If you're keeping track, today is Day 17, and we are in Moab, Utah, the Arches National Park. Apparently this was a sleepy little town until the United States government declared a need for uranium, and this was a prime area to find it.
Prospectors by the droves flocked here and within three years the town had more than quadrupled in size. Uranium is no longer mined, but the old mine sites are visible. Apparently the Ute Indians knew about uranium way before atomic weapons and used it as body paint, liking the intimidation effect that glowing in the dark had!
The nurse in me immediately worried about their health, but the natural uranium is not harmful. It has to be enriched.
Today we headed past Arches National Park to Canyon National Park. I thought after seeing Monument Valley I had seen it all, but Arches proved me wrong, and Canyon National Park also provided a totally new perspective on our national land. Of course there was more rock – so many rocks and such small storage space in my camper! – but this park focused more on looking down into the canyons from the rim above.
Another picnic lunch, this time at a table. Amazing how flowers and these shrubby trees can root right in rock. We looked for the legendary mountain goats (I looked for lions and things) but we didn’t see any. Apparently it is too hot. That is my explanation anyway.
It is hard to believe before this land became a national park it was all free range cattle grazing. We saw a lot of cattle grazing, some a foot from the road. It must be a tough life.
The most predominant trees are the pinion pine and juniper, both small and slow growing. A tree five feet tall may well be over a hundred years old. We saw a nice bunch of juniper berries. The evening was spent eating left-overs, doing laundry, and arguing with Microsoft somewhere in India I think. Sigh.
All day long the sky in the distance looked cloudy and around 8 p.m. the wind picked up and red sand (like talcum powder) blew everywhere. We had to close the windows, as the dirt was coating the inside of the camper.
Another night of being rocked to sleep by the wind. This is an interesting place - Regina
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