Tuesday, September 27, 2016

And then came Moab. . .Utah, that is.

The name Moab is a Biblical name for a land just short of the Promised Land.
The Moabites were historically regarded as the perpetual enemy of the Israelites, "God's Chosen People." Physically, the region was a green, verdant valley in the middle of a serious desert; an emerald in the sand, so to speak. Because of those similarities, our little town was dubbed Moab by Mormon settlers in the 1800's.
                                                                           -- Moab-Utah.com


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Sunset in Moab, Utah
Our heart rates were finally returning to normal after traveling that breathtaking section of roadway through the Monument Valley. We were headed to Moab (MOE-ab), Utah our own ‘Promised Land’ where after an eight-hour day on the road, we were ready for our two night stay in this small town. We were heading to the Fairfield Inn and Suites, just outside town near Arches National Park for this segment of our Southwestern road trip.

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Fairfield Inn is dwarfed by the surrounding cliffs - Moab, Utah
At the time we decided to stay there – about two days in advance of the trip -- we didn’t know much about this small town of less than 10,000 residents nestled tucked in alongside the Colorado River in Southeastern Utah. But a bit of on-line research had convinced us it was time to visit – and to give ourselves an extra night there.

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Colorado River, Moab, Utah
During the 1800’s the area around what is known as Moab served as the Colorado River crossing along the Old Spanish Trail. That 700-mile-long trail is a historical trade route that connected the northern New Mexico settlements of Santa Fe, New Mexico with those of Los Angeles, California and southern California.

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Moab Valley
The downtown, as with most tourism-oriented towns, is lined with galleries, restaurants and gift shops. There are dozens of retail outlets that focus on the out-of-doors, from selling gear for outdoor adventures to offering tours. The area is an outdoors paradise with whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Colorado River, canoeing on the Green River, mountain and road biking, rock climbing, hiking, backpacking and camping.

Working up a hunger and thirst:

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The lone food truck in Moab, Utah
With only a single full day we packed as much into it as we could: a visit to Arches National Park, and during the afternoon we tried out the hotel’s pool area and then headed into town to explore its many stores and find a place for dinner. (There is no end to the food options.)

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Moab - Margaritaville, Utah!
We chuckled at the headline in one of their tourist publications: “How to Get a Drink. . .in Moab, Utah”.  As it was a question that had crossed our minds as we set out on this route.

Utah, with its Mormon population and influence has long been recognized by travelers as a place than can be difficult to find and consume alcoholic beverages. But the times are changing even in this ‘dry land’.  The Moab Brewery – yes, a real micro-brewery in downtown Moab – is the only place in town you can buy full-strength beer to go.  Beer with an alcohol content of 3.2% can be purchased at food stores and convenience stores.

The Utah State Liquor Store is the only retail outlet that sells bottled liquor, wine and beer with an alcohol content above 3.2%. You don’t find the beverages with that alcohol content and above in grocery stores.

However, Moab now has two local wineries:  Castle Creek Winery, located at Red Cliffs Lodge, 15 miles from town on Scenic Highway (The River Road) and Spanish Valley Vineyards, just off Highway 191, south of Moab.  Both wineries have on-site tasting rooms and wine is available for sale.
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La Sal Mountains - Utah
With only a day we didn’t have time to drive the scenic loop road that would have provided a close up view of the La Sal Mountains, a part of the Manti-La Sal National Forest, just 20 miles south of Moab. With peaks reaching nearly 13,000 feet this alpine ranges is the second highest range in Utah. We also had to put Canyon Lands National Park a bit to the north on the ‘next time’ list.  But we did visit Arches National Park and that’s a whole post in itself.

As always, the time you spend with us is most appreciated! And another big thank you to those who’ve shared our posts on FB with your friends and family there. Hope to see you back next week.

We’ve just returned to our Stone House on the Hill in Greece where we plan to spend the fall. I know a number of you are waiting for more road trip tales from here so as soon as we finish up with the Southwest trip tips and tales, I’ll tell you about some of what the Peloponnese has to offer! And of course, I've got tales to tell 'from the hill'. Safe and healthy travels to you and yours.

Linking up this week with: 

Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Photo Friday
Weekend Travel Inspiration

47 comments:

  1. OOO, what a fun place to visit...and the Margarita looks amazing. :) Enjoy your fall on the hill...it is probably going to be wonderful....

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    1. Our first week here ends tomorrow and so far it has been a lot of cleanup and organizing. . .but simply wonderful as well. Thanks for the idea of the pumpkin cake!

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    1. We will definitely return to this little gem of a place. It would be great to do some hiking in this area.

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  3. Looks a little desolate round there in places and hot too but nice views

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    1. The desolation adds to the beauty and mystery that surrounds this whole part of the state. It is an unmatched travel experience, Bill.

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  4. So much to explore around Moab, it could take a lifetime.

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    1. So very true, Gaelyn. So much to see and so little time to see it all!

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  5. Yes I'm one of those eagerly awaiting Greek Adventures. The La Sal Mountains look wonderful. I'd like to do that drive.

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    1. We are having them Jan, so will soon be writing about them. Have one more place to show you from our road trip and then on to Greek adventures!

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  6. I've heard of Moab but actually knew nothing about it... like it being a mostly nonalcoholic kind of place. The view is magnificent, and I can see why you decided to spend an extra day there. Very interesting background info about the name.

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    1. Utah is very different when it comes to alcohol laws and not only does it vary from city to city it seems, but from one business to another! Thanks for visiting Michele.

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  7. Arches National Park has to be one of the most stunning landscapes on the planet. We loved Moab.

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    1. The entire area from Monument Valley to Moab and Arches was superb. Absolutely mind-boggling beauty. We will definitely go back there. Thanks for the visit Lyn!

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  8. Thanks for the history on Moab. I'm waiting for your post on Arches as all the pictures from the National Parks in Utah aI've seen are stunning.

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    1. I wish we'd have had a few more days so we could have revisited Arches at differing times of the day to see how the sunlight changed the landscape. That post goes up tomorrow so stay tuned!

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  9. .....when I do my next USA roadtrip!!! I think I've got a couple of years, but your posts are definitely giving me some concrete ideas where to go in the States! Thanks.

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    1. I'd certainly recommend that you include some of the West's wide open spaces in addition to any cities you might have in mind to visit! Thanks for stopping by Corinne.

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  10. The scenery in this area is absolutely stunning. I love your photos. I can see why you decided to give yourselves an extra night in Moab.

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    1. And we've decided we must return to Moab as there is just too much to see and do in a couple of days - it just doesn't all fit in! Thanks for the visit, Donna.

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  11. What beautiful scenery - I'd love to visit Utah.

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    1. Karen, do put southeastern Utah on your must see list. It is absolutely stunning!

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  12. Hello, wonderful trip report on Moab! It brings back nice memories of our trip there years ago. Your photos are lovely, I especially like the view of the river. We may have missed the brewery and wineries, sounds great. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

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    1. The brewery and wineries probably weren't here when you visited, Eileen. We got the feeling that this is all rather new in this 'dry' country.

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  13. This area and all the surrounding national parks and monuments have been on my bucket list for a while and I'm really hoping to go this fall or next year. Thanks for showing the highlights

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    1. Oh you will have a heyday with photo opp's there! You will love every bit of it. . .

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  14. I've seen plenty of Taco Trucks, but I believe that is the first Quesadilla Mobile I ever came across. Love it! Moab looks like a wonderful spot for a little respite.

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    1. It was definitely the perfect little oasis in the vast southeastern gallery of Utah!

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  15. I love the muted desert colors in your photos and the feeling of vast spaces. The scenery in and around Moab is the very definition of spectacular but you're right, Moab itself is a pearl (or emerald!) Lovely!

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    1. It is a high plains gem of a town. We will go back one day if the travel gods permit us a few more years of travel. ;-)

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  16. Great photos! So glad you shared at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/10/playing-with-photoshop.html

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  17. That is a beautiful part of the country. In the bucket list for sure.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, glad we could add to the bucket list!

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  18. Beautiful place to go around. Amazing shots.

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    1. It is an amazing part of America, Rajesh! Hope you get to visit it one day.

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  19. Moab is one of those places that is on the top of my list of places to visit. Visitors raves about the friendliness and beauty of the town. That Fairfield Hotel is well camouflaged. I couldn't see it in the photo.

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    1. That is one of the nice things about Moab, the town 'fits' into its surroundings. Hope you make it there, Ruth - it is definitely worth a visit.

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  20. There are so many beautiful things to see in our country. I've always wanted to visit Utah.

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    1. Julie, I do hope you get a chance to visit this amazing part of Utah. My photos don't do justice to its breathtaking beauty.

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  21. Such beautiful light and colours

    Mollyxxx

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    1. Molly, you have to see it in real life to get the full impact of these colors. Hope you do someday! Jackie xxx

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  22. Moab was the first trip my now-husband Henk and I took! (he was there for a 24-hour mountain bike relay since this is a mecca for mountain bikers!)

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  23. Wow! You sure packed a lot in on that trip. What a beautiful destination - thankfully you managed to find a cocktail or two.

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  24. That is a densely packed area for sight-seeing. We also put off Canyonlands for a second visit and did that in 2014! Waiting for more stories!

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  25. Now I definitely want to visit Moab! What an incredibly beautiful region of the US.

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  26. What a beautiful place to visit! Great photos. Lovely light and colours

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