Woods & Water
We don’t normally speculate what life used to be like, thousands or even millions of years ago, but if you visit Utah, you begin to wonder. A lot.
I have been to Arizona a dozen times, and it’s mostly desert, but there is life. Although sparse. It may be 50 miles between houses. You can see literally a hundred miles; that’s like looking from here to Washington, D.C. We can’t even see Havre de Grace from here, so that gives an idea what air quality is like.
Arizona is a beautiful place, with three drasti- cally different areas of desert: high, middle and low. Phoenix is low desert, hotter than a packrat’s butt at a barbecue. Next is mid-desert like Tucson: it’s cooler and higher in altitude, with different cacti. When you go to Mt. Lemmon you can see prickly pear and several others, but no saguaro until you get near the top. Then you can see saguaro for miles. Suddenly they end at a given altitude.
Pine Top, as the name implies, is filled with pine trees and is the high desert, much cooler and pleasant, unless you like it really hot. If so, you go to Utah.
Valerie and I just returned from Moab, Utah, and it is absolutely one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Yes, I have been to the Grand Canyon, and, yes, it is beautiful, but Moab is about three times more so.
Moab is about the size of North East and surrounded by hundreds of miles of desert. No houses for a hundred miles in any direction. However, it is near two great places: the Arches, and Canyonland, and is not too far from Zion National Park.
Millions of years ago the area was covered by a saltwater ocean, which receded, leaving unbelievable rock formations behind. The desert floor itself covers more than a mile of salt straight down.
The three places just mentioned are National Parks. With a Senior Park Pass, it is free to access all our National Parks. This, plus our library system, are the two greatest institutions in America.
Entering the Arches you Looking through one of the windows in Canyonland, Moab, Utah.
drive through miles of rock formations, every one different than the one you just saw. The ocean receded, leaving vast rock ledges of ore deposits, making some areas very colorful, like the Painted Desert in Arizona.
Others must have swirled, and as they did so, left behind hoodoos, balanced rocks of varied sizes reaching upwards of thousands of feet. Some formations are named, like the Monitor and the Merrimac, standing sentinel next to each other for millions of years.
It may not seem like it, but this desert is actually in the mountains. Like Salt Lake City, the mountains may reach over 14,000 feet, making this a biker’s and runner’s heaven.
Other areas have formed windows and arches of rocks. It makes you feel insignificant, it’s that huge and beautiful. I have thought for years that when I get cremated I want to be dropped into the Canadian wilderness, but now that I’ve seen Utah, I’m having second thoughts. It’s that beautiful.
Gun show coming up
Southern Lancaster County Farmers and Sportsmen’s Association is having a gun show on the weekend of Sept. 10 and 11, the week following Labor Day. Plan to be there. It’s worth it.
Riverfest Kids Fishing Tournament
Once again Riverfest, sponsored by local MSSA, will be held at the Charlestown Pier on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 9 to noon. Some rods will be available; contestants may bring their own.
Who knows what may be caught? Usually, bluegills, perch, bass, even a rockfish or two, carp, and others may be brought over the rocks. There will be a long-handled net to help kids land fish. Remember, this is a kids tournament. Adults do not cast, fish, or land their youngster’s fish. MSSA members may help land fish with the net.
Call John Poe at 302-2182676 to reserve a spot or sign up at the dock on the day of.