View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, September 02, 2004


So, after all that bellyaching about the off-road road, I went ahead and took another one from Gateway, CO to Castleton, UT. It let me off near UT-128. Utah 128 is phenominal, hugging the Colorado River because it has no choice, there being redrock canyon walls in the way. Sage got a chance to swim in the Colorado. He likes swimming against the current, but when he started to lose ground, I called him over to the bank. Lost Dog is worse than Wet Dog, and it was starting to get late, and the sun had dropped behind the canyon wall. Also, while I couldn't care less what Principal Pataki had to say, I did want to hear The Most Important Speech of Bush's Political Career.

Afterwards, I took the dog out for a stroll, mostly to dry him off, and to enjoy the night air. Moab itself it pretty Blue, although I did see a California SUV with a Bush-Cheney '04 bumper sticker. Its paint job appeared to be intact. Passed a bookstore, with its predictably prominent display of that modern-day Burke and Locke, Franken and Moore.

I wouldn't be surprised if someone were asking "Hey Dude, Where's My Moab?", since this place isn't immune to the Remote Sprawl noted below. Except that there doesn't appear to be any Ur-Moab around to have been usurped. If there was one, it's been buried long ago. Moab is probably much too "now" to care what it looked like in 1930, anyway.

There's Tourist Moab, the X-Games wannabe Moab, the Bike Shop/Arches/Minnetonka-Moccasin/Tom-Till/Jeep Tour/River Raft Moab. And there's Moab for the Moabites, the Walker Drug/City Market/Gas Station Moab. None of that looks any older than 1950. (No, James, it's not there any more.)

I walked all the way up to Resident Moab, the City Market, which had just closed. There was a malamute tied up outside. A couple of blocks into the walk back, I saw the malamute on a flatbed being towed by a man on a bicycle. Why he was hauling the dog, rather than hooking a dog, a husky derivative of all things, up to a cart, is a mystery.

The Diner looks about 1940, but may be a little older. As I walked up to check their hours, an efficient young lady wordlessly locked the door from the inside, answering my question while saving herself the trouble.

I've noticed that, for all their crunchiness, Moabites are not a particularly friendly lot. As befits their name. (Along those lines, two Israeli friends of mine spent a Tisha B'Av here once. If you understand, it's very funny. If you don't, it'll take too long to explain.) Of course, most of my experience has been with beneficiaries of the omnipresent College Student Bracero Program used by most western tourist towns. Actual Moabites may vary.

Tomorrow: Home. It's still all in the route.

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