Bikes, Jeeps, and rafts, oh my! There are hundreds if not thousands of different things to do in Moab, such as 4x4ing, rafting, hiking, biking, rock climbing, rock hunting, finding dinosaur tracks & fossils, skydiving, kayaking, paddleboarding, UTV riding, zip-lining, and mountaineering. The things you can do are only limited to your imagination. A person could spend a fortune or very little money at all and still enjoy the unique and beautiful lands surrounding Moab.
There are some who come to Moab, leave, come back, fall in love, and eventually, sprout roots. Cassidy Blank and Annie Adams are one of those couples. Partners in life and business, they started Moab Jett because they wanted to offer an original service to the tourism industry in Moab.
Cassidy and his family moved to Moab in 1970, then eventually moved to the Green River area where he spent a majority of his childhood on Silliman Ranch near the Green River. He started rafting on the Colorado and Green Rivers with his parents as a young boy, but in the 1980s, both the Green River and Moab communities were struggling, and there weren’t many jobs, so his family was forced to move to the Salt Lake City area.
Cassidy and Annie have known each other since junior high school. Later, was Cassidy who took Annie on her first river trip on the Colorado River when they were in high school. Annie grew up in Salt Lake City, but says she’s been coming to Moab to enjoy the recreational opportunities throughout her life. Annie admits she was hooked from the first trip she ever took on the Colorado with Cassidy. “I knew I would Move to Moab and become a river guide,” she says. The couple started dating in 1998, and they moved to Moab from Salt Lake City in 2000.
Annie and Cassidy moved back to Moab because of their love of the rivers. “I wanted to get back to the River and desert. I spent my childhood on the Green and Colorado Rivers and in Moab. It felt natural to move back home Moab,” Cassidy explains.
They both worked as river guides, saving all their hard-earned cash and tips. “Moab is a great place to live, but like other tourist towns, finding housing can be tricky,” Annie says. They lived in an RV initially, which worked for them, but eventually, they were fortunate enough to buy property and build a house. But they still have the RV.
Moab Jett boats are a different type of boat, being the only New Zealand-style jet boat tours on the Colorado River. These boats are specifically designed for high speeds in shallow waters, making it possible to blast through the sometimes shallow waters of the Colorado. Equipped with a small block V-8 engine that blasts up and down the Colorado River at around 420 horsepower, they can go as fast as 60 mph! These boats make it easy to maneuver 360 degree turns, dipping down into rapids. The wind in your hair, and cool, refreshing water in your face makes for an exhilarating ride on a hot summer day.
Annie and Cassidy don’t have any human children, but say their fur-child, Maybelle, works with them in the office, and is a great member of the meet-and-greet team.
Moab Jett operates from mid-March through the end of October (St. Patrick’s Day thru Halloween), offering something for everyone. From their small 10 passenger jet boats that offer a wild, splashy ride, to their scenic tours that are mostly dry and not so wild. Annie explains that “If you haven’t been to Moab or on the Colorado River, it’s a great way to see the area and take some stunning photographs.”
Moab Reservation Center
Dave Hellman was a small-town boy living in Humble, Arizona, a community of a little over 1,000 people. He grew up knowing the comforts of small-town life. “We moved when I was 10, to Phoenix, and I hated it! I hated the big city! There’s a lot of bad things that can happen in a big city and I’ve seen it,” Dave says.
In 2010, a friend of Dave’s was working on an off-road movie. He called Dave and told him to bring his jeep and motorbike, and “Quit your job and come to Moab.” He did just that, and said, “I had never been to Utah and I was just blown away.” Dave spent a year being a 4×4 guide, and in 2011 he started his own 4×4 business and hasn’t wanted to move back to any city, ever again.
Stephanie Berg drove across the country from Buffalo, New York with a friend who had gotten a job as a park ranger. Upon their arrival, she instantly fell in love with Moab. Stephanie went back to Buffalo, packed her things, and within a week she moved to Moab. Stephanie started off in Moab as a river guide having never even been camping. Sheri Griffith River Expeditions provided Stephanie with all the training she would need in order to be a great river guide.
In 2012, Dave and Stephanie met at Woody’s, one of Moab’s local watering holes. “I was running my business and she was river guiding,” Dave recalls. “I just went up to her and said, ‘Hey,’” and we’ve been together for 8 years. “We’re not “officially” married,” says Hellman, “but I call her my wife.” The couple has a four-year-old son and another child on the way. “I wanted to move to a small town and raise my kids, so I moved here. I couldn’t think of a better place for kids to grow up.”
Dave, Stephanie, and their four-year-old live in a non-conventional type of home, but it’s “home” for them, and there are 4,000 feet for the little guy to play in.
Owning a business like this one makes it a little harder to have a traditional home because they have 14 vehicles. They hope to buy an acre of land so they can build a house and have enough space to park their business vehicles.
Dave also organizes an event during Moab’s busiest week, Jeep Safari, but his event caters to larger than jeep vehicles. Known as the “Full Size Invasion, it’s basically the same as Jeep Safari, but for non-jeeps. The event began in 2014, and this year’s event is almost full.
Moab Reservation Center is for extreme 4×4 and mild, scenic adventures, but they also partner with other companies that offer different adventures such as hot air balloon rides, helicopter tours, skydiving, jet boating, canyoneering, and horseback riding. Even massages can be booked through the Moab Reservation Center. “We’re kind of like a central hub for various activities.”
The beauty of Moab brings people from all over the world, and once in a while, Moab is blessed with people like Dave, Stephanie, Annie, Cassidy and their kids who call it home.