Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Camped above Moab

Wednesday AM above Moab, UT

The morning, at least, seems likely to be sunny, so I have the solar panels out to catch the first rays of dawn.  .2 amps at first light of sunrise!  You go, little guy! The day really begins a little later… one of the neighbors came over yesterday evening to invite me to breakfast at 9.  It was a welcome invitation, and reminded me that for all of its oddness, this is a way of living.  What could be more domestic than breakfast with the neighbors?

There wasn’t a whole lot of driving yesterday, but lots happened.  Years ago when I was working as a river guide based up in Green River, when we got to feeling stifled by the very small town-ness of Green River, we’d pile into one of the company vans and drive an hour or so down to civilization: Moab.  Yeah, right.  Moab started as a dusty little cowboy/miner town, and anyone who has read Ed Abbey will have notions of THAT Moab.  THIS Moab is a rather trendy tourist destination, feeding off the nearby river-running, mountain biking, hiking, and scenery-gawping countryside.  I stopped at a laundromat with wi-fi, as yesterday’s little orgy of photo uploads will support. Then went to City Market, where we used to buy groceries for trips, and then had lunch at Eddie McStiff’s, which was the sports bar/restaurant of choice for the Adventure River Expeditions crew. I did my fair share of living in the past.  As I drove over the Colorado River leaving town, I did the boatman thing of looking at the water level.  It was high, indicating good runs through Cataract Canyon downstream.  Can’t step in THAT river twice.

Then north about 15 miles to where Bob Wells is camped.  After some false starts on roads that looked looked like this 

I finally found Bob, his traveling companion Suanne and a whole little community spread out along Willow Flats Road.  Public land, so “dispersed camping” is OK.  Right across from me is a bunch of four guys: three from Colorado, one from Phoenix.  It’s not clear what they’re doing here, but it was like watching a bunch of puppies. They have a small generator which they use to charge up their “devices,” and provide some light.  They seem to go off into town during the day… 

Where I am is in some ways like Tucson.  A not-very-attractive foreground with a spectacular background.  At dusk the snow-covered La Sal mountains off to the east hover ghostlike over the terrain.  

Not sure what the day will bring, other than breakfast and conversation with Bob and Suanne.  The puppies will have gone off to do whatever they do, I gather.  The Vietnam vet in the truck camper who doesn’t like people near him will do what he does.  On Willow Flats road, the people looking for muddy fun in their jeeps and ATV’s will come and go.  Me, I think I’ll watch the shadows move across the landscape and bask in warm sun and cool dry air, until the clouds come in again later this afternoon. Maybe read some.  Nap.  Naps are good.

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