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Moab, UT

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    Castle Valley Comments: Oct. 17, 2019

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    Men donned wooden masks and numerous layers of sweatshirts and ponchos then proceeded to hit each other with whips as they danced around the town square.
    Ron Drake
    Ron Drake
    Times-Independent Columnist

    The Castle Valley Medical first responders were paged out twice last week for incidents that were outside the town boundaries. During the early afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 12 a motorcyclist lost control of his bike while traveling down the Castle Valley side of the Loop Road. The 38-year-old male rider was with a group of eight other motorcyclist from Idaho when the accident occurred. As he was traveling down in the area of the hairpin curves he encountered loose gravel and lost control when he drove over the gravel.

    Others in the group said they were only going about 15 mph down the grade because of the sharp turns, and they said that there was gravel on all of the turns where motorists cut the corners and spread the gravel on the road in the process. The injured cyclist lost consciousness immediately after the crash but was conscious when the Castle Valley responders arrived, but he was experiencing difficulty breathing and complaining of back, ribs and neck pain and had obvious road rash on his face. He refused to be transported to the hospital when the Grand County EMS ambulance team arrived and assessed his injuries.

    The gravel on those hairpin turns creates a dangerous situation to anyone riding on the Loop Road on either a motorcycle or bicycle. Castle Valley folks should use extreme caution when using the road.

    The following evening a Moab couple was driving the roads on the La Sal Mountains when the 49-year-old woman experienced severe back pain, possibly from a previous back surgery. The Castle Valley Emergency Medical Responders met the couple at the Castle Valley Fire Station 1 where she was administered oxygen for her breathing difficulty and stabilized until the Grand County EMS ambulance arrive to transport her to Moab Regional Hospital.

    There seems to be a lot of traffic on the Castleton Road these days, probably due to all kinds of recreational activities that are available there. There are hunters traveling the road to reach the higher elevations of the La Sal Mountains in search of elk, and others to view the beautiful fall colors that are also in the higher locations. The Climber’s Camp, just off of the Castleton Road, seemed to be overflowing with vehicles this weekend so there must be a lot of climbers scaling up the side of Castle Rock.

    This week I have seen several pictures of bears in Castle Valley. One was taken of a bear crossing Castle Valley Drive last week and another was taken by Annie Goodenough of a bear hanging around their house about 11 a.m. The bear was cleaning up the apples from the trees and on the ground before heading down their driveway and eventually to the creek. Annie said Castle Creek is like their highway, and most of the bear activity seems to be on property that is next to the creek. Annie and Ed have had broken tree limbs when the bears climb into the trees for the fruit. Thet say they just make a lot of noise when they go outside so they don’t startle them and possibly cause them to attack. It is getting so that bear sightings are almost as common as spotting deer or other common wildlife in the valley.

    Twenty-five years ago this week I wrote in this column about the annual general meeting of the Castle Valley River Ranchos Property Owners Association, which was held the previous week. With the new election of officers the board consisted of Joan Sangree, Rebecca Martin, Maria Loe, Richard Williams and George Ottinger. The annual dues were set at $85 that year.

    Also during the general meeting, “Donovan Roberts reported on the plans of Atlas Corporation to quarry rock from behind Round Mountain to cover tailings at the Moab mill site,” according to the column. Obviously that didn’t happen and, in fact, the Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action just announced a milestone of 10 million tons of the low-level uranium tailings being moved from the old Atlas Uranium mill site to a permanent disposal site near Crescent Junction.

    Thirty-five years ago the POA board of directors were Greg Nunn, Serwin Netzler, Whitey Miller, Curtis Halls and George Ottinger, and 40 years ago the board members included Hersel Nokes, Jeff Whitney, Roger Christensen, Robert Deglas and Merrill Brady.

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