Thursday, October 29, 2015

Red Rock Country

So we drove from Fruita to Moab without further mishap, the new car brakes seeming to work pretty normally.  We planned to spend a month there and were expecting Ruth and Paul (from Washington) to join us after a couple of weeks.

Moab is a little town that got rich off uranium in the 1950s.  It's one of the only places on earth that lamented the end of the cold war.  But it had a few other things going for it.  Starting with John Ford's "Wagonmaster", the area has provided the back drop for numerous motion pictures.  It has also been raking in a lot of tourist dollars in the past 20 or so years as a mecca for off road vehicles, mountain biking, hiking, base jumping, canyoneering and other sports that verge on the insane.  It is also the most logical base camp for visiting Canyonlands and Arches national parks.  Vicki was sure we would be able to find plenty of stuff to keep us busy for four weeks, I was somewhat less convinced.

Our first exploration was up the colorado river, which crosses the main highway  just north of town.  This was a largely visual experience, so I'll turn this into a photo piece from here on out.

 Here is the Colorado River just above where you turn off Hwy 191.  It carries a LOT of silt and red rock runoff, resulting in the name.  These red rock cliffs run for miles and are visually stunning.

 The rock was built up in layers from the numerous times the great inland sea inundated the area over the last hundred million years, then erosion carved it into interesting shapes.

 Here is something I just couldn't figure out.  If you're going to spend several hours of your afternoon floating down the river, why on earth would you choose to do it standing up?  Give me a nice raft or canoe any day.

 Around every corner is another magnificent panorama.  You feel obligated to photograph them all, but after a while you begin to feel like your whole SD card is filled with the same picture.

 The little houses you can see in the middle of this shot are where the crew stayed when this part of the Colorado was substituted for the Rio Grande while making the movie of the same name with John Wayne and Maureen O'hara.

 Rafters picnicking on the shore.

 If this looks familiar it is because Fisher Towers have been a popular movie backdrop for decades.

Red rock hoodoos reminded us of Monument Valley

1 comment:

  1. I've never been able to figure out paddle boarding either. Justin and Zach and that gang were all really into it for a while, and I gave it a shot. Not only are you standing, but it's only mildly more sturdy than a surfboard. It's pretty strenuous on the back and butt muscles just to keep from going into the drink.

    I love the red rock photos. It's definitely one of my favorite parts of the country.