Visited the local museum in Moab and found it interesting. They had displays showing much of the early history of the area. Fossils, mining, ranching, archaeology, uranium production in the 60’s all had good displays. One very interesting item is a 7’ x 7’ sculpture, a relief-map of the whole Moab area. It was built by a retired National Park employee over 20 years. It is estimated that he spend more than 20 thousand hours hand cutting balsa wood with a straight edge razor blade. All mountains, valleys, rock ledges, roads, ponds and streams are accurately shown on the map. I took a couple of pictures of it and am sure they do not properly shoe the detail of the map. A nice museum worth seeing.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Moab and the surrounding area was a real boom town as a result of the discovery of good beds of high grade uranium ore.
At that time the Government was well into the development and production of atomic weapons. The proliferation of atomic power plants also contributed to the demand for uranium then. As time went on, the easily mined ore was pretty much exhausted and with the discovery of less expensive material from areas off shore and declining demand, the mines closed up. A huge pile of many acres of material from the processing plant built beside the Colorado River still is there and plans are underway to relocate it to another location out in the desert. Today, many of the men that worked in the mines are suffering from the effects of exposure to the uranium and don’t have a long life span.
The economy of Moab has successfully shifted from a mineral boom town to a tourist destination and the streets are full of business offering tours of all kinds. Bike tours, 4x4 tours, Jeep rentals, jet boat rides on the Colorado companies dominate the area along with motels and RV parks to house the visitors.
Elk RV Parking: 55; Escapee RV Parks: 26; Public RV Parks: 53; National Parks: 66; Ships: 17; Forts: 30
Expenses: 51 months on the road with an average of $1969/month