Getting to Moab - Page 3 of 3

[Desert scenery.]   [Desert scenery.]
The beautiful high desert scenery along U.S. Route 50 in eastern Nevada, near Ely.

We stopped overnight in the eastern Nevada town of Ely (pronounced eel'-ee). It was snowing when we stopped and it continued snowing for a few hours overnight. The next morning, everything was covered with a fresh blanket of white. It was bitterly cold, and the highway was slippery until it warmed up and the roadway thawed. In eastern Nevada, we made a short side-trip to visit Great Basin National Park and took a tour of a notable cave.

Shortly afterwards, we crossed into Utah, but the Basin and Range terrain continued – we went up and down the ranges and straight across the flat basins. The temperatures seemed to be moderating and snow was less common. In central Utah, Route 50 temporarily joined up with Interstate 70, which allowed for faster travel. At one point, we crossed a geological formation called the San Rafael Swell, where uplift and subsequent erosion has created spectacular scenery. There was a convenient roadside rest area where we stopped to take pictures. Coming down off of the Swell, we got a view of the Green River as it headed south through the town of Green River, Utah. We visited the interesting John Wesley Powell Museum in the town of Green River. After another 20 miles or so, we finally exited I-70 and headed south on US-191 to Moab. Meanwhile, I-70 continued eastward into Colorado, where Route 50 peels off again to continue across the continent to Ocean City, Maryland. Have a nice trip, Route 50!

[Scenery at the San Rafael Swell.]   [Scenery at the San Rafael Swell.]
The scenery of the San Rafael Swell. I took the pictures from the I-70 rest area west of the town of Green River, Utah.

[Cowboys herding cattle.]  
Cowboys tending their herd the old-fashioned way, using horses.  

When we got to Moab, we checked into our motel then drove around town to take a look. Moab is an interesting and lively town, and caters to a wide variety of interests. Many of the interests involve active sports like mountain biking, river running, jeep exploring, hiking, etc. We saw a lot of young people who were obviously into active sports. As if to confirm its youthful draw, we easily found a California-style coffee shop offering lattes and expressos. There were plenty of restaurants, motels, stores for gear and provisions, outfitters and guides, etc.

We also met up with Ben and Peter, the two other members of our kayaking trip. Ben is John's brother-in-law and Peter is Ben's high-school-age son. They had driven to Moab from their home in eastern Kansas, near Kansas City and the Missouri border. We all paid a visit to Tag-A-Long, the river-running company John had selected, to confirm our shuttle service for tomorrow morning and receive last-minute information. Back at the motel, we divvied-up the gear and worked out where to pack everything in the boats.

[Map of Utah.]   [Map of river trip.]
Here are two maps with more details of our river trip. On the left is a map of Utah, with a blue box showing where the river trip occurred. On the right is a more detailed map of the river trip, showing all the segments (shuttle bus, kayak, jetboat). You can click on either map for a bigger version (Utah: 116 kb, River Trip: 34 kb); use your browser's "back" command to return here.

The trip continues on the next page, when we finally get to do some paddling!

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