We are starting the second US Tour off with a bang by attending the highly secretive highline gathering somewhere in the desert of Moab. This meeting is so secret that it is only known by the acronym, G.G.B.Y and thename is not allowed to be published anywhere. Also in attendance will be all the best highliners from the states, including Andy Lewis, Jerry Miszewski, Mike Payton, Hayley Ashburn, Jeremy Louis, and many others. We plan to stay for at least 10 days here to bolt and walk 10-15 new lines in a location that is still unknown to everyone except the organizers. This area is spectacular, there is an almost infinite supply of highline possibilities. Just recently, Andy Lewis came here to break the world highline distance record, now set at 103.5 meters. The campsites are normally a few minutes walk from the highlines which remain set up for the duration of the festival, this means that you can wake up, make your coffee and a bowl of muesli, walk down to the highlines and watch people highlining as you eat breakfast. Last year the festival was a great success, Faith Dickey broke the women's world record on two different occasions, and everyone was able to break personal bests multiple times.
Moab is the county seat of Grand County and a regional center of southeastern Utah. It is located near the east bank of the Colorado River on the west side of the 12,500-foot-high La Sal Mountains in a valley fifteen miles long and three miles wide within the heart of the Colorado Plateau. Known variously as Grand Valley, Spanish Valley, and Mormon Fort, the biblical name Moab was adopted in 1880 when a mail route was established between Salina, Utah, and Ouray, Colorado. The first permanent settlers arrived in 1878-79; but before that date Native Americans, including the Sabuagana Utes, had long occupied the valley and used the nearby crossing of the Colorado River. Uranium was extracted from near Moab as early as the first decade of the twentieth century, and in 1911 the first attempt to drill a commercial oil well was undertaken. Oil promised to enrich the Moab economy during the 1920's, but it was not until 1957 when three-oil producing fields were opened near Moab that something of an oil boom hit the area, a boom that lasted into the 1960s.
As the demand for uranium began to decrease in the early 1960s, potash became the most recent boom industry to hit Moab. A modern potash plant was built in 1963 and a railroad spur line completed from the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroat at Crecent Junction to the Texas Gulf Sulpher Company mill outside Moab.
Some pics from last year in the US gallery: www.somewhereelseland.com/ustrip1