Utah – Southern: Moab area

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Geology has always been interesting to me.  The earth has changed in so many ways over millions of years and many times, we get to see the results up close.  

The geology of south eastern Utah is mind blowing.  I really don’t have the words to describe what we have seen and pictures don’t do it justice.  Ol’ Mother Earth has had some issues here and the resulting landscape is breathtaking. 

We have spent about a week in Moab, close to Arches and Canyonland National Parks, plus assorted Utah State Parks and National Monuments.  Bright red sandstone canyons, cliffs, gorges and outcroppings dominate the area.  But the real star is the Colorado River, which has relentlessly eroded and carved up this area.

I have actually hiked….twice this week.  If you know me, then you know I don’t hike.  To me, hiking should involve a horse and (hopefully) a mule with a bar (we had one named Cutter when we went into The Yellowstone).  But I have found that I enjoy it, as long as we don’t go too far or too fast.  Sienna acts like she is part mountain goat and Keisha tries to get as wet as possible.  

We hiked Negro Bill Canyon (oddly named, but it was worse until 1960).  Named for a settler who was part black and party Native American.  He tried to eke out a living here, but left after a few years in frustration.  The narrow canyon was cut by a stream that we crossed 11 times.  There was a trail, but it meandered over boulders and parts of cliffs.  I was quite sure we were going to die.

Arches National Park offers a nice drive and short hikes to see the many erosion created arches.  Crowds are light, as the summer rush has ended and the weather has cooled.  I have taken pictures with both my Iphone and my Nikon.  (Thank you Steve Tague for lending me another lens!). I am just not sure the pictures capture the magnificence of the area.

Dead Horse Point State Park, overlooking the Colorado River, gives you a 180 view of vast canyons created by erosion.  Will the Grand Canyon be as spectacular?  At least we could bring the dogs here and we had a lovely picnic lunch at the point.  (Dogs aren’t welcome at National Parks.  Period)

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And all of these areas are about 10 minutes from Moab……

Moab has a craft brewery, aptly named Moab Brewing.  We had some of their Red Rye and we enjoyed it enough to purchase a 4 pack.  

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And we found a winery in Moab, Castle Creek Winery.  Not bad, really.  But the highlight was the film museum next door.  John Ford found this area years ago and so many films, TV shows and ads have been filmed with these canyons as a background.  Think many John Wayne movies, Thelma & Louise (this is where they went off the cliff), Indiana Jones, Star Trek, Back to the Future, etc.

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