Moab – A Taste of Freedom

Moab. Moab? What? Where?

Today was one of those days where my mind and my body had very differing agendas and opinions. Needless to say, my body had won. So I stayed in sick. But at least I had the chance to do some (not very) important chores like deleting e-mails and looking at some holiday pictures. This year I have been lucky to travel far and wide. The most surprising place I fell in love with was a little town called Moab in the US state of Utah. The area is a very popular destination for mountain bikers, rafters, hikers, climbers and lovers of various other outdoor pursuits. Moab is home to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

I had been to Utah on a few occasions but never made it to the southern side of the state, where the majority of the famous scenery is located. On this trip I made it my mission to at least see one of the parks. And luckily I have some awesome friends (thanks Kyle, Kerri & Petey) in the area, so a two-day trip was planned and executed.

Mountains along the highway (by TFett)

Mountains and boundless opportunities

The drive down to Moab already lets you feel the famous American Credo of boundless opportunities, vast scenery and that feeling of freedom and you can do anything. The trip is three hours passing mountains, rivers, more mountains and lots of nothingness (maybe a rail link here and there). And the closer Moab gets the more interesting is the change of geology, from brown and grey rock and soil to the famous red rock and slick.

What a sweet town

Main Street, Moab (by Pam Burt @ Utah.com)

Moab and its beautiful surroundings have played host to countless movies over the years, but the town still has kept its small-townishness; very charming and even enchanting (the western style!). The main street is plastered with nice eateries, galleries and arts and crafts shops as well as selling everything a tourist could want. If you are ever in the area, make sure you check out some of the galleries that exhibit local talent especially for photography (like Tom Till) and landscape paintings!

Countless stars

As Moab is famous for its scenery and the outdoors I couldn’t wait to see and experience this very American way of having fun for myself. Some of my activities included swimming in a mountain lake, rafting and swimming in the Colorado River, freestyle rock climbing, lots and lots of sweating (gross, I know) as well as lots of hiking. One of the best things I have ever done was star-gazing in Arches. The lack of light pollution and the amazing rock formations create a unique atmosphere. (The nearest town being Moab has only 4000 or so people. And that’s it for hours.) It’s just amazing.

Arches National Park at night (http://www.flickr.com/photos/archesnps/)

So lucky!

It’s that time that makes you ponder, think and contemplate your blessings and the awesomeness of life, but moreover the freedoms we can enjoy. And there is something about stargazing that lets you forget all worries and struggles and lets you get lost in the vastness and the sublime beauty that is a clear and endless starry night sky. It just feels like the ultimate freedom.

Climbing (by TFett)

Similarly amazing is the feeling being out there in the rocks and climbing and playing, no idea how, where and what time is. Its bliss! I was happy that my phone didn’t work, as to minimise worldly distractions. Although there were times I felt like the guy in 127 hours (This happened and was filmed not far away.) it was a great feeling just exploring the rocks, caves and paths of Arches’ Fiery Fury. (The park issues a very limited number of tickets for this, so best turn up early, as in 7am ish.)

But I better stop here, as I get travel sick. Again.

And check out this sick video display o some insane bike skills with the Moab setting as a back drop.

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