United States 16 September: Moab, Utah

Ancient Canyons and Contemporary Children!

When you see the baggage claim in Moab you know you have landed in a pretty small place that doesn't get much rain!

Moab is best known as being the gateway to several of the most stunning National and State Parks in America, and likely the world! Our team was delighted to visit Islands in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park as our first destination.

100 Million years ago this landscape was all under water as part of the Pacific Ocean. The canyons and ancient rock formations are totally unique to this area. Their exposure began about 50 million years ago when the course of the Colorado and Green Rivers came through here. The Colorado River still carves out about 2mm of canyon depth every year!

Mesa Arch was our first ooh-ahh point!
You may be wondering how these arches were formed? Over 150 million years ago, sand deposited here on the Colorado Plateau atop a dry seabed. The sediment eventually hardened into sandstone. Uneven pressure from below created cracks in the surface of the sandstone. Erosion widened the cracks to form fins. From there, chemical weathering carved the arches standing today.

Our team! (minus our photographer, Malyavati).
The inspiration and implementation of this run was entirely due to our incredible host, Jessica, seated front left. We first met Jessica on the North American Run in Colorado last year. We both had car trouble and fatefully ended up at the same mechanic in Pagosa Springs! We stayed in touch, and as well as taking part in the Peace Run in San Diego earlier this year, Jessica has also helped several of us journey towards overcoming our running injuries through postural correction. She wrote an incredibly fascinating and in depth book called "Winning the Injury Game", which she was out promoting when we first met.

These remotely located parks annually over a million visitors from all around the world! This couple were thrilled to learn that the woman holding the torch lived at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India where Peace Run founder, Sri Chinmoy, also resided before coming to the US in 1964.

This family happens to be comparatively local, having traveled from a different part of Utah.

This super friendly Park Ranger, Brittney, is a keen trail runner and was thrilled to hold the Peace Torch. After meeting us, she also came to our showing of the feature documentary "3100 Run and Become" at Star Hall in Moab.

A universal peace
Has always been
Humanity’s most ancient need.
-Sri Chinmoy

We took a short hike on the beautiful trail- everywhere you look is breathtaking ancient vastness.

We stopped for lunch at the overlook of the convergence of the Green and Colorado Rivers.

Our first school visit was to Helen M Knight Elementary School, (HMK), the biggest elementary school in Moab. We had two presentations here, which enabled all 800 children to experience the Peace Run.

We started with the younger kids, who were super sweet and enthusiastic!

Feeling peace...

We presented the school with our Certificate of Appreciation and an artwork by Sri Chinmoy entitled "Love the Children".

Time to hold the torch and wish for peace.

The second group of kids were equally enthusiastic!

This time we presented the children with the artwork entitled "Universal Love".

A big thank you to School Principal, Taryn Kay, pictured holing the torch, and all of the teachers at HMK for enthusiastically welcoming us and making our experience a lot of fun and super inspiring for everyone involved!

We must climb
At least a trillion steps
To bring down
The freedom of peace
On earth.
-Sri Chinmoy