Sunday, May 28, 2006

Moab, Utah

It seems like everyone in Moab works two jobs: the jailer is also the night clerk at the Maverik gas station; the Moab Schools music teacher is also a server at the Moab Diner; the river guide I meet moonlights as a river guide (she works for two different companies). I think this is because there isn't much else to do in Moab besides work and drink if you're inside all day long. 1

Still, Moab's not a bad place, even if the Mormons abandoned it in 1855, probably because those Mormons didn't mountain bike, climb, or kayak. 2 The town today has bike lanes, two supermarkets (one of which carries "organic" sunscreen), and a topographic relief map done in Balsa wood of the region from the La Sal Mountains to Dead Horse State Park, which took 20 years for John Urbanek to complete and resides in the Dan O'Laurie Museum of Moab.

Moab's becoming a resort town, I think, but it's not quite there yet. The hostel still costs $9 per night, and the regional airlines that fly to the airport 15 or so miles away keep going out of business. But out-and-out-development is coming, and everyone knows it.

1 John, another river guide I meet, tells me that "Moab is the closest thing Utah has to a 24-hour town." That may be so, but it's still Utah.

2 According to some Utah cyclists I met, Mormons are also bad drivers.

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