Seeing the US through Dutch eyes: movie magic at Moab

Our next stop was still in the Red Rock country, as we drove from Page in Arizona to Moab in Utah. Surrounded by various National Parks, like Canyonlands and the Arches National Park, we had our choice of things to visit. We chose Arches, beautiful, rugged and wild, and don’t forget, very hot. They didn’t call one of the areas there the Devils Garden for nothing! Hiking one of the many trails to see some of the Arches up close I was reminded that I don’t really like sports. I chugged up and down the hilly and rocky terrains sounding like a clogged up locomotive, while my face very much resembled a tomato. But, I managed and saw some beautiful things, like this Pine Tree Arch.image

Our other day in Moab was very different: we decided to spend the day at our hotel, the Red Cliffs Lodge. It was the perfect place to do some relaxing, and after more then two weeks of traveling we could really use some rest. Our little cabin was on the bank of the Colorado River, on the other side the horses grazed in the pasture. Who can say they lounged in the pool with the magnificent red cliffs all around?image

This lodge exists since 2002, before that it was the White Ranch: a working ranch that is more famous then you’d think. I bet many of you have seen parts of its surrounding landscapes, as it featured often in movies, commercials and television. In the late 1940s, director John Ford discovered that the Moab’s Canyonlands could be a wonderful place to shoot his Westerns. imageHe made nine key Western movies of old at that location, one of which is the famous Rio Grande, and the actors like John Wayne, Rock Hudson, James Stewart and Henry Fonda all worked on their movies at Red Cliffs Ranch.image

More recent movies have been shot there too, like City Slickers, Thelma & Louise and Geronimo, and it’s been the backdrop for TV series like Alias Smith and Jones too. The first commercials for Marlboro were shot here, in fact, the first Marlboro man was Tommy White, the son of the then owner of White Ranche, George White! Of course it’s a commercial for a habit one should never pick up, smoking, but we all remember the macho men with their Marlboro. Isn’t that just the epitome of the rugged and yet romantic cowboy?imageWe tried to emulate the cowboy ways too by a doing a horse trail ride with a guide, up and down the mountain on narrow, hard to navigate Rocky paths. Let’s just say I was really happy that my horse knew what it was doing, and this time I wasn’t short of breath. But I’m not kidding myself, I was in no way like that cool and fearless cowboy!


  1. Moab! My father and I actually installed the swimming pool tile for a hotel constructed there in… 2000? 2001? My how the time flies! Beautiful country down there!

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