Along Potash Road (Route 279) just north of Moab, Utah, are fine examples of undisturbed petroglyphs left by the ancestral puebloan people of the area from 600 AD to 1300 AD.
Route 279 runs along the Colorado River, and these petroglyphs, due to their location, have remained untouched...much unlike other examples of petroglyphs in the area.
These can be viewed from car, as they are on the cliffs lining the river. How have they remained in tact? The petroglyphs are at least 20 feet above the road, making it difficult to deface. And luckily, because it is a fine example of both the San Rafeal Fremont tribes, as well as Ute art from later generations.
The petroglyphs depict images of hunters, warriors, bison, deer, and surprisingly...horsemen.
This guy has lived on the 2 acres grounds for about 15 years. AS he wanted to expand, he bought more pieces of land until but against the cemetery. Even some of it is on his land. The stone wall was form discarded concrete that he scavenged and made it a right nice retaining wall. His main avocation is building teepees-big ones and sells about 2-3 a year. he says he gets $3-5 per teepee for the work to find the timber poles and put it all together then transport that to the place designated. His grounds has a couple of broke down cars, and the "shed" is a work place, and also suspect his home must be a site inside. He was a real nice guy, and I was getting into the local culture. I just dropped by and we chatted.
They have all kinds of vehicles and bikes for rent along the main strip. Maybe my guess of 15+ places trying to get you to rent one and go for an adventure. This is the local culture, and who knows what shape they come back in, but am sure many are not good. Rates run about $175 to $250 for 2 to 4 door types, and some may have day minimums. Insurance is on you.
Many of the Moab residents I met along the way relayed the legend of Matrimony Springs to me. According to legend anyone who drinks from the spring will continue to return to Moab for the rest of your life. The water that issues forth from the spring begins its journey to Moab as snowmelt from the La Sal Mountains and travels underneath the red rock all the way to Matrimony Springs. The water makes the majority of its journey underground and the slickrock acts as a natural filter so the water that emerges from the spring is naturally purified and completely drinkable. It has virtually no taste and people travel from all over with large vats to transport the water back home with them. Although we passed up the spring a couple times before finding it, it was worth the effort. The head of the spring has been protected (due to vandalism) with the instillation of a spigot through which the water flows constantly. As you head out of Moab on highway 191 (heading north toward Arches National Park and I-70) turn right onto highway 128. Matrimony Springs is located approximated ¼ mile up hwy 128 on the right hand side (opposite of the Colorado River). I plan on returning to Moab again and again as the legend promises.
I am not here to promote the theme of preserving the beauty of the West, and intrusion by developers, but believe all in the globe should read some of the history and evolution of Jim Stiles and Edward Abbey trying to get the message out what is happening to this Southwest area as a microcosm of what it still in store to come.
The history of Stiles following the modus operandi of Ed Abbey, one of the first to try and stop tourism development taking over the pristine nature out there. Both were Rangers at Arches Park. The Zephyr is now on line only, because of the economy ads dried up in Moab, and the town has the same problem. Stiles is against the RV's, ATV's, and mountain bikes tearing up the terrain, and judging from what I saw, he is right on. Most should stay in designated spots for adventure, but not all do that and the earth does not repair itself out here.
For those that know about Matrimony Spring, use it frequently as the water is always running, cool, fresh and good tasting. It is a tradition for campers, hikers, bikers and locals alike to fill up at the spring. The name comes from the legend that early settlers that were newly married found the spring. Once drinking from it they vowed never to leave Moab.
Now it is said, that if you drink from the spring you will not leave Moab. Well, obviously that is not true because I have been drinking from it for 17 years. However, I do return ever year, sometimes twice a year. Maybe the spring plays a little part in that return.
To find the spring, drive north out of Moab. Before crossing over the Colorado River, turn left on River Rd (Route 128). After a few 100 yards there will be a paved pull-off on the right. The spring is at the end of the pull off. Over the years I have seen varied ways of having the water lift high enough to get a water bottle under it. Years ago there was a pretty good pipe. Recent years there was just rocks built up with a piece of aluminum.
Currently there is a good large PVC pipe. Be aware there is road construction before and at the pull off but it is still easy to pull off and park.
Moab is in the state of Utah. Utah has some different way of running things,...especially if you want good beer! They make you go to a liquor store to by most of the good beers like micro brews with the higher alcohol content. Or at least if used to be like that;)
There are signs near the most famous 'attractions', so read them and learn about this area and its fauna.