Moab, Utah

April 21- May 4, 2015

Moab, Utah is a cool place. Well, it is actually a very hot place because it is in the desert and it contains Uranium mines that are now environmental remediation sites (Moab UMTRA Project), but that is not the point here just don’t drink the water. This hip town is surrounded by amazing natural beauty and steeped with Native American knowledge.

The most famous spot in town is of course, Arches National Park. This is another fantastic treasure of America. We spent days exploring this wonderland of stone arches and meandering desert paths. We even got commentary by Edward Abbey, one of the first park rangers to call this park home, via an audiobook of his book, Desert Solitaire. I highly recommend reading or listening to local books while exploring a new area. It gives you a much deeper understanding and appreciation of your surroundings. Some of the highlights of this park are Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, Balanced Rock, and the Fiery Furnace! In order to explore the Fiery Furnace you must have a guide, as this is a place of towering rock fins and gorges that is easy to get lost or hurt in. In fact, a couple went missing while we were there. Luckily they were found unharmed, we think? We enjoyed our 3 hour guided Park Ranger tour through the maze. I will now let the photos of Arches National Park explain the rest of our meanderings.

Moab is also a home base for the nearby Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands is an enormous park that consists of three distinct sections, the Island in the Sky, the Needles, and the Maze. There is actually a fourth district, which are the rivers themselves. These rivers provided some of the best white water rafting it in the world, including the famous Cataract Canyon. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time or the money to participate in multiday trips down these exciting rivers. We did however thoroughly explore the first two districts, but not the Maze. The Maze is a remote, wild, dangerous, minimally explored section of the park. If you recall the movie and real life tale, “127 hours”, well this happened near the Maze. This is a scary place for even the most adventurous survivalists. The Island in the Sky is an amazing place that actually allows you to overlook the Maze and the Needles districts from high above. To be exact you are over 6000 feet above. It also provides 360 panoramas of the Colorado and Green Rivers. You literally walk on the edge of the mesa and peer over the soaring cliffs. Very cool! The Needles district, just like it sounds like, is a bunch of tall Cedar Mesa Sandstone Spires that resemble sewing needles. Driving and hiking amongst them is pretty humbling and enchanting.

Another awesome park in the area is Dead Horse Point State Park. This park is near the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands and provides an even better view of the Colorado River. Once again you are high on a table mesa looking over the edge to the river thousands of feet below. Quite humbling. Especially when you are listening to Edward Abbey describe a hiker who was found dead here in the 1960s. The beauty here is hard to put into words, so I hope the pictures inspire you as much as it did us while we were there.

We witnessed dozens of arches while we were in the area. Unfortunately, most of them do not allow dogs on the trails. However we found one we could share with Wizard, Corona Arch! Wizard enjoyed the hike as much as we did, until we got to a ‘rock ladder’. This actually is just steps carved into a vertical rock surface with a rope to guide you up. Wizard is just not that agile and he was somewhat too terrified for us to carry him up. So Wizard and I took in the scenery while Wade made the final quarter mile climb to the arch. Wizard and I had an awesome view of the arch while Wade scrambled his way up to stand beneath the mammoth stone structure. For other dog lovers who may end up here in the future, it is essential for your dog to wear a harness with a handle on top for guidance. We did meet several dog friends who were braver than Wizard and made the ascent with help from their human companions.

We are National Park/Monument junkies, so while in the area we drove the 2 hours to Grand Junction, Colorado to explore the city and Colorado National Monument. Along RVenture we have discovered a love for fried avocado and a local farm to table restaurant in Grand Junction successfully satisfied our craving before we ventured into Colorado National Monument. Yum. The park did not disappoint either. A highlight was following a bicyclist down the mountain. She was going ~45 mph down tight curving roads and through tunnels. Brave soul!

Now on to the town of Moab, itself. It is small haven of delicious restaurants, a microbrewery, and many locally owned artisan shops. In addition, there are a ton of adventure sport/tour operators. We happened to be in town during the annual car show. We are not really into cars, but it was impressive non-the-less. As a side note, if you are into off-roading, especially in a Jeep, this is area is a mecca for you! We actually had a pretty bad case of Jeep envy while there. We may have even considered trading in Falcor (the Ford Focus) for a mighty beast of a Jeep. But Falcor gave us sad eyes and we folded. However, Falcor is a bad a** and allowed us to explore the nearby mountain range, the La Sal Mountains. We had no idea that there would be a snow-capped mountain range near Moab, Utah. So when we arrived we were pleasantly surprised by snow peaks in the desert. It really is a beautiful place, put it on your bucket list now!

I saved the best for last, as now I will discuss our favorite part of the Moab area, Native American petroglyphs and pictographs! We have been on a somewhat of a Native American pilgrimage since our arrival in the southwest. Their knowledge and ideals really inspire us to be better people and stewards of the Earth. It also brings out our curiosity in extraterrestrials. Most indigenous people around the world have stories of ‘Star Beings’ and looking at ancient artwork it becomes pretty apparent that our Natives do too. We have also been binge watching the series, Ancient Aliens, so our minds our full of openness and curiosity. We spent many days finding all the petroglyphs and pictographs in this area and it really is overflowing with them. There are so many ancient lessons, teachings, encounters, and maps to be explored and contemplated. We had a blast searching for ancient history and came away with more questions, than answers. But what fun! Some highlights are Sego Canyon, a birthing site on Kane Creek Road, Newspaper Rock, and of course the Moab Man and dog! I hope you enjoy our photos and our ‘Ancient Alien’ interpretation video. Enjoy!!

 

That sums up are stay in Moab, until next time, keep your eyes open, your hiking boots on, and your curiosity peaked.