MOAB, THE MOVIE MAKING CAPITOL OF THE WEST

The DukeMY home town of Moab, Utah, is my passion and my niche.

When I was growing up, Moab was a small Mormon town of 920.  I remember the population sign along  the way into town, well.

Moab has since been  discovered by the tourists and the mountain bikers, and it has more than trippled in size of population; with the population during the tourist season being much larger.

My grandparents on both sides were pioneers into Moab Valley.  No, they were not LDS  pioneers, but they were diligent, hard working people who saw opportunities in the town.  

The Clark family came to Moab from Colorado, originally to mine gold in Miner’s Basin.  Grandfather Clark eventually became an owner of the Ides Theater and a part owner of Moab Transportation. He was also a large property owner.

And the Kirks??? The Kirks were always cowboys, cowboys.  And where else better to be a cowboy than Grand and San Juan Counties in Utah.?  They did it well.  A little rustling may have been done by the older generation, but who knows for sure?

My Father, Buck Kirk, was a cowboy in the best sense of  the word.  He was never seen without his boots  and his Stetson hat.  He only listened to classic country music, and he was an active member of the National Cattlemen’s Association.

Hand in hand with his chosen profession as a Cattleman, he became a landowner.  At one time he owned extensive property along the Colorado River,  and this land became a favorite with the moviemakers of Hollywood.

We were quite often guests on the movie location, and at the same table were seen, John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Victor Maclagen, and famous musicians like The Sons of the Pioneers, and Stan Jones, the writer of “Ghost Riders in the Sky”.

It was the practice of the movie makers fo use locals for extras.We local residents also rented our horses to the movies, and my Dad’s pinto was usually seen being ridden by the Indian  Chief.

The movie I best remember being filmed in Moab, is “Rio Grande”.  It is the most beautiful, sensual movie that I believe has ever been made.  The feelings between John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara are so erotic and full of passion, it must be seen to be believed.  And this was made while they were fully clothed and without touching.  If you are into movies, this one is a masterpiece. The director was, of course, John Ford.

Rio Grande was one of the first movies made in Moab,  but it was not the FIRST.  “Wagonmaster” starring Ward Bond was the first.   Wagonmaster was also a great movie, and it depicted the trials of a Mormon caravan on its way out West.

There were many more movies made in Moab through the years, and they are still being made there.  One of the most notable was “Thelma and Louise”.  The suicide scene at the end of the movie, was not filmed at the Grand Canyon.  It was  filmed at Dead Horse Point, near Moab.  Of course, dummies were used, and I understand they did 2 takes.  Most of the moviemaking scene in Moab, has now given way more to commercials and videos.

How many of you over 30 remember the Chevrolet on top of Castle Rock?   It was a stripped down Chevrolet, in order for  a helicopter to place it up there.  It was a beautiful and unforgettable comercial, and I have been a Chevrolet buyer and driver ever since.

The following is a list of movies made or partially made in Moab:   This list is taken from a You  Tube playlist montage and I found it on a Moab Adventure Center site:

MOAB MOVIE HISTORY

1989                  Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade

1990                  Thelma and Louise

1993                   City Slickers II

1996                   Con Air

1998                   Galaxy Quest

1999                   Mission Impossible II

2002                   Austen Powers, Goldmember

2009                   Star Trek

2010                   127 Hours

2013                   The Lone Ranger (Johnny Depp)

Popular activities in/around Moab:  River Rafting,

Paddle Boarding, Jet Boat Tours, Hummer Tours, Jeep Rentals, Arches National Park and Canyonlands Tours.

see you there !!!

movies

 

MY LIFE

I  was born  and raised In Moab, Utah, and it was a beautiful and idyllic place in which live.

München, Aubinger Lohe

Moab is still a beautiful place, and it has been discovered by millions of others who enjoy the many scenic wonders of the area.  Among these are Arches National Monument, Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point, the Colorado River and the Manti-LaSal Mountains.  Some of the many activities enjoyed in Moab are horseback riding, hiking, boating, jeeping, hunting, picnicing,rock-climbiing, rock-climbing, mountain climbing,  rodeos, gourmet restaurants and musical concerts; and don’t forget SHOPPING in the many specialty shops of Moab.

I was lucky enough to spend my early years growing up on a  cattle ranch located in Brown’s Hole.  Brown’s Hole was about 30 miles from Moab and about 15  miles from La Sal.  We had a delapidated old cabin with an attic, a blacksmith area, a tack room, a barn and a garage.  We also had a wonderful Grandfather, who planted a big garden, I was in the garden once , “working” with Grandad when he noticed my little overalls were missing a button  from the  the drop-down seat.  Ingenious as he was, my Grandad pinned it up with a porcupine quill.

Grandad shot the occasional bird, not sure what kind, and he proceeded to cook up a stew.  My sister and I noticed some feathers floating in the stew, and we told Neva, our mother.  She told us to be quiet and eat it as she would not have us hurting his feelings.  Good advice I suppose, as he was killed,  not too much later, when hit by a pick-up on a visit to town.  I hope to include some of Grandad’s history in a later article.

My  Dad sold Brown’s Hole, to my sorrow, when I was a teen-ager.  He then bought property on the North side of the La Sal’s, which also included some river property.  At the age of 54, he contracted Leukemia, and he sold his cattle and all his property except for some acreage in the LaSal’s.

How lucky I was to have been raised by  these pioneer people in such beautiful settings.