Moab, UT

Well, we are mighty glad to be out of Colorado today. And before I go on, I just want to say that, grateful as we are to be on our way, we are sympathetic to those who actually live in the areas of flooding. We were inconvenienced only in a minor annoyance kind of way. Those folks are going to have their lives disrupted in a major way for a very long time. When the National Weather Service refers to rains of "Biblical" proportions, you know there's been some heavy rainfall. Personally, I lived through Hurricane Donna in 1960, and I have never seen such heavy rainfall for such an extended period of time. It will definitely make a great story for when we get home.

We moved on from Breckenridge, CO, yesterday. When we weren't fearing for our safety, we thought Colorado was beautiful. Someday I'd actually like to go back and see the place...in better weather. As it was, we spent nearly all of our time in the state trying to outrun the storm. Yesterday, we moved onto sunnier pastures in Moab, UT. Here's what we saw along the way.

We traveled through Glenwood Canyon, which was lovely. The AAA map has this section of the Interstate designated as a scenic highway.

The canyon was relatively narrow (for an Interstate) and the two directions of travel split off from one another at this point. The east-bound traffic was below the sight level of the west bound traffic. It was a little strange to be traveling an Interstate and to feel as if we were on a one-way street.

We passed through three tunnels bored into mountainsides. (Yahoo!!)

We drove alongside the Colorado River for most of the day. Here, we passed by a small dam with water flowing over the top. Look at how muddy that water is! It was like that all the way.

Thank. Goodness. We were so glad to be out of Colorado...nothing against the state, you understand. It just wasn't particularly welcoming this time around. And yes, those are raindrops you see on the windshield. It was a little disheartening to have driven so far and to still be seeing raindrops.

We had a choice to stay on the Interstate, or to take a state highway south toward Moab. The state highway was a bumpy and winding road, but it was designated as a scenic highway, and so we decided to chance it. It was well worth the lesser of the two roads because we drove through the spectacular scenery of Castle Valley.

It looked so much like Monument Valley that I checked the map just to be sure we weren't actually in Monument Valley. Monument Valley is actually quite a ways to the south, on the border with Arizona. Nevertheless, it looked very similar. In some ways we enjoyed it more because we were closer to the huge rock formations.

We passed a couple of "dude ranches" and B&B's along the way. It would be a lovely place to vacation...well away from the hustle bustle of everyday life.

As we approached Moab, we came to a place in the road where an entire lane of traffic had been washed away. It was one of those constructions zones where folks had to wait their turn via a stoplight system that was in place. Wait on red. Go on green...just like in the big city.

When it was out turn to go, we wound our way through the canyon on the wrong side of the road.

When we got to the other side, remarkably, several cars were running the red light! At first, we thought we had just traveled too slowly to make it through before their light turned green. But I turned around to check, and no! Their light was red! Incredible! Who would do that? Anyway, Mike blew his horn loud and long and discouraged them from plowing into the front of us in a head-on collision. Sheesh. Note to self: never travel on Friday the 13th.

Anyway, we made it the rest of the way to Moab without incident, and we are staying here for the next four nights...barring any Biblical flooding. 

As we drove through Castle Valley yesterday and approached Moab, we passed by a beautiful valley with a hiking trail marked "Negro Bill Canyon". Don't blame me, I didn't name it. Here is what Wikipedia says about the name:
The canyon was named after William Granstaff, a mixed-race cowboy, who prospected and ran cattle in the desert canyon in the late 1870s with a Canadian trapper named "Frenchie". They took joint possession of the abandoned Elk Mountain Mission fort near Moab after 1877, and each controlled part of the Spanish Valley. Granstaff fled the area in 1881 after being charged with bootlegging whiskey to the Indians.
Until the 1960s, the canyon was named 'Nigger Bill Canyon'.
There continue to be efforts to rename the canyon to "Granstaff Canyon", and you can read more about that in this article from the Moab Times.

But to get back to the hike, here is what the BLM website has to say about it:
One of the best hikes in the Moab area, the Negro Bill Canyon Trail follows a year-round stream in a scenic canyon. Morning Glory Natural Bridge, which has a span of 243 feet, is the sixth longest natural rock span in the United States. 

So, that's our agenda for today. That will take most of the day, but I'm hopeful we can find the quilt shop in town. It looks like a big one, and it may be within walking distance of where we are parked.

The sky is blue and the sun is shining. I'm hoping this post finds you with sunny skies as well. Thanks to all of you who have left concerned and supportive comments. Your good thoughts, well wishes, and prayers have been appreciated. Things can only get better from here.

23 comments from clever and witty friends:

LynCC said...

Yeah, it's a bad week, alright, for seeing Colorado. :( Our Devon was pretty freaked out up there in Boulder. Still waiting to hear how friends up in Longmont and Greeley have fared. :( Looks like Moab was gorgeous even under cloudy skies and with construction issues. (And what's wrong with folks - running reds like that! How'd you get around them?)

Kelsey said...

I'm so sorry your trip to Colorado was such a bust. It really is beautiful here. Maybe some year we can show you some of my favorite hikes, if it hasn't washed away that is.

Glad you guys got out safely.


WoolenSails said...

I hope you have nice weather for this part of the trip. Gorgeous scenery and it looks like a fun town and area to explore.


Debbie said...

Love your photos of the rock formations!
1960 Hurricane Donna.....I was there in Orlando. Never forget the boats running up and down our street bringing water and stuff to us. No power or school for 2 weeks....what a mess.

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

I'm enjoying your travels. Hopefully you will be able to return to Colorado in the not too distant future. Enjoy your day!

Pattilou said...

I don't get to go to Moab for another month. I've missed Moab so. We lived there twice. Moved away and then back to finish our careers in education. It is a beautiful spot of earth! The tourists get to be a bit much. Not only are red lights not observed, but pedestrians think they can walk against the light whenever they feel like it. But the traffic issues there are nothing compared to I-15! Stop by Tom Till photography shop on Main Street. He has amazing work displayed for sale there. And don't forget to stop at Moab Diner for a trip back to the 50's.

Sorry, the quilt shop will be closed on Monday I think. Unless she's changed, it is her "weekend". It's a lovely shop and I hope I'm wrong. The owner and I had dreams of opening a shop one day and after I moved away, she did! She's very creative and I love visiting when I go there.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Glad you made it out as well! Looks like you are having quite the adventure.

Ray and Jeanne said...

Seeing the picture of Glenwood Canyon made me want to head that direction. We used to drive thru there a lot. Glad you mad it fine to Moab. Hopefully the rains will be brief. ~Jeanne

Needled Mom said...

We love that Glenwood Canyon area. You are traveling through some of our favorite spots. It is interesting to see it with the rains. Enjoy Moab.

evelyn said...

I am so enjoying your travels. I too feel sorry for the people being flooded. Hope your find your quilt shop today!

Linda said...

CHECK OUT THIS BLOG: "Life In Stitches" and Gibson too!


SewCalGal said...

It is sad for those in Colorado impacted by rains, slides, floods. But, I'm glad you are out and safe. I hope you have fun in Moab. We enjoyed hiking several parks in the area and want to go back. Don't recall Negro Bill Canyon Trail, so we'll add this to our list. Have fun.


quiltzyx said...

Such an amazing landscape! And you got a picture of a herd of Slow Elk too - WooHoo!

I just HAD to look up Eddie McStiff's - there were a few (HAH!) things on the menu that made my mouth water, altho' a bit pricey.

Sooli said...

Fantastic scenery, thanks for sharing. Enjoying seeing the photos of your holiday!

Quilting Babcia said...

So glad you made it safely to Moab. What gorgeous scenery!

Brown Family said...

The trail sounds fun. So does the quilt shop!

Betty said...

I've been seeing the pictures of the devastation in Colorado on the news. I hope it gets better for the people there. It is good you made the decision to leave when you did. I hope the weather is cooperative for the remainder of your trip!

Tami C said...

I certainly understand being grateful for getting out of Colorado. I lived through Hurricane Donna as well, so I know what heavy rainfall you are remembering! I lived in Naples back then and we evacuated to the middle of the state. I'll be darn if Donna didn't follow right behind us! I really hope you return to Colorado when mother nature isn't in such a foul mood. It seems that she did a little fouling in other states. Glad you ended up with a blue sky and the sun was shining!

Lyndsey said...

Great photos of fantastic scenery Barbara. I hope the rain hasn't followed you and the hike sounds fun. Look forward to reading about it.

Sarah_L_N said...

Wow, I have just been catching up on your posts, crazy bad weather :( Glad you are out and safe, hopefully it will be better for you from now on :)

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

We loved Mosb, stayed in a great B&B.

Kate said...

Gorgeous country side! Thanks for sharing your trip. I'm making notes for a future vacation.

Sarah said...

We even heard about the Colorado flooding here in Australia. That's amazing because our news service is so superficial and "magazine" style nowadays. I'm glad to hear you got through safe and well without too much interference on your time away. By the way, that meant you were travelling in the right side of the road!