Millennium Mom

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 11th - Moab Day 2

For those of you who have not been to Moab, I want to provide a bit more perspetive on the town.  The population is about 5,000 people.  Historically it was a mining area, but over time the mines got shut down and now it primarly relies on tourism as it's industry.  Like most of Utah, the population is primarily Mormon.  Like any tourism area, the population swells during the "season" so in the summer many college students come to Moab to work the tours - whether it is kiking, moutain biking, Hummer, rafting or other tours for the most part about 75% of the leaders are seasonal kids coming to hang out in Moab.

The "downtown" has your normal "franchise" places like McDonad's, Subway, Pizza Hut and more.  Then it has lots of local restaurants, art galleries, excusion booking shops, and of course tons of t-shirt/camping equipment and more shops.  The main drag is probably 5 miles long, with the entrance to Arches and the N. side of Canyonlands.  About 30 miles N. on 191 you would hit Route 70 which runs from Denver to Salt Lake.

Tuesday morning we had to be back at MAC for our 8am Rafting excursion on the Colorado.  PT our guide in Mesa Verde said we must do this while in Moab.  For those who are rafting enthusiast, this is not the Arkansas in Colorado, or Cheet/New in W. Virgina, or even the Penobscot that I did in Maine.  They said it is Level 1/2 but it was really level 1.  Very calm with barely any rapids, but it was BEAUTIFUL.  The Colorado portion we went on runs along Rt. 128, which as I said prior is the 2nd most beautiful scenic drive in the US after Rt. 1 down the California N. Coast (think Carmel).  The river literally cut the canyons, just as it did in Canyonlands, and all the way down to the Grand Canyon.  Just being on the water and seeing the view was amazing.

On top of that we met some really great people.  On the bus ride out we sat next to Ben and Kylie.  Both early 20 something BYU students or recent graduates.  We think they are an item but no one wanted to admist it.  They both work at MAC but had the day off, so they go to go down the river and enjoy their day off.  The gave us the scoop on the guides and the sweet deal they get.  MAC is owned by a morman family, and they have free housing for their guides.  Two double-wide trailers, 18 girls in one and 18 guys in the other.  Right next to each other.  Imagine that, coming to Moab for a great summer or year and bunking with lots of other single young mormans in paradise, not too bad.  Ben and Kylie had a kayak, as did Arnie and I so we spent a lot of time talking to them on the river.  They were also the splash instigators, you knew if they came near your raft you were going to get wet.

The 2nd half of our tour Claire went on the kayak with Arnie and I joined the raft.  Claire is always up for a challenge.  She is a very typical middle child, can go with the flow, but also up for some challenges.  She is not blessed with as much natural physical talent as her brother or sister, but as you will see in the pics, she is the first to sign up for anything.  In the raft we were with this very nice family from Syracuse N. Y.   Frank, his wife Liz and their son Tim.  We had a blast talking to them as they are a Hockey and Lacrosse family like we are, so we had a ton in common, and they loved that Ben was playing both of the sports in OHIO of all places.  Upstate NY is Hockey and LAX land, so they loved that the midwest was embracing both sports.  Here are some nice pics of me and Arn, and Claire with her Grandpa, congratulating her on her great job with the kayake.

In the afternoon we headed back to Arches, we needed to get our National Park passports stamped and I really wanted to see the Arches.  Little did I know I would get dragged into the Fiery Furnace, but you  heard about that.  Unfortunately there was just not enough time to get into the Northern part of Canyonlands.  You have a prettty long drive to get into the park and we just couldn't pull it off.  We also promised the kids they could go into the pool that night.  So we went back to the campground for a nice dinner and evening in.  Tomorrow we will head to Goblin Valley state park about 2 hours away, it is due West of Moab, but no direct route of course. 

Until tomorrow.


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