Guiding to the classics

When I look at the span of my life to its current point, I, of course, remember my time in the outdoors. All the fantastic places I’ve seen over nearly three decades of active hiking will be among my life’s highlights.

But many people I met through the years because of the outdoors are equally important.

I met Joan because of hiking, and my life in Moab is because of her.

Then there are many friends I’ve hiked with, spent time in camp, and walked among the ridges.

Among them is my good friend Nahum. We used to hike together back in Boulder. Our life paths diverged with him moving to Virginia and pursuing a career there, and I am now calling Moab home.

And though social media has many downsides, the upside is that we can still maintain our friendship, and the photos, videos, and thoughts still makes us part of each other’s lives.

When Nahum planned a classic Western family vacation, Moab would naturally be part of the adventure. And I was more than happy to play guide for his Moab jaunts.

Nahum and family arrived in town, and they met Joan before she took off on her month-long Canadian vacation. Nahum visited friends in Colorado, and they sang Joan’s praises (because she’s incredible). Naturally, he wanted to meet this person with whom I am making a very happy life in Moab.

We enjoyed dinner, talking, and made plans for Arches.

Nahum, being both an experienced hiker and familiar with the desert due to growing up in Israel, wisely asked if we could meet at 5:45 AM and get a start in the cool morning hours of the desert. I readily agreed.

Naturally, Nahum and the children (10-15 years old) wanted to see “The Arch.”

As with many Moab residents, I only hike it when people visit. But every hike reminds me of why this arch is so iconic.

We continued to tour other highlights and finished our hiking for the day at 11 AM, just as the mercury started its climb to 100F in earnest.

We ended the day with a delightful late breakfast in the always-reliable Moab Diner.

I had other obligations and could not join them for Canyonlands (Island in the Sky) the following day, but they did enjoy the itinerary I helped plan.

After that day, I joined them for a classic hike to Little Wild Horse Canyon—a family-friendly slot canyon about two hours from Moab.

As before, I met Nahum and the children in the early morning hours, and we then drove to the trailhead, which is accessible by a passenger vehicle.

We opted for an out-and-back in the canyon, and everyone enjoyed the narrow walls, the scenery, and the uniqueness of the terrain that makes hiking in a slot canyon intriguing.

We stopped in the Green River at the long-time local favorite of “The Tamarisk” and enjoyed another meal where we talked.

Though not my typical excursions on the Colorado Plateau, I enjoyed seeing a good friend and his family and introducing them to Joan.

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26 days ago

I’d go to your neck of the woods just to eat at that diner… my kind of cuisine!