07 December, 2008


no, not the cops, but the number of full years one of our favourite guys, Jill's dad, has been alive as of last December. though we missed it in 2006 while we were in Asia, his birthday usually occasions a pretty big family outing. this time, rather than going snowmobiling, we went down to Moab, Utah and rented a Jeep to go four-wheeling over the red rocks around Arches National Park.

the man himself, proudly proclaiming the day.  below, Jill and i at the top of Dead Horse Point, with Canyonlands National Park below us, one of the most awesome sights i have ever beheld.

Jill's parents rented a house in Moab for a couple of days, and in addition to the main event, we enjoyed eveningtime entertainment consisting of Wii games (the Wiis were brand new at that time), a piƱata (that we put up indoors and attacked with a spatula), and watching National Treasure 2 at the local three-screen megaplex.  before this trip, i had only been to Moab twice: once while in high school to ride the slickrock trail on a mountain bike, and once to take our Japanese friends, the Kusudas, to Arches National Park.  this time, we skipped Arches and headed over to Canyonlands, taking some snow-scattered, cliffside mountain trails in the four-by-fours.

Jill and i pose atop the able rented Jeep with Gooney Bird Rock in the background to the left.  below, despite being asked not to, i decide to put that Jeep's abilities to the test.  it passed.

those often scary trails eventually led us up the mountains to arrive at Dead Horse Point, the main feature of an eponymously named State Park. basically, it is a very narrow section of plateau that sits high above the Colorado river in Canyonlands National Park, and was used by horse thieves as an easily guarded place to keep their spoils. a little bit of fencing and a guy parked at the narrow entrance made it just about ideal for rustlers, as long as you don't count the lack of space, food and water, which often killed the animals. oh well, at least it has great views. i mean really great views; once you've seen the Grand Canyon, you pretty much think you've seen all the good holes in the ground, but i can't remember seeing a landscape that impressed me as much as did the view from this place. it's easy to take for granted the scenery or attractions near where you live, so i don't often have a great desire to explore Utah until we're off living somewhere else, but this is one part of our big empty state that's well worth seeing.  thanks to Jill's dad for being the reason i got to, and since it's almost that time again, happy 51st in advance!