Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Moab, Utah is a Must Visit

           Today is July 9, 2013, and we are bringing our short visit to Moab, Utah to a conclusion, already! This has been a fun and interesting two day visit to one of the Southwest’s most attractive areas. It is the essence of the rugged beauty that is the Southwestern United States.  

We departed Cortez, Colorado yesterday morning for the 110 mile trip to Moab. The weather was clear at about 75 degrees with no noticeable wind. A wonderful couple of hours to travel. The first 60 miles were over rolling agriculture properties, but this abruptly ended when we drove past the town of Monticello, Utah. The next 50 miles was back to the rugged red rocks that dominate the Southwest.

As we came upon Moab I don’t know what I was thinking but I sailed right by the Spanish Trail RV Park that would be our home for the next two nights. I had actually forgotten that Spanish Trail was 5 miles from the center of Moab. It is very much a rural atmosphere 5 miles south of Moab. Gas stations, various agriculture businesses, and ranch style houses dot the roadside. Very steep cliffs of southwestern dark-red rock are about a half mile off the west side of the highway. The highway was plenty wide at this point but it still took me a mile to find adequate room to maneuver the 14 ton motorhome, with towed Jeep, into a U-turn. Very light traffic assisted in that effort. 

Spanish Trail RV Park was a highly recommended park in the rating service I use to judge where we want to park for a day or two, or even a week, and it hasn’t disappointed us. We were fully situated in the park by noon. By situated I mean the coach is parked on our assigned spot with the Jeep detached, and the electricity, water, and sewer connections hooked to the coach. It really goes without saying, but I will anyway, the air-conditioner is working like a champ. The heater/air-conditioner works just like a residential unit. A 78 degree setting seems to keep us comfortable when the outside temperature gets around 100. 

The RV Park has its own Wi-Fi connection but in an effort to stay self-sufficient I own a T-Mobile 4G LTE “Hot Spot” for our online connection. Moab is the first neighborhood where I have been able to receive better than a 2G service and this 4G service is amazingly fast. As fast as, if not faster than, the Cox Communications best service back in Las Vegas. 4G is blazing fast! 

We really didn’t get going fast enough yesterday afternoon after our arrival to get out to one of the national parks. We spent the afternoon getting organized by accomplishing a few things we had put off for a week or so. Silly stuff but it’s out of the way now. 

Moab is a small tourist town that services both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. I noticed also that the town does a big business in various river rides as the mighty Colorado River runs past the edge of town. 

After visiting the local Chinese restaurant in downtown Moab for dinner we spent the remainder of the evening planning our Tuesday (today) for excursions to both the national parks.  

Our plan called for an early start around 7:30 A.M. Arches National Park entrance and visitor’s center is three miles out the north end of Moab and about eight miles from the RV Park. We did get rolling early and got to the park’s visitor’s center about 8 A.M. We watched a short movie about what we were going to see in the park and picked up some maps of the area. The next couple hours were quite interesting as we drove about 15 miles and looked at the various rock formations. The sun wasn’t high yet, and just like the Grand Canyon, Arches is a place of many faces as the sun moves across the sky.

We were back on the highway about 10:30 for the transition to Canyonlands National Park. To get to the visitor’s center at Canyonlands you get back on Highway 191 going north for about 6 miles. Then you follow the signs heading in a southwesterly direction for another 25 miles. The territory you cover to get into Canyonlands is somewhat breath taking as you gain altitude until you arrive at the entrance. A high plains atmosphere.  

We checked in at the visitor’s center where a park ranger advised us to get moving 12 miles across the park where we would meet another ranger who would soon be making a presentation to a gathering on the rim of the canyon. We got there with a couple minutes to spare. The view was so impressive it was hard to fathom the presentation being given which discussed the erosion of the land formations over thousands of years. The presentation was given so close to the canyon rim that it took my toes about an hour to uncurl after catching sight of the 1,000 foot drop! 

I’m not going to go into the data I have read about the employment impact that tourism brings into this area. Suffice it to say it is many employed with tourists generating billions of dollars. 

Janet and I are both happy with our short trip to Moab. Sure, we took some pictures but there isn’t anything like those colorful memories. If you haven’t been here before I would suggest a long weekend of three or four days would get it done. It is worth the drive. 

Tomorrow morning we get underway for the Salt Lake City area. It turns out we had some problems with our reservation at Wasatch Mountain State Park. Therefore, we are checking elsewhere in the area and it isn’t settled yet on this Tuesday evening. 

I hope you are enjoying my ramblings.

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