The plates turning green

An old joke in the Moab area is that you can tell it’s springtime because the license plates start turning green.

This means that people from Colorado, in particular, start camping, hiking, mountain biking, and more in the red rock country around our desert home.

Oh, sure, I once hailed from here. And Rhode Island, too.

But I now call Moab home and notice how busy things are overall. We stop making left-hand turns on Main St. The local City Market is a place to avoid as it gets closer to the weekend, and the areas we like to see in the winter start getting noticeably busier.

It is not a complaint as much as an observation.

And, the last weekend of winter and also the unofficial start of spring here is Presidents Day Weekend.

We saw the first line at Arches on Friday. We met friends for dinner in town, and they noticed the change just from Thursday to Friday.

Perhaps the perfect time to visit a favorite place for one last visit of the season before we return.

We saw some favorite places that never disappoint.

And enjoy seeing places we never noticed previously.

We walk the canyons, look up, and see what we see.

We went just enough away from the popular areas that we did not see anyone, and any footprints we saw seemed faint and older.

But, as always, we walk with awareness of people who came here generations ago.

Joan and I do not typically care for arches, but one isolated arch in a rarely visited area caught our attention.

The tower’s base in the site of the said arch also caught our attention.

We enjoyed our camp that evening deep within the heart of the canyons with only the stars, the soft glow of our Luci light, and the nighttime serenade of an owl echoing off the canyon walls to accompany us.

The morning brought another day of sunshine savored with a cup of coffee from our tent.

We walked out and again went to see what we could see.

From Joan. I upped the contracts and saturation to bring out the features.

And again, we looked at some places we’ve seen previously.

Before heading home and back to our truck, we walked down another side canyon. From nearly our first step, we saw evidence of a bustling community that once lived in this canyon.

The small details always seem to call back the most from over the centuries.

Walking the canyons, we noticed the cliff structures above us and the natural dirt ramps leading to them.

We made notes to return to this side canyon as we’ll need a whole weekend to poke around, see it, and savor it.

Spring is nearly here. And our town’s transition from a quiet winter to a busy spring certainly reflects it. But we’ll find places a bit lesser-known and always memorable.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
April J
April J
1 month ago

I spent two nights out your way right ahead of President’s Day weekend, including a tremendous one-night lazy backpack at Murphy Point in Canyonlands. Thanks to you and Joan for the consistent inspiration and the work you do!

Your guide was super helpful as always, but I consistently underestimate the size and scope of Moab. There’s just so much to see and places to poke around. Until next time.