Why Moab Matters - Part 1

 

I’m doing an experiment. This week I write about why Moab, Utah matters to me. A place I’ve visited many times and come to love. Then I’m spending the weekend in Moab with my brother, and next week I will write again about why Moab matters, and we'll see what happens. 

For the two people who don’t know, Moab is a small city located in Southern Utah. It sits a stone's throw from two of the most famous national parks in America, namely Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. This area provides access to endless recreation and natural wonder. So understandably people from all over the world are drawn to it. I have lived in Utah most of my life, so for me Moab is a luxury, a world class experience I can casually go experience on a whim if I want. So with that in mind, here we go:

Part 1

Moab is like a Christmas stocking. Packed full of treats and tradition, memories your life can depend on. Memories like when our car broke down in Canyonlands and the friendly Moabites took us in, fed us spaghetti and let us nap on their couch. Memories like the 13.1 miles of the half marathon along the Colorado River that will always bring me pride. Memories like that week I ended up there twice, unplanned. Memories of bathing in parking lots, shoes full of sand, sneaking bikes into hotels, losing cairns in the dark, the coldest Thanksgiving ever, and laying on my back with stars and stone hanging over me.

Moab is like a good childhood. You miss it and wish you could live in it forever. A childhood where the playgrounds surpass all abilities. Where the bounding, exploring, and obstacle courses go on from horizon to horizon. Where the rocks are full of impossible animals, cowboys and indians, whispers and laughs. 

Moab is my lost-boy happy thought that fills me with flight. As long as I can, I will get to Moab every year. Millions of years of preparation have gone into making the few hours of my life I get to spend there unforgettable. Those millions of years of pressure, wind, and water have made my slender hours there thick with accomplishment. And inside all those accomplishments, those personal exploration accolades, I found a happy place. A geographic grandparent that spoils me every time I make my way over the river and through the woods.