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Water Adventures Happenings - August 2016
“Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk About!”
Lovingly penned by Swirlin’ Eddy for Wild West Voyage

‘Bout a couple weeks ago I was making my Swirlin’ Eddy rounds, checking out my domain on the local sections of the Colorado River. Cruisin’ around at surface level about a mile above the highway bridge, minding my own business, I come upon a vehicle almost entirely submerged on river left. Nothing but a formerly slick black rooftop and about 2 inches of window. Creepy, like a sunken ship, silently filling with red silt and looking all at once grim yet alive with the promise of a good story.

I took a few moments to flow through it and explore the interior: a small box of dental toothpicks floating up top, owner’s manual missing, keys still in the ignition, interior seating only a luxury car can offer. That thing was an Audi A8, practically brand new! I know what you’re saying: it’s probably a 1992 Nissan Stanza that was pushed into the river. But I, Swirlin’ Eddy, hereby swear I saw it up close.

Let’s start swirling some rumors! There is massive potential to stir the story pot with this one. It was a stolen car. It was a shuttle vehicle. It was a drug run. It was a sleepy tourist on a whirlwind epic national parks tour who realized all too late that the American West can’t be won in a day. My conjecture? The ghost of Sir William Granstaff himself, come to check on his cattle in style. Even old timey cowboys get to drive Audis in heaven.

I heard from a reliable source (OK, a river guide, but a reliable one as river guides go...) that the guy driving that car was listening to REM while easing on down that River Road. Top three guesses: Driver 8? Find the River? Nightswimming?

I also heard tell of the driver making a superhero leap from his door, mid-air, flinging himself from the doomed vehicle and into not scratchy tamarisk but soft willow branches that cushioned his landing. Stuck that landing with both feet, thrusting peace signs into the air as he did it. This is legendary heroism folks, the likes of which only Bruce Willis could interpret in the film version and do it any justice.

By the time you read this there will be official reports about this vehicle, which will have long since been removed from the river, dripping with shame and sludge. I much prefer the wistful tales of heroics and espionage that accompany rumor and conjecture. River culture brims with it. Let’s not be confused by the facts, folks. On the contrary, let’s talk it up for future generations!

*Shout out to Bonnie Raitt for the song title that inspired this month’s edition of Swirlin’ Eddy’s River Blog! Check out Swirlin’ Eddy’s River Blog at

Wild West Voyages offers guided daily river trips, equipment rentals and river shuttle service. Raft, kayak, or stand up paddle: All Trails Lead to the River! Give them a call at 435-355-0776 to arrange your river day, or visit


Adventure Park Moab Is Just Plain Fun

Adventure park, challenge course, ropes course, aerial many names for a place that is just plain fun and a great way to challenge yourself a little or a lot. Ropes course is what most of these parks were called back in the 1960’s and 70’s when my uncle built one up at the Ycamp on Lake Wenatchee in Washington. He just cut some trees, built a climbing tower (with no plastic holds, you just climbed the horizontal poles with the bark still on), a giant swing (self-facilitated, you climbed the huge ladder and swung off on the rope swing), and a ropes course that wasn’t too far off the ground. Like today’s courses, it challenged your balance, strength, agility, and maybe your fears.

Challenge courses have come a long way in the last few decades and you can find them in most major cities and some smaller ones like Moab. Adventure Park Moab is a special place. A local couple brought their dream of having a challenge course to Moab and made it happen.

Typically, a person who comes to the Adventure Park Moab begins with gearing up on safety equipment and then learning how to negotiate the course on a training station down low on the ground. Once familiar with the system, we climb up to the 30’ platform via a climbing wall or a cargo net. Some think the cargo net is the easier option, but don’t be fooled!

Once you are on top, the world is your oyster... you can choose from multiple different elements to cross and figure out. That’s right, it is more than a physical challenge, there are some thinking elements to the course. Like a puzzle. Very fun if you are into puzzles. Or a mental challenge.

The word challenge gets thrown around a lot in the adventure park world. Challenge by choice is the mantra, and it means just that. No one at the park will pressure you into doing anything you don’t want to do. However, if your goal is to cross the dangling logs and you need support, that’s why we’re here! Physical and emotional support is what we, the facilitators, do.
To exit the course, many choose the giant swing. The swing is a serious thrill where the participant steps off the 30’ platform to pendulum off of a double cable for a few minutes until released at the bottom.

Another very thrilling option is the thirty-foot Leap of Faith. Here, you climb a freestanding post about 25’ with the support of a toprope. Once on the post, you jump for the trapeze bar which is just out of reach but not too difficult for the average adult to catch. Missing is nearly as fun too. A true leap into space!

The beauty of the adventure park is that when you are done, you will most likely feel a sense of accomplishment that will stay with you. You have grown as a person. Maybe overcome a little fear. And seen what you are capable of.

So if you want lots of challenge, a little challenge, or just a thrill ride, Adventure Park Moab is a pretty fun place.
Adventure Park Moab is also happy to host birthday parties at a special price per child. Call 435-259-4424 for details. Open 7 days a week.

Please take advantage of the 20% local discount with your Moab ID! Bring your friends and family to 422 Kane Creek Blvd.

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