The Moab works

Moab, Utah was for years my second home. The red rock desert of southeastern Utah…

Moab, Utah is an oasis in the desert. It is a land of beautiful red-rock cliffs. The largest wetland on the mighty Colorado River runs through the town. The largest uranium tailings pile sits right on the banks of a bend in the river in the middle of town, or at least it still did two years ago. I hope it is gone now. It is a land of extremes. Temperatures climb to 118 degrees. People die of dehydration a few times each year.

It is a town where hippies, ranchers, Native Americans, miners, and artists entwine their lives in a delicate dance. The ancient Native American cliff dwellers carved one-way steps—Moki Steps—that led nowhere up the sheer cliff walls as the ultimate passive-aggressive defense against invasion. Once you climbed up them, they were designed to not be available to go back. Your ultimate end was a terminal fall. It is the land of the arches. It is Spartan. Red. Harsh. Beautiful. It spawned the career of Edward Abbey, who often intoned that he was the last person fit to live there. All others need not apply. Or arrive.

Moab is the epitome of Change and an inspiration. I miss that desert.