Burning Gas-Moab 2

29px Jeep safari near Moab, Utah, USA

29px Jeep safari near Moab, Utah, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The town of Moab, Utah deserves some mention. I wrote my first post about how the town has built an economy around outdoor adventure.  Let me relate some anecdotes about our time there. I awoke early one morning, and as is my usual habit, I opened the drapes to  look out at the sunrise over the parking lot. At the far end of the lot was a brand new Chevy Silverado with dualies, and a crew cab. Hitched to the truck was a twenty-four foot covered trailer. A forty-something man was up early unloading his rock climber; a special vehicle designed and built to climb ridiculously tough terrain.  Later, after breakfast, I went to my car, and there, parked near my Death Star was the rock climber. The thing looked brand new. The young man was setting out on an adventure from the hotel parking lot. He would drive his unlicensed super-horsepower, four-wheel-drive, roll-caged, high-wheeled, wide-tired climber down the street to a trailhead. I thought this was unusual. The locals say it happens all the time.

After touring Arches National Park, we parked the Death Star on a side street and walked to the main drag. We passed a parking lot of Jeeps fitted with bench seats and special roll-bars. They were all the same color with a distinctive logo. The fleet was ready to haul tourists on back road tours through the scenic mountains. A half block further we passed a bicycle shop with mountain bikes galore waiting to buy or rent. Peg and I searched for a place to eat, and we passed many pasta cafe’s. Pasta is another sure sign of a young athletic type adventurer. Pasta is the fuel of bicyclists and hikers. We had lunch at Pasta Jay’s  and were delighted by the menu which contained many non-pasta items.

Mountain Bikes for Sale or Rent

Mountain Bikes for Sale or Rent


I So Wanted to Go Here For Lunch, but the Menu was Too Mexican for Peg

Since Moab was a stop on our journey home after spending three and a half months in the Valley of the Sun, we did some last-minute souvenir shopping. I wanted to buy baseball caps with Moab printed on them for my male kids. We crossed Main Street from the pasta place to the T-Shirt Shop where if I couldn’t find what I was looking for it doesn’t exist on the planet. I didn’t find a hat with “Moab” printed on it. I asked the Gnarly looking kid behind the counter if he could make hats for me. “I sure can,” he said. We print anything you want on any of the hats on that rack there. He pointed at a wall display with hats in a variety of neon colors. “What about putting Moab on the hat?” He pulled out a box of ready-made appliqués and showed me several sizes of Moab. I picked one and told him to make nine hats in the flurescent orange and to add a jet black Moab to it.  I want my team to have something that will make people ask “what the heck is Moab?” The clerk rattled off a couple of meanings instantly. He said, “If you are in the Air Force it means Mother of all Bombs, and if you are in the Navy it stands for Mother of all Boats, and I can sell you a special bumper sticker that reads “Mother of all B______,” where you fill in the b-word.


We talked to the clerk as he methodically applied Moab to the hats. We learned he was from Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he graduated from Louisiana State University (LSU) with a degree in Communications. To pay for his education he spent eight years in the military as a medic. Four of those years he spent in Afghanistan. I learned he was conservative, and he  could not openly discuss his views while at work. He whispered that most of the thirty-somethings that come to enjoy Moab are Progressive-Liberals.

Scott’s real job was to use his distinctive voice and communication skills making radio commercials. This he did from his home studio.  We became fast friends with him, and Peggy enjoyed telling him about her granddaughter who at age eighteen joined the Air Force to qualify for the GI bill.

Scott, LSU graduate, Afghanistan Vet, Tee Shirt Salesman

Scott, Afghanistan Vet, LSU Grad, and Tee Shirt Salesman

We fell in love with Moab, and will return there to spend more time. I’d love to take a Jeep tour of the back country, and to explore Canyonlands National Park on the next visit. Just maybe, I’ll take a raft trip down the mighty Colorado River, solo of course.

Technology, Ain’t it Great?

My heart got an unexpected workout this week. This is a long story so, pull up your chair and relax with your favorite beverage in hand.

Wednesday, was the day of our Steppenwolf subscription. The play we saw is Penelope, written by Irish play right Enda Walsh. At first, I thought that name was mis-spelled and should have read Edna. It wasn’t, the guy has a weird name. His name may explain this weird play. The story is based on Homer’s “Odyssey”. Imagine four guys clad in Speedos having a conversation for ninety-minutes.

The evening began with a smooth uneventful fifty minute drive with our friends. Unlike the last time when we were locked in a one-hundred-fifty minute traffic jam and just made it in time for the curtain. That night we dined on Sweet Miss Givings chocolate chip cookies. This night the traffic was light and the sky was clear, although the prediction was for snow. I parked the Death Star in the valet spot in front of Gianni’s Ristorante on Halstead Street; one of our favorite restaurants. I asked the valet to keep the car close by, as we would be bringing out left-over food and I wanted to store it in the trunk rather than carry it into the theater. He was gracious and said he would.

We met a third couple inside the restaurant and had a lovely time over a liesurely dinner. We left Gianni’s a half hour before the curtain. I asked the valet to open the car which he had parked in front. He took the bag, and I watched as he fumbled trying to open the trunk. He kept pushing the button on the key fob but nothing happened. I went to his rescue. I said, watch this. I held the fob in my hand and pushed the tiny, well concealed, button on the right tail light lens. Nothing happened, nada. “That’s strange,” I exclaimed. I went to the car door, the same thing happened. The key fob which is the miraculous technological wand with which I play “Open Sesame,”  stopped functioning. Luckily, Toyota thought this might happen and provided a conventional “key” to open the driver’s door manually. I showed the valet what I did and instructed him on how to start the car with a dead key fob. We crossed Halstead Street to Steppenwolf and  forgot about the incident. Before I left the Valet, I asked him to move the car to the other side of the street so we would be positioned for a fast getaway at the end of the show. Again, he graciously agreed to do so. I left him knowing full well that he could have major problems locking, opening, and starting the car.

The six of us suffered through Penelope and had some lively discussion about what the heck we saw. The third couple, agreed to stick around until they saw us safely underway in the Death Star. The suspense of not knowing if the car would start was killing me. As I stepped out of the theater, I searched Halstead looking for the white car. At first my view was blocked by other patrons leaving, then I spotted it. The valet started the engine while we walked toward it. He reported the key worked again, but stopped the next time they tried to use it.

The drive home went as quickly as the drive there. Our conversation about the play continued. All agreed that we didn’t understand a damn thing. I commented that the last time we saw a play we were baffled by, it too was by an Irish playwright. His name was Thomas Beckett. It must be the effect of the Irish whiskey being swilled in Irish pubs.

A new light appeared on my dashboard. A yellow icon of a key with a line through it indicated that the car did not see a key anywhere within range of it’s wirelss signal. The light stayed on during the entire drive. I kept praying the Death Star would remain running until we arrived.

Once we were home, I found my extra key fob and tested it with the car. It worked fine. The next morning, I bought a new battery for the fob and now the Death Star  is happy again, and so am I. The doors work, the trunk opens, and the motor starts, all by pushing buttons, but we still don’t have a clue about the message of Penelope.

Words that Sealed My Doom.

This morning started like a normal Thursday. It is the day, I drive the Death Star to the hair fixer with Miss Peggy in tow.

All was on schedule and then it happened?

“Do you think my hair is too long?”

One would think that at my age and with the number of years I have spent living with a spouse, that I would know better.

“You need a cut, color, and a perm” were the words that sealed my doom. It went downhill from there.

“You don’t like the way I look?”

“I care about how you look, I want you to look like you did when we got married.”

The trap door opened beneath my feet and I fell into the abyss. Ever since those fatal words were spoken, I have been shoveling furiously to get out of the hole. Looking at the bright side, it is sunny and a mild 53 degrees out today.