Thursday, June 18, 2009

Moab, Biblical Burial Site of Moses

June 17, 2009

Once again, I got up and got coffee and checked my computer for email and stock market trends. Then, of course, take coffee to Jes to jump start her. Our plan was to make it an easy 180-190 miles to Moab. Moab is named after the biblical burial land of Moses, who, as you know, did not make it to the Promised Land.

We left Richfield and motored east on I-70. I knew the San Rafael Swell was ahead of us and was looking forward to it. (I had heard much about this geologic formation while living in Boulder but hadn’t had the chance to view it.) The wind/air temp was just about perfect, but we pulled over to don rain gear just in case.

We did a lot of climbing going up the west side of the swell, and reached a great viewing point. The Native Americans were there with large spreads of jewelry. (I wonder if that stuff is really made in Thailand or somewhere.)

Then, we rode the down into the San Rafael Desert. Going up, over, and down the swell presented us with fantabulous sights, and these pictures really don’t do justice to the geography. The scale of mountains, plains, mesas, and other western geography dwarfs what you see in Arkansas, the Hill Country of Texas, and even the Appalachians. You really feel as though you are just a mote when you ride down a cut made through huge stone walls and find yourself staring out at mountains that are 30-40-50 miles in the distance across the high desert.

We got gas just before turning south on Hwy 191 to Moab. Moab, UT, is the setting for a novella I’ve finished (are we ever finished?), and driving back to the town was like going back to see an old friend.

After grabbing a hotel, we went to get a snack, and then rode around some. We ended up taking the road that leads to Slickrock Trail (a famous mountain bike jaunt) but pushed on to where the road turned to gravel and then kept going another ten miles or so. When we stopped to take a break, stretch our legs, and snap some pics, Jes called to me from behind where I was standing. “Hey, Papa, do you think we need to worry about that?”

I turned and saw some dark clouds a few miles away approaching…and it was obvious that they were dumping rain. We were way high above the town and miles away, so I was most concerned about lightning. Fortunately, we missed most of the rain.

After taking a cat nap, we decided to do some more looking around and find somewhere to eat. I had a place in mind, but didn’t tell her about it until we started up a horribly-maintained asphalt road toward a very oddly shaped structure at the top.

“That’s a great dinner place,” I said. “Been there before and it was delicious.”

It proved to be an equally enjoyable experience this time, too, although the rain drove us off our outdoor dinner patio and inside for shelter.

We did our usual TV thing, throwing the remote back and forth, telling the other to try and find a good channel. Terrible TV all week, but that was really just as well.

Lights out at 11 or so.

Mike Sledge

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