The year: 1916.
The place: South-western Utah, where Ruby and Minnie Syrett decided to shake off the dust of their small town and search for a place to call their own.
Without the benefit of Realty signs pinpointing desirable locations to settle, they picked a broad open meadow bordering a pine forest, literally "in the middle of nowhere".
One day a neighbor stopped by and asked Ruby and Minnie if they had ever traveled a mile south of their property to see, as he called it: "Just a big hole in the ground." No they had not.
"Well," said the neighbor, "It's worth seeing."
So one Sunday afternoon Ruby and Minnie hitched their horse and buggy and ventured out to see this "hole in the ground".
Here's what they saw:
|The view into Bryce Canyon.|
And, just like that, Ruby, Minnie and their young family had hit the location jackpot.
In 1920 Ruby built a lodge to accommodate visitors. In 1928 Bryce Canyon became a National Park. And by the late 1920s Ruby's Inn had become a vacation destination.
Today, Ruby's and Minnie's grandchildren and great-grandchildren run the place and—in my opinion—it's become a rather kitschy tourist trap. However, every winter Ruby's Inn grooms a network of cross-country ski trails on the boundary of Bryce Canyon National Park.
The Ruby's Inn Nordic Area, with just under 17 miles of mostly beginner trails, is not particularly challenging or large.
But the location? It can't be beat.