Moab has very interesting things in its long history. Yes, long. And some downright weird stuff. All in all, I discovered some very intriguing facts about this little desert town. Chew on these:
1. Interesting fact: The name Moab comes from an ancient Biblical kingdom. The residents were called Moabites. Yes, modern residents of Utah’s Moab are also called Moabites.
2. Weird fact: Moab is not a MOAB, or a Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb. The “Mother of All Bombs” is a 21,000-pound explosive. The town of Moab is…um…a town. This is a distinction Moab would like to keep very clear.
3. Eerie fact: Popular breakfast spot the Jailhouse Café used to be an actual jail. In the late 1800s the building was the area’s first county courthouse. But no fear, it doesn’t feel at all jail-like now. It’s quite cozy, in fact.
[photo courtesy of stevendamron]
4. Fun fact: In 1991, Nike released their Nike Air Mowabb hybrid running/hiking shoe. Schwinn produces the Moab Mountain Bike.
5. Random fact: Humans have occupied Moab for a long time: two nearby petroglyphs (images pecked into a rock wall by ancient people) depict what might be a woolly mammoth. No one seems to really know if it is in actuality a representation of a woolly mammoth. Could have been a mastodon. If either creature was around, it was here 15,000-30,000 years ago. Either way, us two-legged types have been around Moab for millennia.
[photo courtesy of Shortlake Snapshots]
6. Historical fact: Moab hosted a uranium boom in the 1950s after prospector Charlie Steen hit it big. We’re talking major boom-town time.
7. Cool historical fact: Moab is near The Old Spanish Trail. Its 1,000-mile length was heavily used for centuries as a Santa Fe-Los Angeles trade route. No, it’s no longer in existence as a regular trade route. However, stories abound that Spanish gold and other treasure-y things can still be found here and there along the trail’s remnants. Happy hunting.
8. Fun outdoor fact: Moab is a mountain biking mecca. Its Slickrock Bike Trail is one of the most technically challenging ones in the world.
9. Weird fact: Dead Horse Point State Park borders Canyonlands National Park. Nineteenth century cowboys corralled wild horses onto the point, which created a natural barrier to escape. Supposedly a herd was left on the point and died of thirst.
[photo courtesy of msn678]
10. Outlaw fact: Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch gang got into many robberies and shootouts with Moab’s lawmen. Their Robbers Roost hideout was in a wild maze of canyons east of town. This, folks, was the real Wild West.
11. Silly name fact: Delicate Arch in Arches National Park has been nicknamed Cowboy Chaps, Old Maid’s Bloomers, and License Plate Arch. (My favorite is the lady’s underpants one. Tee-hee.)
12. Daring fact: The famous Colorado River was first successfully rafted by explorer John Wesley Powell in 1869. In wooden canoes. Yowza!
[photo courtesy of devriesm]