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Moab

Jon Held
May, 2011
Those that know me know that I’m a jaded New Yorker with a cynical attitude towards everything. I’m not easily impressed and have no tolerance for the weak or weak minded. I have no use for religion and find it difficult to impossible to believe in a “higher power”. It just doesn’t work for me.
This trip really changed part of me, for the better I think. As I sat alone amongst the multi-billion year old towers of granite and stone, listening to the wind whip through the canyon in front of me, I was transported back to the dawn of time. Looking around and realizing that all this was cut by a river and that it was all under water was pretty mind blowing. It’s easy to read about this stuff as I have done for years and look at pictures in books, but to sit amongst the rubble and feel it and touch the stone and to realize the enormity of it all is quite another experience. I reached down and picked up a chunk of granite that had broken off one of the pillars behind me. There were fragments of it everywhere for hundreds of yards in every direction. Each chunk was polished smooth on all exposed edges by the sand that gets carried by the wind. No sharp or jagged edges on any piece. I can only imagine how old these rocks are.
People who think the world is only a few thousand years old need to see what I saw. People who toast a slice of bread and see Jesus’ face and think that’s proof of god, need to see what I’ve seen. It was ALMOST enough to make me believe. I would say that other than witnessing the birth of my children, this was as close to a “religious” experience as I have ever had. And it was a lot less bloody and disgusting. Smelled a whole lot better too.
Enough rambling and fluff. If you weren’t there, you won’t understand. The pictures and words cannot convey the magnitude of the things I’ve seen. They’re burnt into my memory. It’s like seeing pictures of the Grand Canyon in a book as opposed to standing at the rim and looking across.
Cruise Moab is a very well-oiled machine at this point. These folks have been doing it for years and their experience shines in every aspect of the event. They get a lot of help from the local TLCA clubs and it shows. Every run had pre-designated trail leaders and tail gunners, CB channels, HAM frequencies, local meeting points including directions and mileage. Even the guy from back East found his way without drama.
The staff was also super accommodating to everyone that I saw. They are there to make sure the attendees have a good time and run the trails that they want to run, regardless of what was originally booked during registration. Steve was in charge of trail assignments and he sat in his cabin with his laptop and excel spreadsheets to all hours of the night as folks walked into his lair. Nothing was a problem and everyone left happy. He’s a super nice guy and a pleasure to deal with.
The trail leaders and gunners were a very experienced bunch and some of the nicest folks I met out there. Fun, safety, and respect for the land were second nature to these guys and their attitude was always good, despite me trying to run the stupid lines.
You all know I have a bit of experience putting on events, but these people handled 350 trucks as easily as we handle 80. I appreciated all the man-hours that went into the planning and execution of an event of this size and scale, from the land use and the involvement with the BLM, to the seamless registration, to the catering, to the raffle, to the tech inspections, to the general “feel” of the event. It was great. If you can only attend one event, this is the one I would choose.
Looking forward to next year folks.
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