Getting the Most!

Here’s a recent article found on that provides some wisdom. I pass it on for all you NPS afficionados.

Next week is National Park Week, which means free entry for you to national parks for the next two weekends. If you have a national park near you, here’s what you can do to get the most out of your free visit.

If you’re not sure whether there’s a national park nearby, check Find Your Park, which is run by the National Park Service. Even if you aren’t near a popular park like Yosemite, there are a lot of smaller gems that might be in your area. Once you’ve chosen which park you want to visit for free over the next couple weekends, plan your trip.

  • Figure out what you want to see or where you want to hike. Resources like Chimani (app that specializes in parks), the National Park Service’s itinerary index, or recommendations from friends and family help you find the best spots to visit.
  • Know how to avoid crowds, if that’s what you want. Free entry means that more people are likely to be visiting the parks at the same time as you. TomTom has partnered with the National Park Service to show you paths that are less hiked—literally the road less traveled—and therefore less likely to be swarming with people. You can also beat crowds by getting an early start and actually walking more than a mile or two on the popular trails (as most people drop off rapidly at that point).
  • Get your kids involved. If you’re bringing kids along, get them engaged by using the Junior Rangers Program to get them interested in nature.
  • Find the most stunning spots to take in the views (and snap a photo). A former National Geographic photographer lays out both the best hidden spots in national parks and the most visually breathtaking spots (there’s some overlap, unsurprisingly).
  • Be prepared for the weather. Make sure you’re dressed properly (layers are a good thing) and have sun, wind, or rain protection so that you can enjoy your time at the park.

No matter which park you end up visiting during National Park Week, spend a little time preparing and you’ll have a much better time in the great outdoors.

Arches Road Construction Info

Winter is close to over and then begins Orange Cone Season. Here’s the scoop on the National Parks’ construction schedules for this year, 2017.

And for download – Arches National Park News Releases

  1. Road Construction Update for Arches National Park
  2. Night Time Closure Planned During Major Road Construction Project in Arches National Park
  3. Arches “3R” Road Construction Q & As

Also, here’s the 1610 AM radio recording now playing from the NPS. Stay tuned to this weblog for other developments.


We’re Glad It’s Over@!


I just can’t believe how a candidate from the “private sector” could beat one of the most powerful political machines in history. I’m not saying he’ll be any better, but just the fact that he isn’t a politician [by birth] should make this term INTERESTING.

That said, I hope the Soros riots end soon. It isn’t good…

Town’s a Runaway Train

IMG_1304Hi, all. I’ve needed to take a quick trip to California recently.  It’s always interesting to see how other areas deal with the narrow band of tourism during the “season.” Moab is so out of control during the peak times. An example is the link Arches National Park had to put on their website so visitors can see how backed up the traffic is. [It’s here]

I can tell you that I’ve been impressed with South Dakota and all it’s attractions, but it’s an ant hill just like Moab. The motel rooms are expensive and hard to find, even though they are plentiful. The hired help is polite but overwhelmed. Visitors are impatient because they understandably need some service.

But more recently we went through Ely, Nevada. That poor town is just off the grid, and has turned into a fixer upper. One bright light is the Hotel Nevada, and century-old relic of the silver mining boom. I can visualize vaudeville shows going on back then. For what it’s worth, the rooms are cheap and fancy, and plentiful. We look forward to staying. Bonus: there are no attractions around there!


Happy Birthday, National Parks!

arches150My, how time flies! It’s been 100 years since the stalwart NPS was implemented. Not to be confused with the first national park, Yellowstone, in 1872, or Arches in 1971, but a date to remember anyway. There are films and fairs today at the visitor center, so stop by the park or at the Moab Information center and Main and Center streets to get details.

Most important! Have fun today!

Perfect day for Fiery Furnace!



Many consider this a challenging trail, but worth every step. It is so easy to get lost in this maze that you need a guide to get through (the white hat).  Fitness permitting, the hike takes 3 hrs. for the 2 miles. Group size is limited and there is a  fee of  $16 or less.



Dinosaur Diamond isn’t baseball…

So I finally got a chance to see the new dinosaur place just north of town. Now I see why it took a long time to build – it’s quite elaborate. Besides the obvious scientific research it took to recreate these critters, they’ve inserted some drama into the displays as well. Particularly cool was the aquarium exhibit (see video excerpt) I enjoyed the time spent there and will go again.

I recently went through the northern parts of the Dinosaur Diamond (The Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway is a 512-mile-long National Scenic Byway in the U.S. states of Utah and Colorado. The highway forms a diamond-shaped loop with vertices at Moab, Helper, Vernal and Grand Junction. – Wikipedia Article about Dinosaur Diamond) and saw how popular the whole subject of dinosaurs is.

A most influential citizen




Before Charlie Steen, the Uranium King (no relation to Charlie Sheen) discovered a massive vein of uranium, Moab’s vital industry was cattle. It is estimated his find netted him and his investors over $75,000,000 in 1950 dollars! Want that in 2016 dollars? Add a zero!

If you want to read about this pioneer, click here.

It’s just an intense movie!

Holy Smoke! This is one of the most intense movies I have ever seen. Here’s a full version of Masters of Stone V on Vimeo.  I can’t personally relate to the athlete’s antics, but they’re the best in the world, so who am I to disagree? Anyway, the music alone is worth the watch. Obscure but potent musicians like Harvey Mandell and Jason Becker. Enjoy…

Click here to go to Masters of Stone.stephdavis

By the way, number six is just out. masters6

Our Dark Sky!


MOAB, Utah (AP) — Canyonlands National Park in eastern Utah is being recognized for its dark skies and lack of light pollution. Park officials say Canyonlands was named as an “International Dark Sky Park” by the Arizona-based International Dark-Sky Association. It’s one of 26 parks recognized by the group for park efforts to preserve views of the night sky.

Pets and Arches


This is good information to know:

  • Pets are not allowed on any hiking trails or in the backcountry.
  • Pets must be on leash at all times when outside your vehicle.
  • Pets may be walked on roads, in paring lots and in the Devils Garden Campground.
  • Pets must not be left unattended except in paid-for campsites at Devils Garden. Excessive noice may be cause for removal.


The desert can be deadly for pets. Car temperatures rise quickly in the sun, even on cool days. Your pet can easily suffer brain damage or die of heat exhaustion. If you are leaving a pet in a car, crack the windows as much as possible and leave water to drink. We recommend you not leave pets in the car at all when temperatures are obove 645 degrees, even with the windows cracked.

Three kennels are available in Moab:

  1. Desert Doggie Daycare
    4890 Sunny Acres Lane – (435) 259-4841
  2. Daren’s Canine Campground
    2781 s. Roberts Drive – (435) 259-7922
  3. Moab Veterinary Clinic
    4575 Spanish Valley Drive – (435) 259-8710

The Needles Overlook

Don't miss this attraction on your way south of Moab. It may be 40 miles out of your way, but a magnificent diversion. Click on each of these photos to see a bigger version.



Arches visits up 26%

So, okay, Arches National Park is an amazing place. Are we loving it to death? Probably not yet, but there are proposals afoot to manage the crowds. Contact your local park service, or stay tuned here. They want our input, and it's important. Thanks!


Nobody goes there any more; its too crowded!

Arches Traffic & Travel Tips

A road sign reading "slow congested area" with cars parked on the shoulder.

Between March and October, it can be difficult to find parking. (NPS Photo)

Visitation to Arches has climbed steadily for years, reaching one million visitors for the first time in 2010. During high visitation, parking is limited at all destinations, and popular trailheads like Delicate Arch and Devils Garden regularly fill for hours at a time, especially on weekends and holidays.

There are a few alternatives to driving your car in Arches, but if you're planning to drive, then this page is for you.

Where the Crowds Are

From March through October, visitation at Arches is extremely high. During high visitation, there may be significant delays entering the park, and once inside, you can expect increased travel times and congestion along the scenic drive. Long lines may form at the entrance gate. If the entrance road is backed up, you may not stop on the highway: it is against the law. (Utah Code 41-6a-1401) Come back at another time, or consider visiting other nearby attractions.

Parking lots at popular trailheads and viewpoints such as Devils Garden, Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch and The Windows are usually full between 9 am and 4 pm. In 2015, construction at the Delicate Arch / Wolfe Ranch trailhead will mean significantly reduced parking. You might have to plan on hiking elsewhere.

If you do find a parking spot and go for a hike, expect to see a lot of other people on the trail. It is not uncommon for hundreds of people to visit Delicate Arch at sunset. The following holidays and weekends are especially busy:

  1. Easter week (date varies – usually in April)
  2. Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  3. Labor Day (first Monday in September)
  4. Utah Education Association break (4 days in October, visit for details)

When parking lots are full, please remember:

  • Park in designated areas only.
  • Do not drive off roads.
  • If a lot is full, do not wait for spots to open; move on and try again later.
  • Never park on vegetation or in a manner that blocks traffic.
  • Don't block the flow of traffic by waiting for a parking spot.

How to Avoid the Crowds

  • Avoid visiting on the holidays/weekends listed above.
  • Early morning (sunrise) is always less busy than sunset. To beat the crowds, try entering the park by 8 am, though you may encounter groups of early-morning photographers at some destinations.
  • Carpool if you can. Consider hiring a company to shuttle you to and from the park ( to see what's available).
  • Parking for oversize vehicles (RVs, trailers) is extremely limited. Leave oversized vehicles in town, or in the visitor center parking lot.

This articles is found at the official NPS website here:

What it is like in other places?

We're having fun visiting inlaws but we didn't go to the East coast. We stopped by Lake Superior instead, finding it more hospitable. It's 7 degrees and flurrying, but we have power and water and warm heaters. Will be good to be home in Moab soon and shovelling some sunshine…

Enjoy living whereever you do it! You are blessed.

Weather Report

No, not THE Weather Report. Notwithstanding the antics of arguably the greatest expired electric bassist that ever lived, we are having great weather in Moab!  It's shorts and Tee-shirt weather in the afternoons, just like it was in the 70s. Nights are still just below freezing. The last couple of years were bitter cold this time of year (below zero) and, well, they could be in a few weeks. I'll let you know.

The Beauty of Creation

We all know our souls need to see beautiful things. Some of us also know we need that sense of being connected to something larger than us. Almost everyone senses when their spirit is touched by that creator. It can't be expressed any better than this ancient writing:

   Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth,
who has set your glory above the heavens!
   From the lips of babes and infants you have established strength,
because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and
the avenger.
   When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have ordained;
   what is man, that you think of him?
What is the son of man, that you care for him?
   For you have made him a little lower than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
   You make him ruler over the works of your hands.
You have put all things under his feet:
   All sheep and cattle,
yes, and the animals of the field,
   The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea,
and whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
   Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Snow on the Mountain

lasals2063Yep, even though it's still Fall, there's solid moisture in the air. For the record, it's around 20 degrees and clear. I'm glad it doesn't feel like the deep bone-chilling cold that you get on the coast.

My lawn is covered with a layer of big yellow leaves, and I'd better get them off before it snows over them. What's it like where you are?



“Being Kind is Cool”

Angel_sizedI just couldn't help it. I know this link isn't "Moab" but it touched me. When we feel sorry for ourselves for some reason, we should visit this world and do something in it. Seems every little act of generosity in this little neighborhood is visible, if not magnified. Thought I'd take you out of your bubble. There's a man out there, occupational therapist by day, photographer of the exiled at night, doing something. Enjoy getting out of your funk…

Fall weather is upon us. We love it!

We recently had a week of downpours that cause some mudslides and flooding. Here's a video of my trip across town:

Although I shot this video before the most mud damage occured, you can see that our main street is not exactly imune to a strong storm's effects. 

Can this be wonderful news?

But first, a word from our sponsor…

Now then, the news! Just dug out today from the SLC newspaper:


Land Exchange To Boost Utah Recreation and Energy Development

A land exchange deal which would allow for a land trade between school lands and the Bureau of Land Management is close to finalization after nearly ten years of negotiations.

Corona Arch

The Bureau of Land Management acquired world-class recreation sites such as Corona Arch and Morning Glory Arch in a 60-million-acre land exchange with the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.
Credit Bureau of Land Management

Under the exchange nearly 60 million acres of land, appraised at equal value, will be traded between the Utah School Institutional Trust Lands Administration and the BLM.

The BLM’s Megan Crandall said through the trade SITLA would receive 35,000 acres of land from the BLM in exchange for more than 25,000 acres in Uintah, Grand and San Juan counties.

“Through the exchange the Bureau of Land Management is going to get some wonderful lands with increased recreational opportunities, which is great," said Crandall. "But the state is also going to get some lands that have very high potential for energy development."

The land exchange was approved earlier this year and is now open to public inspection. SITLA Director John Andrews said after the comment period ends, concerns will be investigated before the deal moves to the legislature.

"Once the protest period is over, there are a couple of additional notices that the BLM has to file with the relevant congressional committees and then the only thing left to do is to exchange the title documents and record the deeds," said Andrews. 

Andrews expects the exchange to be finalized in early May.


Signs of Spring


My wife and I drove up the River Road (Hwy 128) Sunday while it was raining, to see the waterfalls (I think we saw about 30) coming off the cliffs. We weren't alone. There were hundreds of gawkers enjoying this rare sight. These are the result of literal flash floods on top of the mesa rushing over the edge. Some day I'd like to see them from the top…

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