Moab, UT and The Desert

The Only Picture I Took All Weekend

The Only Picture I Took All Weekend

Kinsee, the dogs and I went camping in Moab, UT this past weekend. Durango is on the edge of where the high desert meets the San Juan mountains, but the hot summer weather has been pushing me towards the mountains until now. With the weather getting cooler, and the mountains getting their first dusting of snow recently, we headed out to the desert.

I’d never been to Moab before, never even been to Utah at all, but I’ve spent a lot of time in the deserts of Southern California, Anza Borrego and Joshua Tree and their surrounding areas. For the most part Moab was different. It still has the same “desert feel” to it, a feeling I can’t quite describe but love. Something about how wide open it is, how free and liberating it feels. Much of Utah is brilliant red rocks, arches and towers, but the area where we camped, 10 miles north of town on BLM land just outside Arches National Park was different, sure there were red cliffs in the distance, and depending upon where you stood you had a great view of Arches NP, but for the most part the surrounding area reminded me of the high deserts of Southern California only with more juniper trees.

I got my (two wheel drive) truck stuck on a 4WD road at midnight looking for where our friends were camped. Luckily some folks from Crested Butte were camping just down the road and pulled us out of the sand/ditch. We finally found said friends and beer drinking around the fire ensued. The next day opened up with a lazy morning and mountain biking followed by afternoon naps and more time spent around the fire. The weather was perfect until Sunday morning when we got a bit of rain, we packed it up fairly early and went into town to check things out. We had breakfast and hit the road. Picked up some hitchhikers heading back to Durango from a weekend of climbing in Canyonland’s.

As we crossed the border from Utah to Colorado the false summer we’d driven to returned to the fall we’d run from, if only temporarily. Not only were there trees, but the leaves were yellow, golden and red, the daytime weather crisp and nights below freezing.

When we got back I saw that the KSUT One Book Four Corners this month is The Secret Knowledge of Water by Craig Childs, a book about water in the desert. I decided to pick it up as I’m a little homesick for the desert right now. It’s started off slow but I’m hoping it picks up.

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One response to “Moab, UT and The Desert

  1. Jeff – your trip sounds great, other than getting stuck. You mentioned you hadn’t been to Utah before. The Utah/No. Arizona National Parks/Monuments loop can’t be beat — north rim of the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Escalante, Capital Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Natural Bridges, and Monument Valley. We have done most of it twice and would love to do it again. Great hikes.

    When we were in Durango last month, along with going to Mesa Verde we went over to Hovenweep, very interesting.

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