I am a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate.  As such, I was required to choose a nitch.  I say “nitch”  The Canadians say “Neetch”.  I have chosen my home town of Moab, Utah as my passion and my nitch.  Therefore, this is another post about Moab.


In the 1920’s, my family, Utah cowboy Buck Kirk and his wife, Neva,  ran cattle on the Book Cliffs in northern Grand  County, Utah.  The depression brought an end to this endeavor, and around the time of my birth, in 1932, Buck was driving trucks for the Moab Garage Company.  He eventually became the owner of acreage and grazing rights in Brown’s Hole, an area which could be considered in the La Sal Mountains.  Brown’s Hole is in San Juan County, close to the town of La Sal.

Brown’s Hole Cabin

Moab   was, (and is) a perfectly wonderful place in which to grow up.  Hiking was the preferred activity for all young Moab residents.  (I wonder if it still is.) If you re a hiker, don’t forget to take your hiking boots with you when you visit Moab.

The school (the only school in Grand County), was efficiently run, with good teachers),  and most of us completed our 12 years, and learned enough to become good citizens.

One of the best things about growing up in Moab was the lifelong friends that were made.  With a small population at that time (less than 1,000,) we were all engrossed in the town, and many of us were related.


Moab is now a bustling, busy, tourist destination.  Visitors from all over the world line the streets.  Arches National Monument, Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point are the main attractions,  but Moab itself has become a very popular destination.  Hiking and mountain biking are known activities,  and don’t forget your hiking boots.  There are now many motels, which is very different from having only the old Moab Hotel.

I can’t  help but wonder what the youth of the town do for entertainment.  Do they hike?  Do they dance?  Or are they only on their computers and cell phones?.  I know there are some drug problems there, but I hope the problems are not excessive.

Since I no longer live  in Moab, it is my hope that the small town experience is still prevalent there.  It was such a wonderful, unique town at the time of my youth.  I would be there still, but life happens, and life has taken me to Arizona.  My 3 children also live here, and several of my grandchildren are Arizona residents.  My son, Kirk, (of course I would name him “Kirk”) also loves Moab, and has researched the history.  He has composed a CD about the Wilson family, called “Left for Dead:”,  and it is available on Amazon.

My Grandson, Spencer Hawley, is also a very interested in Moab and its history, and Spencer keeps us informed of our heritage.

Moab now has a population of 5,000, which is much different from the population of 1,000, as it was when I lived there.

I do not plan to return to Moab or Grand County, but the Old Moab will live on in my memories.

Thank you for reading my article about Moab, Utah.

Janice Gustafson



  1. Hey Janice,

    This is an unique and informative article I must say. To be honest I did not have any ideas on Moab before. But I heard it’s name couple of times as it’s a wonderful place. After reading your article I have come to know many things about it. It great to know about your home town and the history it contains. I like hiking and as you said the young residents of Moab like hiking as well I will surely pay a visit to this place and will see if we can go on a adventure with those people.

    Thank you for writing such an amazing article.

    1. .Thanks so much for the very nice comment Mahin.  Ii am curious to know where you live.  Moab is indeed a beautiful place and the mountains close to it have excellent trails for hiking.  I hope you can visit there some day.


  2. Hello. I must say have no experience with Utah. I did find your blogs to be very interesting and the content pulled me in quite a bit to keep reading.  The breath of the writing is very nice. I wish there were more visuals. I wondered what it would look like and tried to place myself there. 

    1. You are so correct.  I got in a hurry and posted it before I put in pictures…and I have a bunch.  Thanks again, i will add them today.  And thanks for the lovely comment.


  3. Hi, Janice and thanks for the interesting read.  Tongue in cheek?  I am Canadian and I say “Niche”. 🙂  

    Quick question first.  I couldn’t help but notice that your last name is Gustafson.  I know some Gustafson’s in my area. Their names are Earl and June (both deceased) and a son called Larry and his wife Barb.  Just curious.  

    As I said, though, your post was an interesting read and there are some beautiful places around Moab and in the state that I would love to see.  It’s a bit of a drive (from Canada) but we have the time now because we are retired and now have time to do some of the things we have been dreaming of.

    So much history, so much beauty,


    1. Thanks so much Wayne, for your comment and for your sense of humor about “niche”.  I have asked my husband aou the Gustafsons and he has no recollection of them.  He is not aware of any relationships.  The family from Sweden settled in PA and Colorado…but thank for asking !  He is very interested in family. Hope you get to the Moab area.  The beauty there is amazing.

  4. What a wonderful rich and colorful history Janice! Growing up in a small town was the essence of living. It was like living together as one big family in a warm and caring community. Everything was natural and organic and one made friends for life. Growing up in a very small town I can relate to all. The old world glory is slowly fading away. 

     Is there no use in going back, because all has changed and very few you knew are still there? 

    Thank you for a wonderful tribute to Moab. I enjoyed reading and could feel the love you have foe Moab.


    1. Thanks so much for the great comment Stella!  I could tell you read all of it and that you understand my passion for the small town life and for the friendships.  I may go back this summer and host a little dinner party for my few friends that are left.  Thanks again !!


  5. Hey Janice,

    So, what I read from your article and some other wiki stuff is that Moab is a destination optimal for off=roaders and  mountain bikers. Well, as I never had the privilege to do off=road sports and activities much in my hometown and country, I always longed for some fun at these events.

    Also, I am really interested in knowing how does it feel like to visit the Canyonlands National Park. I am also excited about the Canoe trips on the green river. Hey, I also read that the world records for long highlines was performed here. 

    And, the amazing fact that I like about this place is that we can perform so many different sports and events out here likewise mountain biking, road biking, rock climbing, base jumping, hiking and backpacking, whitewater rafting and kayaking on the colorado river. it’s really awesome!

    1. Thank you Rounak for the comment.  I can se you have researched the area, and perhaps I have presented an interest for you.  I appreciate your taking an interest in my home town of Moab, Utah.  I am interested in your location.  Where is your home town and your country?

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