Vacation elevated...
Jan 31, 2013 | 984 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Much of the fine state of Utah is really off the beaten path for many who travel West. Except for rock climbers, skiers, mountain bikers, rafters, or hikers, many never see its beauty.

My recent visit required three flights from Hartford plus a 100-mile car trip back into Utah from Colorado to reach Moab. This western town situated high in the desert, 4,200-feet above sea level, is surrounded by some of the most dramatic scenery, carved out millions of years ago through erosion, ice, water, and wind. Huge stone edifices, mesas, buttes, cathedral-like stone towers, red cliffs, and gorges 2,000 feet in depth dominate the landscape.

The Moab area is geologically world class, and is mostly protected by the National Park Service. Countless westerns and commercials, such as Aflac, have been shot in nearby Castle Valley. Moab itself is semi-isolated, however, it has a thriving downtown with a myriad of annual events. One example is the prestigious Moab Music Festival featuring concerts that are held in remarkable natural settings.

The area also has early evidence of ancient civilizations visible in the form of rock art, etched (petroglyphs) or painted (pictographs) images found on black stone panels. These impressive but fragile national treasures, including open dinosaur sites, are vulnerable, and are often destroyed by vandalism. Greater protection of these sites is required, as evidenced by a recent theft of great basin rock art in California.

Overall, a two week visit to Utah, with an additional visit to Mesa Verde in Colorado will not disappoint. I recommend it for anyone’s “bucket list.”

The dramatic scenery in the Moab region is unique and unforgettable, and the people are friendly and welcoming. Their state motto is “Life Elevated.”

—Ronald W. Mc Cutcheon

Middle Haddam, Conn.

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