It’s A Good Idea to Expect the Unexpected

MOAB, UTAH — We’re here to visit two very popular national parks in this area – Canyonlands and Arches — but this town is nothing like I expected. We’re in Utah, after all, and that means Mormons. And, to me, that meant there would be no cold beer after a hard day’s drive and no wine with dinner.

But — surprise! — Moab has clearly opened it’s arms wide for us visitors and for our varied tastes, including alcohol in its many forms. The restaurant where we ate last night had an extensive wine list and featured a dozen different beers, several brewed locally. The last page featured a long list of exotic mixed drinks!

The streets are lined with shops featuring silver and turquoise jewelry, “red dirt” T-shirts and all the rest of the stuff — mostly tawdry junk — that tourists apparently buy.

Speaking of our fellow tourists, as was the case at the Grand Canyon, I am again noticing the large numbers of foreign visitors here. There was a table of French-speakers near us last night, and I am constantly hearing German everywhere we go. Clearly, what those folks are seeing here in this part of the U.S., is dramatically different from what they are used to. They are clearly dazzled by the vast spaces, the grandeur of the mountains and canyons, and the spectacular rock formations

Our plans for the next few days are shaping up: We’ll see the two parks near here today, then head off into Colorado tomorow, landing in Ouray by the end of the day. Being free to travel (or not), go here or there (or not) is a different, but enjoyable experience. The only deadline on our schedule at this poiint is Tuesday afternoon when we meet Amtrak’s California Zephyr in Grand Junction, Colordao, for our train trip back to the west coast.

More tomorrow.