May 2nd-3rd, 2019
Grand Canyon West, Arizona to Leeds, Utah to Moab, Utah
Alison has asked me to point out that she most definitely does not agree with my assessment of the Grand Canyon (i.e. a big-ass hole in the ground). As she says, it is "one of the most beautiful sites I've ever laid eyes on."
Grand Canyon West, Arizona to Leeds, Utah
On Thursday morning, we rose early (recall that our body clocks were on Eastern Daylight Time) and had breakfast at the fake "Wild West" restaurant situated in the similarly fake "Wild West" town where our cabin was located. We then hit the road and headed northwest back to Las Vegas, then northeast to Leeds, Utah. The sole claim to fame of Leeds is that (A) it is 40 minutes from the entrance to Zion National Park and (B) right on Interstate 15 that runs from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City. There is absolutely nothing to speak of in Leeds, save for a few RV parks, one of which was where we glamped for the night.
Leeds, Utah to Moab, Utah
Friday proved to be a much more interesting day. After checking out of our tent-away-from home, we had a truly wonderful breakfast at River Rock Roasting Company. Both the food and the views were terrific. After breakfast, we headed north on Interstate 15 for about 100 miles, then east on Interstate 70 for another 200 miles. The views along Interstate 70 were varied and breathtaking. Had we continued along the interstate, it would have taken us to Denver in another 300 or so miles. Instead, we exited onto Highway 191 for the last 30 miles to Moab, Utah.
Between the advent of nuclear technology and the end of the Cold War, Moab boasted the largest uranium mine in the world and grew in population by 500%. Once the Cold War ended, however, the mines closed and most of the people left. Since the 1970s, tourism has become the driving force behind the town, given its proximity to both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
Once we arrived in Moab, we checked into the Moab Valley Inn, then walked the 3-block length of the downtown and found a place to eat dinner. After returning to the hotel, I sat down to write the blog and Alison lay down on the bed and was snoozing soon thereafter.
People you meet around the fire pit
After checking into our glamping tent on Thursday evening, we wandered over to the communal fire pit where a fire was roaring. Already around the fire were a young couple from Austin, Texas that were both vacationing in the area and considering relocating to this part of the country.
Also at the fire pit was a 60-year old man and his small dog. The dog was named Austin but I didn't catch his owner's name. This gentleman appeared kind, gentle and thoughtful and had worked in the various national parks out west for almost 30 years as a handyman. He said, unprompted and quite matter-of-factly, that he could neither read nor write. That presented certain challenges, like passing his driver's exam, which he was proud to have done recently.
I was very much taken aback by this. In this day and time, there are still people living in first-world countries that are illiterate? Apparently so. In the United States, the literacy rate hovers around 87%, meaning that 13% of all Americans cannot read or write.
Oh my goodness! I had no idea.
Here are some of the photos we've taken over the last couple of days.
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