So that is why we were checking into a motel in Beaver on a Thursday evening. I had thought going down a day early would be a good idea - give us a chance to explore, poke around, get our bearings. Of course, as I researched dining options, I grew a little fearful that we would be in a Panguitch situation. After we had checked in, we cruised Main Street to reconnoiter. Beaver is similar to Panguitch, having a short, historical Main Street with a number of funky old motels and a few restaurants. Beaver is bigger, however, with lots of surrounding farms, a big garden center/nursery and a mix of homes (new construction, trailers and very cool older brick places). More importantly, it also has one bar.
"Ugh - papparazzi"
We had a quick dinner at the Crazy Cow (salads, veggie burgers and beer - a bottle each of Corona and Budweiser, no I am not kidding), then left the truck at the motel and walked a few blocks to the center of town. We found a gorgeous old courthouse and an opera house - with falcons nesting in a vent; we also located where we thought the race packet pick-up would be on Friday. Then, thirsty from all that exploring, we went to the Renegade Lounge where we were the only ones there, until the bartender's husband stopped by after getting out of work. It was like having our own private club - with only Bud Light on tap. Not able to face that terrible excuse for "beer," I drank bottled Coronas and H had bottled Guinness. We talked with Keara and Jimmy all night, mostly about Eagle Point Resort (a/k/a "the mountain" per locals), where he is the executive chef and she is the pastry chef, but also small town stuff like having polygamist neighbors, open range cattle (if you hit one with your car, you have to pay the farmer for not only the dead animal, but any potential future progeny you have deprived him of), the Brian Head fire, etc.
After a couple of hours, we walked back to our motel. Although it had been close to 100 F during the day, it had cooled off nicely and was very pleasant. So far, we were much preferring Beaver to Panguitch ... but H was all, "What are we going to do all day tomorrow?" which was a good question, actually.