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  Field Notes From
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From Photographer

Cary Wolinsky

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photograph by Mark Thiessen


ZipUSA: 84532 On Assignment Photographer ZipUSA: 84532 On Assignment Photographer
ZipUSA: 84532

Field Notes From Photographer
Cary Wolinsky

Best Worst Quirkiest
    Working with my sister, Judy, on a National Geographic assignment for the first time was a real treat. Heading out early each morning under a universe of stars. Witnessing the drama of sunrise on red sculpted sandstone. Finding the desert in full bloom. This is as good as it gets. Having traveled the world for nearly 35 years, I use the word "spectacular" guardedly. But the slickrock country around Moab is indeed spectacular. And—despite the fact that there is growing development pressure—the National Park Service and many local people are working hard to keep it that way.

    It was disturbing to see that so many prehistoric archaeological sites have been damaged. Snakes, demons, marching sheep, abstract designs, nothing is immune to the vandals who scratch their names and dates directly over the centuries-old artwork. Along Potash Road that follows the river out of Moab, the ancient art was shot full of bullet holes.

    While driving the dark, winding, cliff roads along the Colorado River, I was blinded by a slow-moving truck stacked with lights to illuminate the cliffs for tourists rafting below.
    In its past life, Moab was a uranium-mining town. When the uranium played out, the town reinvented itself as a center for extreme sports. It worked. The fabulous scenery and the red slickrock is a magnet for cyclists who come by the thousands. But the downside of this sports explosion has been the coming of ill-conceived tourist development. A large truck loaded with blinding lights and moving at raft pace on a narrow mountain road in the dark may fall into that category.


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