council unanimously passed a non-binding resolution that endorses what it calls a “natural family,” defines marriage between a man and woman as “ordained of God,” and sees homes as “open to a full quiver of children.” Critics say the resolution is anti-gay and critical of single people and even married couples who choose to not have children, while proponents say the purpose of the resolution is to affirm marriage and family and show that Kanab is a good, wholesome place to live. Early reports indicate that some potential visitors to the tourist community planned to stay away to protest the resolution, but it is also expected that others may specifically choose Kanab as a vacation destination because they approve of the sentiments expressed in the resolution.

Kanab is just a stone’s throw from what the author calls the “scary polygamous compound of Colorado City on the Arizona-Utah border,” and while it has come to accept its role in the tourist trade of Southern Utah—after noisily and vehemently protesting the designation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument—that doesn’t exactly make it secular, fine regional microbrewing or not.