Joe’s Journal: Day 49 – Surrounded by Beauty in Moab, UT

I was excited to go to our next stop of Moab, Utah which has been immortalized in films ranging from the great John Wayne movie Geronimo to Ridley Scott’s feminist classic, Thelma and Louise. And it’s pretty obvious when you get there why so many have been inspired by the area, with its wondrous rock formations, spires, ancient Pueblo dwellings and staggeringly beautiful, red-hued, natural sandstone arches. All I could say was, “Wow.”

Moab is situated along the Colorado River and is considered the gateway to the Arches and Canyonland National Parks. It is just thirty miles from Dead Horse Point State Park. Moab is also a mountain-bike Mecca and an all-round cool town with a pretty health-conscious population. It struck me as one of the most beautiful spots I’d ever seen.

From Moab, we headed about 350 miles south and west to Winslow, Arizona, a stop on the famed Route 66 located in Navajo territory just a short distance form the Painted Desert. The Painted Desert and the adjacent Petrified Forest make up what is known as the Badlands, which extended all the way from the Grand Canyon to make up one of the most scenic sights imaginable.

As music fans know, Winslow was also memorialized in the Glenn Fray and Jackson Brown classic “Take It Easy,” which was named by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll. Well we weren’t going to be able to take it easy while there, but it was indeed “such a fine sight to see” even though we spent much of our time in a truck stop parking lot instead of taking in the incredible vistas. Ironically, there in that parking lot, we had an encounter that would change the course of our film and have a lasting impact on me.