Friday, January 21, 2000

Friday night in Moab, Utah.

Just up the road from Monticello, Moab is an old uranium mining town that is near Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.  Since I was touring those two parks today, I ended my day in Moab. I thought I might make it to Colorado today, but I spent extra time at Arches.  I am planning on getting an early start, so I should be in Colorado tomorrow morning.

I was on the road before sunrise was to occur, but it was a cloudy morning so the sun was not visible.  Still, it was a nice morning for a drive as I headed north on Route 191.  I turned west onto Route 211 and headed for the Needles section of the Canyonlands National Park.  Along the road there were many deer.  At one point, I had to wait for a group of twenty to cross the road.

My first stop was a the Newspaper Rock Recreation Site.  This is the location of a rock wall with many petroglyphs.  These sites impress me.  There is so much unknown about what the different symbols mean and why they were used.  Many assumptions are made, but the complete meaning is still a mystery.  

After exploring the petroglyphs and the surrounding area, I continued my drive.  I stopped by the Canyonlands Visitor Center and viewed their displays about the region, then took a tour of the park.  The park is a preserve of an immense wilderness of rock, and was formed by the Green and Colorado Rivers.  There are three sections of the park which provide diverse options for adventures.  The Needles section includes rock spires, arches, canyons, and a landscape of many colors.  Along the main scenic drive, there were several trails, including the one I hiked, which was to an Anasazi granary where ancestral Indians would store their food.  

I visited the remainder of the Needles area accessible by my vehicle, thinking that next time I would like to come back with an off-road vehicle.  During my visit, the clouds began to scatter and the sky became a beautiful turquoise blue.  With the scenery, it was spectacular!

Returning back to the main road, I resumed my northern direction on Route 191 until I saw a scenic stop for Wilson Arch along the road.  I noticed a truck with a camper parked there, and the hood was open.  I met a retired couple traveling with their grandson, and they were having cooling problems with their truck.  They had camped down the road the previous night, and thought they could make it into town today.  Unfortunately, they only made it as far as the pull over area.  The gentleman's brother lived near Price, Utah, and was to arrive soon to assist them.  Like me, they were also in the process of moving.  They had lived in Houston for eleven years, and were moving back to the Price, Utah area.

I returned to the road and as I was driving, I listened to a local radio station.  They had a call in program to sell items, and what I found interesting was that when the sellers gave their phone numbers, they only stated the last four digits, since apparently in the area, they only had one prefix.  After getting used to always giving out my number with an area code, I found this amusing.  Also, I heard the following:

Did you hear about the religious skunk?

He goes to church to sit in his own pew!

...Local radio!!!

I spent the afternoon in Arches National Park.  As the name implies, there is an incredible display of natural stone arches, with unbelievable scenery.  A main scenic drive with several side roads goes through the park allowing views and access to the magnificent arches and rock formations.   Balanced rocks, salt valleys, bluffs, and stone statues are also scattered through the park.  I took several trails including some that lead underneath the arches.  Having the ability to view these up close and to see their size is amazing!

Since it was late in the afternoon, I decided to stay in Moab.  At the advice of the hotel desk attendant, I had dinner at the Sunset Grill.  The story is that years ago a man named Charlie Steen became rich mining uranium in the area.  He bought a mountain and built a house overlooking the town of Moab.  It was sold and became a restaurant, now called Sunset Grill.  Charlie Steen also appeared in an I Love Lucy episode where Lucy is looking for uranium.  I think I remember that one.  Anyway, the Prime Rib was incredibly delicious!  If you are in the area, this is a great dinner stop, if not only for the views.  Great service, too!

Routes traveled today: 191 - 211 - 191 - 279 - 191

Thank you for visiting, and hopefully, if the hotel room tomorrow has a correct phone type, I should be saying hello from Colorado!   Thanks...Igor

P. S. As I was going through the channels on the television this evening, I noticed the movie Tremors was playing.  It was interesting watching the movie for the scenery as it was filmed in the Alabama Hills near Lone Pine, California. I was there two weeks ago!  No comment about the movie, just the location!

Hotel: Best Western Greenwell Inn

Gas: $1.59

Click on picture to get enlarged view:

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Along the road to Canyonlands.

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Tablet describing Newspaper Rock State Historical Monument.  Called Newspaper Rock as it records about 2000 years of early man's activities in the area.

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Path to the monument.

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These six shots show various views of the petroglyphs.

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Stepping away from the face of the rock, you can see the informational tablet and railing.

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Now in Canyonlands National Park, I took the Roadside Ruin Trail and saw this ancestral Puebloan granary.


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Another view of the granary.

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Looking East, a snow capped mountain can be seen in the distance.

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Many interesting rock formations were visable throughout the Needles section of Canyonlands!

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Tablet describing Wooden Shoe Arch.

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Another interesting rock formation.

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Incredible sites in all directions.

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At the end of the road, looking Southwest.

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From the same area, looking Northwest.

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Heading out of the park, seeing the many layers of rock in one area.

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This sign describes the Wilson Arch, seen in the next picture.

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Wilson Arch, along route 191.

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After entering Arches National Park, this tablet is located on the road above the main Visitor's Center.  It describes the next picture.

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The view from the overlook towards the Moab Fault.  The Visitor Center is located in the center right of the picture.

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The park provides many informational tablets.  This is a wider view of the scene in the next picture.

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A very pretty scene as the clouds roll in.

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Another display describing the scene, as partially seen in the next shot.

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More beautiful views.

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Description of Balanced Rock.

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My own shot of the rock.

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An area of many arches, with trails throughout the area.

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Along the trail, with many arches to choose from!

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Another arch along the trail, stairs leading to it seen in the center of the shot.

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A closer view.

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A view of the landscape beyond the arches.

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From underneath one of the arches.

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Another fascinating rock formation.

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Off in the distance, the famous Delicate Arch, in the center of the picture.

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Another shot of the arch.

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Skyline Arch tablet showing a picture before a large piece seperated.

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The scene as I hike towards Skyline Arch.

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From below the arch.

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Just south of Arches, before arriving in Moab, is a side road leading to another petroglyph site.

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These petroglypgs are not as easy to see as on Newspaper rock, but are just as interesting.

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The sun behind the mountains west of Moab.

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Copyright 2001 Igor N. Nikishin

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