Peace in the Valley: Grand Valley Cemetery
Cemeteries are usually interesting little pieces of local history so I took an hour or two one morning to look about in this one. All I was able to find about it online before the trip was that it was supposedly established in 1860: an interesting tidbit right there as Moab's first permanent settlement wasn’t until 1877-1878. Although a trading fort had been built nearby in 1855, it was abandoned after only 5 or 6 months and the oldest interment record I could find was of young Nicholas Murphy in 1877. Grand Valley is still active so it's no scruffy, dusty, overgrown bit of ground. Heading for the oldest section, I got an unexpected soaking from an automatic sprinkler system which keeps neatly trimmed lawns and shade trees green and pretty.
Here were the names of pioneers who straggled into this wild and remote corner of the west. Some of them came from far, far away: Denmark, Germany, Russia and England. Some of them were soldiers of Civil, Black Hawk and Mexican Wars. They were prospectors, ranchers, cattle drivers, millers, shopkeepers, clergymen and lawmen, and more than a few were polygamists with multiple wives and a passel of children. Some of them lived to venerable age but too many perished far too young of diphtheria, scarlet fever, influenza, whooping cough, pneumonia and other diseases. Some families lost one or two; others lost them all. The countless monuments to lost little ones - some of which I’ve included here - stand in silent testament to how difficult life was in 19th-century Moab.
Drownings, serious injuries, suicides and murders contributed to the mortality rate as well. One mother took her life and those of her three young children after her jealous husband was imprisoned for killing a suspected amour. Lela Dubois was shot as she stepped between a violent argument between her husband and rifle-toting father; the bullet passed through her and killed her husband as well. Sheriff Tyler and Deputy Jenkins were gunned down by outlaw Kid Curry, and forest ranger Mellenthin by an army deserter.
Their stories aren’t evident between names and dates but there’s a fair number of them on the Find-A-Grave website. Grand Valley is located along the road to Sand Flats Recreation Area - popular for slickrock biking and jeep trails - on the east side of town so if you’re peddling out that way, stop by for look-see. Just keep an eye out for those darn sprinklers!Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Historical Travel
- Budget Travel
Undo the pyew: laundry
If you didn’t get good and filthy in Moab, you didn’t have any fun at all. But if your socks can stand up by themselves and your friends start calling you Shrek, it’s time for a wash-up. Moab Laundry Express LLC has two locations, and this one is right beside the Jail House Cafe so if you drag your butt out of the bag early, you can dump in a load and go have breakfast. It is super clean, super nice, and has giganto washers that’ll handle that stinky bag too. Or all your stuff in just one load if you don’t do any of that unmanly sorting nonsense.
They’re both open 24/7 (for dire laundry emergencies, ya know) and have free wifi for updating your blog while you suds and dry. Air-conditioning and flat screen TV too. See the website for addresses, prices and other good stuff.
- Budget Travel
- National/State Park
Beyond the Trails
Allergic to the Great Outdoors? Go to New York - you'll be miserable here. Everyone else? This could be the best vacation you ever had. Proximity to the Colorado and Green Rivers, acres of slickrock, countless towers and slot canyons, and miles and miles of both paved and off-road paths make more big fun for adventure travelers than anyplace I've ever been. Add in the most drop-dead gorgeous scenery anywhere and you've got yourself one 10-star experience. Providing gear, tours, training and advice for slickrock bikers and 4-wheelers, canyoneers, rock-climbers, kayakers, bladers and rafters is what the good folks of Moab do best so whether for solo or group endeavors, they have exactly what you need.
The excellent Moab website is the best place to start: tons of great information there. The locals are your next best, once you hit town, as being able to spend their leisure time doing all of the above is often the very reason they chose to call Moab home.
My only caution would be not running off to your first big encounter with the landscapes alone - especially not if you're a novice. The high desert, while beautiful, is not to be taken lightly. Falls, dehydration, sunstroke, near-drownings, frostbite and a host of other nasties are good ways to ruin your day - and your trip - so go make sure you have the right gear, find a buddy, keep an eye on the sky, and heed all posted warnings. At the very least, always, always tell someone where you're going and when you're expected to return if heading off the beaten paths.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
Monitor & Merimac Buttes
These are pictures from the distant Hwy 313 that leads to Canyonlands and Dead Horse Park. They views are great, and there is a marker sign along the road to designate that location. If you are adventuresome, you can hike in to them from Hwy 313 by going through a wash. Other choice is to take Mill Canyon Rd, but as I mentioned, it is rough and dangerous, in my opinion. These buttes can be seen for many miles in the surrounding terrain and stand out on a peak of a mountain range.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Moab Views are Why YOu Came Here
The views are fabulous and make a person feel humble with the aura of the magnificent colors and the buttes/crest surrounding this town. Almost beyond description, but I will try. Sun rises are more pronounced than other places in the US; buttes take on a color in the light that not many other places can rival, and the continual panorama of color on the horizon cannot be matched. See my pics and there must be others better. It give you respect for Nature and it's magnificence.Related to:
Motor Bike the Areas
There are some people that dress up in gladiator outfits and take on the rough back country to ride motor bikes through the rugged, remote and nearly insurmountable paths. They do tear up the bikes, but they may be rentals, so maybe caring is not as much of a concern.
Two designated areas are Poison Spider Mesa on Potash Rd, and Gemini Bridges Rd. There are others, but I did not research those. There is a Slickrock bike trail, but maybe only for mountain bikes? The two guys below have had a number of broken bones and injuries, and still get back out there with a new/repaired bike to do it again??Related to:
Moab Adventure Center - One Stop for Adventure
The Moab Adventure Center is a reliable, quality and competitively-priced adventure center in Moab. It's a store and adventure provider in one. They are located smack in the middle of downtown Moab and you can't miss them because they have a huge raft mounted on posts at the corner of Main St. and 200 South. They present themselves really well and they are buttoned up company. I felt like I was walking into a mini-Disneyland for Adventure enthusiasts. The staff was really friendly and they suggested the perfect adventure itinerary based on my interests.
The Moab Adventure Center offers tons of amazing group adventures and they often offer discounts if you book three or more adventures with them. They are definitely the most popular adventure provider in Moab and it's not just because they have a flashy store on Main Street. It seems they really offer the best quality for the price. I spoke to various individuals on my group activities who booked activities via various providers and their experience with Moab Adventure was the best according to them. I, on the other hand, decided to stick to Moab Adventure solely and they certainly met my expectations.
Moab Adventure Center's signature adventures include:
Colorado River Adventure
They offer half- and full-day adventures. I strongly recommend the full-day, but if you do the half-day, book the afternoon trip so you can enjoy an amazing BBQ lunch on the Colorado River at the Red Cliffs Lodge Pioneer's River Deck restaurant - the BBQ is included in the price. I did the full day rafting adventure and it was insanely fun. The raft guides were energetic and pumped as we descended rapids that were category 1 - 3 and participated in rafting wars. The BBQ thoroughly beat my expectations. They had salad, chips, fruit, cookies, lemonade, but most impressively they had quite a few variations of burger patties. They even had two types of veggie burgers! I tried my very first black bean veggie patty and it was absolutely delicious! If you go on a rafting trip make sure you:
1) Wear clothing that will dry quickly
2) Bring a water bottle (you can refill on the raft)
3) Bring a water proof case for your camera
4) Bring sunscreen and sunglasses
5) If you have valuables with you, bring a waterproof rafting pack that you can clip onto the raft.
They offer 2- to 4-hour day-time and sunset tours on Moab's slick rocks.
They offer two 4-hour tours at Arches National Park. One is a sunset tour and the other is a special guided tour through the Fiery Furnace. I did the Fiery Furnace tour and I would definitely recommend it to anyone else. It was a private guided tour with four other people. The guide took her time with us and gave us very personalized service and education through the Fiery Furnace. Arches National Park only allows 75 people to go through the Fiery Furnace every day, you have to have a special hiking permit or you have to be part of a tour. So it's definitely a superbly exclusive experience. It's like a giant maze of amazing slick rock formations, narrow canyons, balanced rocks and arches. One of the loveliest arches in the Fiery Furnace is the Surprise Arch. It has that name because it's hidden far into a narrow canyon. One thing you should know is that you can go on this hike with a Park Ranger as your guide. The cost for the latter is far lower than what I paid. The only downfall is that the group size is much larger - I think they can reach upwards of 30 people. But if you don't care about group size, you may want to book with the Park Ranger. Just go the Arches National Park visitor's center early in the morning (7:30 a.m. or so) or call them to ask about a tour.
The Moab Adventure Center can also help you book other activities such as mountain biking, flights, horseback riding, jet boat tours and climbing and canyoneering. I booked the canyoneering trip and it was grand! I had never gone canyoneering before and this was a fantastic introduction. I started with a 90-ft rappel into a giant chasm and then continued on with a 120-ft rappel down a giant arch formation! A few of my group-mates had major fear of heights, but the instructors did a great job keeping them calm and getting them to beat their fears! After the two rappels the guide took us for a beautiful 1-hour hike through a lush canyon along side a river stream. If you plan on doing this trip, bring shoes that are rough and water resistant.
So, all in all, if you're coming to Moab, I would definitely suggest you check out the Moab Adventure Center. It's a great place to start your adventure - it really worked out for me!Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Hiking and Walking
The town of Moab has a good public swimming pool, we used several times, while camping. If you camp in a tent in the Summer here, it is hard to keep kids happy when it gets up into the hundreds, temperature-wise. Or keep Mom happy! In the public park you find shade, swings & a swimming pool, so don't forget that when you can't stand The Heat! Bring your own towels & swim suits.Related to:
- Family Travel
Moab is a typical touristy town. There are many sovernir type shops to attract the tourists going through town. There is fast food, motels, service stations, and many other amentities. It is worth a walk down the street to see what downtown Moab is like.
One must take the 'Canyonlands...
One must take the 'Canyonlands by Night' boat trip on the Colorado River.
This trip has been presented nightly during the summer and autumn season for many years, and provides one with an unusual look at the beauty and history of the Moab area. The same individual has been narrating the tour for many years, and presents a wonderful program.
Do a little canoeing or...
Do a little canoeing or floating on the water around Moab.
It's a great way to see the area around Moab up close.
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We have been going to this motel for 20 years. This time (June 2007) was the last time. Thanks to...more
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