Sunday, May 13, 2012

Trip to Moab - Part 1

A week and a half ago I headed down to the Moab Photography Symposium.  It was a three day event and I learned a fair amount.  More on that, and some photos, in a future blog post.

On Saturday evening, Julie rolled into Moab and I moved from my hotel room to our rented condo.  Julie got the pleasure of driving the 4-5 hours with Jasper and Cosette.  This is the only trip we do with the dog and cat, but it seems to work fairly well.

When you are in Moab, you have to get out and enjoy the outdoors.  For us, this means a lot of hiking and photography.  Here's Julie on the Fisher Towers hike, which was a newly discovered favorite for us.
From the Portal Overlook hike, you get to see the disgustingly green Colorado River and the lush green appearance of the town of Moab.  Actually, we were confused because when were staying down in town, it sure doesn't feel green.  In fact, one of our complaints is that Moab is one of the most dog unfriendly places we have been to.  The only places that seem to have grass are sporting fields and city parks and dogs are absolutely prohibited.  Their city dog park is a bone dry dust bowl with a few trees.  We took Jasper there once last year, but he was such a dusty mess when we left that we have never returned.
When hiking around Moab, it is all about the rock.  This is Corona Arch, on the appropriately named Corona Arch Trail. You have to look carefully, but there is a little spec standing under the arch. That would be Julie.  There are hundreds of arches like this outside the Arches National Park.  We like those hikes because the dog can join us.  No dogs wandering around the national parks.
The interesting rock faces show the massive forces at work.  Something slid across this rock face over the years, leaving deep curving gouges as it went.  There's nothing in the photo to give you perspective, but from top to bottom, the photo covers about 100 feet.  Those are big long scrapes.
Even the man-made rock formations are interesting.  This is the rail line that parallels the Colorado River.  It's quite an accomplishment to squeeze a track into a place with so many massive rock formations. 
When you aren't out hiking, you can always just go to a national park with a picnic, wine, and a sunset.  Julie met Joan at work at Deer Valley.  She and her husband Richard have a condo in Moab.  We enjoyed a trip to Arches with them and hope to do some Deer Valley concerts with them this summer.  Always great to find new friends!
Moab is full of outdoor activities we have chosen not to do.  The biggest is the motorized off road trekking.  Jeeps, Hummers, dune buggies, motorcycles, and any form of ATV are hugely popular in the red rock country, but that just aren't our style.

Mountain biking would be more interesting, but this might not be the place to get started again.  The photo below is one of the rough parts of a hiking trail we took.  It is also a mountain biking trail, and we could see signs of people having ridden down it.  Yes, you are really looking at the path.
Higher up on the trail is the sign suggesting you get your butt off the bike and walk.  To reinforce the idea, they mention that three bicyclists have died here.  It's a narrow, rocky trail with about 500 feet of drop.
Another thing to see and do in Moab is to visit the petroglyphs. This ancient rock art is surprisingly well preserved, but Julie and I don't go searching it out. I think it would take a better understanding of all the history and interpretations to make it more interesting, and we haven't invested the time and energy yet.
We used to do a fair amount of rock climbing, but that's a distant history.  There are lots of climbs around Moab and we just step running across climbers.  This guy is in Arches.  He's looking ok, but couldn't get all the way up and had to drop back down.  The girl behind him succeeded.  A wee nick in the pride.....
We ran across this guy in the Fisher Towers area just as he was finishing a climb of a spire.
And right up the hill from him, a woman just finished her climb of the really odd looking spire on the left.  Look closely, she's standing on top of it.
We had a great week of weather and the pets behaved as well as we can ask.  Moab is definitely going to be a fairly frequent return trip and offers a great way to bug out of Park City during the cold weeks of spring Mud Season.

Lots more photos on the blog over the next few days.

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