Moab, UT

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this place needs its own thread. it's deeply beautiful. everyone should go there. unfortunately it's hard to move on the cheap as i'm now discovering. anyway it's insane, look at this:

map, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 02:37 (two years ago) link

went there once as a teenager en route to Zion and Arches. awesome place to camp out.

piper at the gates of d'awwww (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 02:50 (two years ago) link

I got honked at when walking on the sidewalk in Moab. Turned out it was just another longhair doing a longhair solidarity honk I guess? It was brighter than the sun that day so I may have dreamed the whole encounter.

I_Got_Loaded, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 02:58 (two years ago) link

I have been many times, with many different people, along with New Orleans my favorite place in the USA. I've had some great Mexican food there too.

droit au butt (Euler), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 05:48 (two years ago) link

I had ok Mexican food there last year, then the next morning set off for overnight backpacking trip in Canyonlands. Puked my goddamm brains out by time we made it to campsite due to food poisoning.
They had a good local version of The Onion newspaper (free at this hipstery coffee/breakfast place) that fooled me into thinking it was real.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 08:42 (two years ago) link

I got honked at when walking on the sidewalk in Moab. Turned out it was just another longhair doing a longhair solidarity honk I guess? It was brighter than the sun that day so I may have dreamed the whole encounter.

― I_Got_Loaded, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 02:58 (six hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

username checks out

War, Famine, Pestilence, Death, Umami (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 09:57 (two years ago) link

Place is fun, been a regular visitor since 91, the vibe has changed pretty radically since then and even more since big uranium i guess (i heard stories of geo engineers and attys flying over the area by plane and literally throwing markers to stake claims).

Finally rode white rim in November, strong recommend for a late year multi day jeep or mtb trip. Photo from top of Shafer drop is in my office now.

Heading back to ride Kokopelli in August, gonna be an inferno.

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 16:05 (two years ago) link

Hasn't "big uranium" been around there since the 50s?

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 16:31 (two years ago) link

Is that ur pix xp

YouTube_-_funy_cats.flv (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 16:32 (two years ago) link

Lol yeah i took it with my phone on my bike. Not pro but memorable so i just made it

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 16:35 (two years ago) link

My understanding is the interests are very much still there, but i’m not sure what % of economy is still in there- maybe i could better term 50s-80s era is not so much ‘big uranium’ as ‘only uranium’? I should educate myself more there.

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 16:41 (two years ago) link

In the 1950s Moab became the so-called "Uranium Capital of the World" after geologist Charles Steen found a rich deposit of uranium ore south of the city.[9] This discovery coincided with the advent of the era of nuclear weapons and nuclear power in the United States, and Moab's boom years began.
The city population grew nearly 500% over the next few years, bringing the population to near 6,000 people. The explosion in population caused much construction of houses and schools. Charles Steen donated a great deal of money and land to create new houses and churches in Moab.[18]
With the winding down of the Cold War, Moab's uranium boom was over, and the city's population drastically declined. By the early 1980s a number of homes stood empty, and nearly all of the uranium mines had closed.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 16:49 (two years ago) link

have been through here once, it looked cool. would love to go back and spend actual time

ciderpress, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 16:50 (two years ago) link

The climate strikes me as a bit odd: same elevation as where I live, but it's a couplefew hundred miles to the north. Just about identical summertime highs but it's winter highs are 15 degrees cooler than by me. I guess partly cause it's even drier there? idk

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 16:52 (two years ago) link

another incredible view from the side of White Rim. you had to go about 30 yards off the jeep road to even notice this one, i think my two pals missed this one altogether! we rode it in one day, camping at the top of mineral drop, and rode the loop. i did it that way as bucket list item, but not that i've done it, i want to go back and do a multi day jeep supported trip down there, it's amazing. here's another view from White Rim, i think about 30 miles into the 100 mile loop.

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 17:01 (two years ago) link

"now that i've done it"

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 17:03 (two years ago) link

cool pics!

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 17:08 (two years ago) link

that one reminds me of camping spot we had in Islands in the Sky. Hiked about a mile from Murphy Point parking lot, found this lil ledge 15 feet below the main rim that was just big enough to set up camp.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 17:10 (two years ago) link

That would be great! I was looking at pics from this guy whose instagram is super fascinating one of his views from Island in the Sky makes it a must visit for me soon.

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 17:22 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

the desert gets cold at night, i think it's the dry air and the ground surface - no heat absorption.

arches is usually too crowded for me but canyonlands is magic. the scale of it is awesome. i'm much more into a big area with a lot of dynamics than like single rock formation destinations, although arches is pretty big and dynamic too tbf. thinking a lot about uplift and water erosion, how those systems must interact to make it all happen.

there's definitely still a lot of mining interest in the area but my anecdotal impression is that tourism is a much bigger boon than it used to be and that a fair amount of the local population is anti-mining.

one thing i don't get and find kind of annoying is the big 4x4 events there. looking up at these stupid people in their stupid jeeps on some 45 degree pitch. really you can't think of a better way to experience the insane land here than in a fucking car, ugh.

i put a deposit down on a basement apt there this weekend, moving in a month. so excited.

map, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 18:57 (two years ago) link

my favorite thing to do there and the reason i'm moving is to run on the mountain bike trails, especially over rock.

map, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:09 (two years ago) link

cool man, good luck!

I agree wrt Jeeps. Seems to be a lot of them are midwesterners coming for those events who have little to no respect for how fragile desert ecosystems are.
Ya cold at nights/mornings cause there's no clouds or even dense moist air to retain the heat. I can feel the temp drop the instant the sun goes down.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:25 (two years ago) link


map, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:26 (two years ago) link

It's funny cause I'm a hiker, don't mountain bike, and I can get a bit perturbed by some bikers' attitudes to the land. Treat it like an amusement park rather than an ecosystem etc. But overall mtn bike community is really cool and respectful .

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:33 (two years ago) link

it's an unbelievable place to ride and jealous

Milking the Soft Power Dividend (dandydonweiner), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:35 (two years ago) link

There was pretty heated battle between mtn bikers and forest service/hikers here in Sedona in the last 15 years or so. Mtn bikers starting illegal/unsanctioned trails w/no regard to erosion and other issues. But they had a kumbaya relational shift in last few years, working together, compromising.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:36 (two years ago) link

yeah mountain bikers can be a little bro-y but in general they're pretty eco conscious ime

map, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:47 (two years ago) link

I shed a tear when I see crisscross bike tracks all thru an offtrail cryptobiotic soil area but yes I'd agree

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:51 (two years ago) link

there's an amusement park aspect to running on rock too, it's kind of like dancing. i'm not really into distance running, more 6-7 miles on a trail with some power, speed and grace. there are very few somewhat developed places in the world with the kind of terrain that moab has. also really into hiking and camping too of course.

the soil build-up is so important, but there are so many other large-scale human intrusions on the ecosystem i can't really get too worked up about it -- like the giant potash mine below dead horse point or the constant sound of planes in the flyover corridor above - that kind of noise has a huge impact on a desert ecosystem.

map, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:56 (two years ago) link

i'm really curious about making it down further south to bears ears national monument at some point to get a feel for how that's shaping up.

map, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 19:59 (two years ago) link

there's so much around Moab to explore. even a Rocky Mtn town like Telluride is only lil over 2 hrs away iirc.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 27 March 2018 20:03 (two years ago) link

Gravity ride culture is generaly bro ey as hell afaict and...thats just not how i ride. (tbc all kinds of riding can be destructive and broey tho).

I have been spending some time looking at the stuff SUWA wilderness group sent me- they seem very cool.

Hunt3r, Tuesday, 27 March 2018 20:23 (two years ago) link

agreed, would like to connect with those people

map, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 02:33 (two years ago) link

canyonlands is my fav of the desert national parks. so remote

ciderpress, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 02:57 (two years ago) link

you have to do an 8 hour 4x4 trek to even get to the maze. i've heard the easiest way to get to that part of the park is a boat taxi and then a hike up to the dollhouse.

map, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 03:54 (two years ago) link

map how does Moab compare to/differ from similar canyony places in the midwest/southwest?

map when I come visit you in Moab can we go camping or is it too cold?

the masseduction of lauryn hill (Stevie D(eux)), Wednesday, 28 March 2018 04:10 (two years ago) link

moab is friendlier and more salt-of-the-earth than most western tourist towns i've been to, but it doesn't feel backwards or claustrophobic like ranching / mining towns that are trying to hold on.

steve it should be fine april - october at least so if you're planning on visiting in those months then of course we're camping.

map, Wednesday, 28 March 2018 04:21 (two years ago) link

four weeks pass...

i made it. omg spring here is sooooooooo beautiful

you bet, nancy (map), Thursday, 26 April 2018 02:59 (two years ago) link

holy shit! that's great! you probably picked a good time of year to arrive. i've only been to moab a couple times, as a stop on the way to the deserts and slot canyons in southeast UT. both were incredible experiences and i was so jealous of everyone who lived around there. someday i hope to make it out west.

Karl Malone, Thursday, 26 April 2018 03:21 (two years ago) link

stay safe and gl

Hunt3r, Thursday, 26 April 2018 04:03 (two years ago) link

thanks my dudes.

you bet, nancy (map), Thursday, 26 April 2018 04:28 (two years ago) link

Moab, UT more like Moa bUT

the masseduction of lauryn hill (Stevie D(eux)), Thursday, 26 April 2018 18:26 (two years ago) link


you bet, nancy (map), Monday, 30 April 2018 04:20 (two years ago) link

this weekend main street was overrun by car show people (definitely not my bag). weird to see the main drag backed up for miles this morning with those folks leaving while just a few blocks west it's the usual sleepy small town barely-there traffic.

i can't get over how you can just walk out your front door and breathe extremely clean, delicious air. fills me with glee.

you bet, nancy (map), Monday, 30 April 2018 04:31 (two years ago) link

I love how the La Sals got their name.
Ha I even love when there's nearby wildfires...everything smells like a campfire. Unless the smell lasts for days, then it gets to be too much.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Monday, 30 April 2018 17:06 (two years ago) link

wikipedia has a great photo of the la sals from gemini bridges road. i love running in that area on the magnificent 7 trails.

the cottonwoods are going wild right now and the air is very sweet-smelling.

you bet, nancy (map), Tuesday, 1 May 2018 04:18 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

never been more grateful for thai food becoming popular in middle america 15 years ago, because there are two (!) thai restaurants here and one is actually pretty good.

you bet, nancy (map), Thursday, 17 May 2018 00:17 (two years ago) link

👍. Pretty soon itll get HOT. Where are u from?

Hunt3r, Thursday, 17 May 2018 02:15 (two years ago) link

Dry heat tho, outta the sun its no prob really.

Hunt3r, Thursday, 17 May 2018 02:16 (two years ago) link

yea i have never been to moab but i love this thread

marcos, Friday, 25 May 2018 14:28 (two years ago) link

btw do you pronouce it like mo-ab or mobe

marcos, Friday, 25 May 2018 14:29 (two years ago) link

Mo Ab

six months pass...

holy shit the tourist season is finally over in moab and the streets are motherfucking empty and i'm so hyped for winter -- as long as we don't get snow pack down in the valley because that makes running a bitch especially on slick rock. i really don't like venturing out for a run and seeing a full parking lot at the trail head and a bunch of screaming kids etc, which was the case through a lot of october and november, although there has never been a real crowding problem once i'm on the actual trail.

residents of moab are called moabites ftr.

i went to a hip hop dance party at a mountain bike store last saturday night. 30-40 people showed up, which is a total party here.

macropuente (map), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 17:50 (two years ago) link

Have you obtained some local knowledge on "secret" trails ie unofficial social trails? Dunno if they exist there but I'm guessing so.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 17:55 (two years ago) link

if the season ended in september in the late 50s when abbey worked arches, winter musta been pretty desolate in moab.

but i'ma chud. i'ma weirdo. what the hell am i doing here? (Hunt3r), Wednesday, 28 November 2018 19:36 (two years ago) link

haha a few things

i hate edward abbey. racist, misogynist and homophobic, yes, but in my opinion those qualities or blindnesses are symptoms of the deeper problem that he was a boring, shallow asshole lacking any visionary spark or unique insight and riding a misbegotten concept of 'wilderness'.

i run the trails that are on the maps. there are definitely areas a person can explore that are 'unofficial' and lots of locals do that but mostly i just want to run and not think too much about where i'm going.

'secret' stuff is more in the cedar mesa area where there are ruins that need protection and amplifying traffic via directions on the internet is going to make that a lot harder.

i'm on the gay hookup apps, grindr and scruff, and sometimes i get a tourist hiker fan asking me for trail recommendations and most of the time it's like... the map knows better than i do, just figure it out, it isn't that hard, i'm not your tour guide. i mean if they're nice and not presumptuous then i might point them in one direction or another. but i'm not really a hiker who's been everywhere, i run in the same 3-4 areas that are beautiful but not really destination hikes, i don't know what the destination hikes are. i moved down here in april and the first time i went into arches np was over thanksgiving because it's been cars backed up for a mile and the last thing i want to do when i 'get out' is wait in a line of cars.

it snowed about 4" last sunday and got really cold. i ran monday and tuesday on mostly snow-covered trails and it was ok but kind of a pain in the ass, i was breaking a lot of trail and only figured out tuesday where i should head to get the south-facing terrain. wednesday i ran on slickrock and it was mostly clear. it does make things look different, lots of blue-grey light everywhere, but mostly i don't like it, turns everything into such a rigamarole.

the goddamn furnace broke in my trailer tonight, so i ran to the tiny-ass shopko before they closed which is the only other "general goods" store here besides 2 grocery stores and a drug store, and luckily they had a small ceramic space heater.

macropuente (map), Saturday, 8 December 2018 04:34 (two years ago) link

roommates are digging into the heater now bless their hearts.

macropuente (map), Saturday, 8 December 2018 05:32 (two years ago) link

three months pass...

lol i'm moving out in a month. back to salt lake. for loooove.

coincidentally i've gotten tired of the smallness of the town, the rednecks, the racism, the fact that it is completely overrun by tourists from march to november. the fucking four-wheelers. i'm so repulsed by anyone who spends their wilderness vacation on a motorized vehicle.

cheese canopy (map), Wednesday, 27 March 2019 02:28 (one year ago) link

I still wanna go to indian creek 😔

gbx, Wednesday, 27 March 2019 02:33 (one year ago) link

stay safe and well! slc is pretty liveable and has wasatch action.

Hunt3r, Wednesday, 27 March 2019 04:09 (one year ago) link


cheese canopy (map), Wednesday, 27 March 2019 04:10 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

klondike bluffs is the most beautiful place in the world.

i'm not a woo woo person but it's also definitely haunted.

cosmic vision | bleak epiphany | erotic email (map), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 02:11 (two months ago) link

true. i'm placidly a bit woo woo. glad you got a refresh.

i rode about 70% of kokopelli at the end of oct, til we bailed to avoid an imminent snowstorm in la sals. we decided not to go over the top of them. the upside of the diversion was that we went down onion creek, which i'd not seen before, nor really even heard of? actually is east of castle valley, sorta wedged next to fisher mesa. it was fucking unreal and beautiful, like much of the region. we camped night two along burbling onion creek, set up under 3 or 4 massive orange cottonwoods and lots of other scrubbier stuff. we saw nobody and no vehicles from sunset til 8:30a the next day.

after we rode the rest of the canyon in the next morning, we ended up riding the road by the river over to town for the last 30mi.

after 28 years, moab is almost unrecognizable to me and increasingly sad, totally fucking insanely crowded in covid (at that time the provo zone was already just a virus garden). moab is CO's covid getaway.

we finished outside dining at doughbird, still in partial sunshine (that supergrande super deep-fried chicken breast sandwich, served on a massive slab of doughnut/fried dough instead of bread, extra picante, after 2.5 days of riding, is one of the highlights of my year). by the time we rode back to our car 1/2 a mile away, the snow slam had begun, temp dropped 20 deg, pelting sleet then flakes. the 5.5 hour trip to denver took me 13.5 hours.

pence's eye juice (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 03:58 (two months ago) link

oh wow, glad you made it out just fine. onion creek is unreal and remote, yeah. i've never really been up in there, just seen a little bit from the fisher towers hiking trail.

moab itself was fairly quiet last weekend. agree that it's really sad what it's turned into.

cosmic vision | bleak epiphany | erotic email (map), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 16:53 (two months ago) link

i'll never forget that scene in desert solitaire where abbey launches and abandons a tire into a canyon somewhere for like pretty bullshit reasons, can't even remember circumstances. in the 50s doing that didn't have much lasting effect, relatively. but at least since 19th cent it's been a hard living space, extraction and uh, "impaction."

when my crew finishes the vid summary of the outing, i'll post a link here, we got lot's of images and video. of the 4 of us, i was the only non photo expert.

rather doubt inserting insta is possible, but here's one view of onion creek from our trip.

big images at the pod page that jefe and nick made.

pence's eye juice (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 17:19 (two months ago) link

What do y'all mean…what HAS happened to Moab? Overrun with tourists who treat the outdoors as an amusement park?

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 17:29 (two months ago) link

lots of development

cosmic vision | bleak epiphany | erotic email (map), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 17:53 (two months ago) link

yeah it's a bit plus ca changey if that's what you mean.

i remember Easter Jeep Safari Wknd april 93, it seemed pretty outta hand. there were scores of people. a line of 15 jeeps in town with some drunks in them. one was TOPLESS!!!!

at the end of this october there were like, thousands. i suspect drunk, but nobody topless. also, due to construction, it took over an hour to drive out of town if you were sticking to the highway. at least 2 miles of partying people in traffic.

favorite complaint from throttletwisting friends in 92: "You bike weirdos need to understand that motorcycles built slickrock and everything you love here."

favorite complaint from throttletwisting friend in 20: "RZRs are the worst thing ever. they are ignorant drunk out of controls jerks who don't know the rules or etiquette or the trails and are wrecking everything. they need limits."

xp. also, that doughbird sandwich justifies _everything_. jk jk

pence's eye juice (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 18:01 (two months ago) link

I know here in Sedona they limit the amount of tours a company can do (of course it's basically meaningless, since the number is set so high that it's basically the amount a tour operator could logistically do in a day) but there's no limit on how many rentals (jeeps, RZRs etc) they can do per day for tourists to go traipsing around on their own. And of course the guided tours go on the same few routes so you can avoid them, but unguided rental ppl can go wherever the law allows.
Same deal in Moab I assume?

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 18:07 (two months ago) link

the doughbird people are nice, they also started "the garage" on main. their food is good but $6 coffee? ymmv.

cosmic vision | bleak epiphany | erotic email (map), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 18:08 (two months ago) link

i tell you what, december-february is now the time to go if you want to avoid crowds, but it's still the off-season for a reason - if there's even a little bit of snow on that rock and clay you're fucked. we're tentatively going over xmas but watching the weather.

cosmic vision | bleak epiphany | erotic email (map), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 18:11 (two months ago) link

i don't know how the tour companies operate and don't care, fuck em all imo. i will only go where i know i won't hear a ton of utvs. we had a beautiful hike up bartlett wash. only intermittently quiet though, the other noise pollution that's increased is constant air traffic.

cosmic vision | bleak epiphany | erotic email (map), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 18:12 (two months ago) link

From helicopter tours?

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 18:14 (two months ago) link

small planes + commercial flights in and out of canyonlands airport. and higher passover flights that you don't normally notice. i crave the kind of quiet where you can hear your nervous system humming.

cosmic vision | bleak epiphany | erotic email (map), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 18:17 (two months ago) link

it is a sad fact I have learned to deal with, that attractive places attract people, so that even the more remote ones eventually get overrun. the only solution I have found is to learn to appreciate the profound beauty of the somewhat less attractive places, where I can still find solitude.

Respectfully Yours, (Aimless), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 19:55 (two months ago) link

The Innernet, esp Instagram, has accelerated it. Horseshoe Bend had relatively few people when I went there in 2013 and 2015. Now I wouldn't ever go there unless I happened to be on the way somewhere else and bad weather kept away the hordes.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 8 December 2020 22:53 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

booked my semi-annual trip for feb. 20. had to move it two weekends back from my original plans because hotel prices are insane this year.

i was in green river last may when you could only do one-night stays for "essential travel," and it was glorious. there was NO ONE. just incredible. probably never going to happen again :(. barring the end of the world. haha

satanist of size (map), Monday, 25 January 2021 20:41 (one month ago) link

because hotel prices are insane this year.

Assuming this isn't due to demand, but are hotels jacking up prices that much to make up for lost income?

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 25 January 2021 20:47 (one month ago) link

pent up demand and perceived lower risk period ahead and yeah loss recapture? dunno. i've not perceived more travel plans outta my circle of likely culprits.

pence's eye juice (Hunt3r), Monday, 25 January 2021 21:18 (one month ago) link

Yeah, the thought of travel hasn't even crossed my mind in the least, so some genuine curiosity about hotel prices.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Monday, 25 January 2021 21:20 (one month ago) link

no idea

satanist of size (map), Monday, 25 January 2021 21:21 (one month ago) link

pplains, Monday, 25 January 2021 21:35 (one month ago) link

i don't know if this is related at all but the pandemic has really accelerated income equality in other ways in these small western towns

satanist of size (map), Monday, 25 January 2021 21:37 (one month ago) link


satanist of size (map), Monday, 25 January 2021 21:37 (one month ago) link

as is often the case, pplains is completely opaque

satanist of size (map), Monday, 25 January 2021 21:38 (one month ago) link

More like Mopaque, amirite.

pplains, Monday, 25 January 2021 21:46 (one month ago) link

those are pictures of moab, interesting

satanist of size (map), Monday, 25 January 2021 21:48 (one month ago) link

It's an interesting place.

pplains, Monday, 25 January 2021 21:55 (one month ago) link

I keep getting ridiculously cheap hotel rates in Phoenix area fwiw

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Tuesday, 26 January 2021 00:01 (one month ago) link

uhh so i was getting confused by per night vs total stay and they are indeed cheap.

satanist of size (map), Tuesday, 26 January 2021 16:10 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

we're on the edge of spring which means i've got desert dreams again, and we're going down there this weekend. it will probably be pretty busy even though "the season" is just starting. it's a singularly beautiful place and the access is well-developed, but the crowds are becoming more and more of a problem for me, personally. it's become more clearly a requirement for me to find some semblance of solitude on trips to the colorado plateau desert - the space and quiet is very important for me on a personal, spiritual level. i know it sounds corny but *shrugs*.

so i've decided to shift the locus of my future desert trips to either escalante / boulder or green river for a few reasons. the most important is that these two areas are both reasonably close to the kind of rock running i like to do. the exposed slickrock has to not be *too steep* and there are drainages outside of both of these places with the kind of wide-open slickrock bowls i love to prance through (google maps satellite view is such a boon for scouting out these areas). also, these areas draw far fewer tourists. i'd say most people out in the san rafael desert south of green river or in the less declined slickrock drainages around the escalante are more hardcore / committed desert rats looking for the same quiet and solitude i am. also, both of these towns have some basic motels, and while prices are higher than they used to be, they each have at least one or two cheaper options. i'd eventually like to be able to camp in a way that suits my requirements for comfort and the fact that i am lazy but until i am driven to do so by increasing hotel prices i will go for the cheap rooms.

lord of the ting tings (map), Monday, 22 February 2021 17:13 (one week ago) link

the vanlife meme of the past 5-10 has made a shitton of people blee they can do that from what i can tell. i think i'm better suited for it than most and i still say that's way too big and costly a step for not a lot of satisfaction. i do think i could dig a decent minimalist teardrop thing though.

pence's eye juice (Hunt3r), Monday, 22 February 2021 17:29 (one week ago) link

Escalante area is amazing. I am far from experienced in exploring the deserts of the west but a life highlight was a 4 night backpacking trip down Coyote Gulch in Escalante Nat Monument, about 15 years ago. I think it is one of the most popular routes in that area and we didn't see more than a couple dozen other people over that full time period. Not even sure what the rock running you're describing looks like but there were many wide open bowls and lots of scampering opportunities. Just breathtaking scenery. I am in New England now for the past 8 years and the foreseeable future but dream of getting back out there for a trip.

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Monday, 22 February 2021 18:15 (one week ago) link

Last May I went through Escalante, to some of the narrows south down Hole in the Rock Rd, then back up rt 12 through Boulder to Torrey, then rt 24 to Capitol Reef. Def TONS of cool natural areas to explore, many relatively unvisited. I car-camped just off the highway outside of Escalante one night and outside of Boulder another. Cool to have some alpine type environment (near Boulder) so close to all the more typical Utah rock desert scenery. Capitol Reef is pretty unpopular as far as a national park goes and it is AMAZING if you're a fan of slickrock deaert, I'm sure you can find some solitude there on certain routes.

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Monday, 22 February 2021 18:59 (one week ago) link

Not even sure what the rock running you're describing looks like

literally just doing a slow jog on the rock avoiding the sand as much as i can, picking lines, up and down, trying not to trip, pretty casual. i'm not a serious trail runner or anything, i got a few miles and i'm good. spencer flats road outside of escalante has some good stuff. (check out the cosmic ashtray on google maps - would love to run in that area). the other areas that are good for this are on the cliffs above the green river, south of the town of green river. bull bottom, june's bottom (there's a charmingly homegrown and exhaustive website called utahmountainbiking dot com with detailed information about these areas, because mountain bikers also like to free-ride on sandstone, but apparently some of this is now blm wilderness [june's bottom] so bikes aren't allowed).

lord of the ting tings (map), Monday, 22 February 2021 19:37 (one week ago) link

fwiw i want to go running here (42 miles south of green river)

and here (20 miles se of escalante)

lord of the ting tings (map), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 02:05 (one week ago) link

The blue pin is the mars lander “cosmic ashtray,” after its recent touchdown. “It’s a godawful huge affair,” observed one viewer.

pence's eye juice (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 03:34 (one week ago) link

i was not aware of the cosmic ashtray until doing these google maps scroll-and-zooms. google maps has pretty profoundly changed humanity's relationship with their world and wilderness in a short amount of time imo. anyway, here's the cosmic ashtray:

map ca. 1890 (map), Thursday, 25 February 2021 19:28 (six days ago) link

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