Disappointed that he was not able to Zipline when we were in Durango, Jim is determined to visit the Fruit Bowl near Moab to study the high liners and base jumpers there hoping to discover a new hobby to add to his high risk repertoire. The dirt road leading to the Fruit Bowl does not require 4WD – we take Mineral Canyon Road off 313 and look for the parking area. From the parking area, a short hike deposits us on the edge of a lofty canyon. Metal cleats fastened to the canyon edges and ghosts of past campfires attest to the popularity of this spot. If you want to see what the Fruit Bowl looks like when full of folks slacklining, base jumping and rock climbing, click here.
We hope to compile a thrilling drone video with all kinds of adventurous activity occurring along the canyon – difficult to do with only a handful of participants. We beg our friends to sling a cable across the canyon and walk over the abyss, but no one will co-operate. They are kind enough to walk around and climb on things so we can have some action in our shots. A few of them even wander close to the abruptly steep edges to infuse our video with excitement and drama.
Storm recruits me to assist him by holding the IPad while he flies. My job is to tell him what the camera is doing so he can keep an eye on the airborne drone. This flight reveals that we have not properly refined our drone cockpit resource management procedures. Instead of calmly offering camera directions, I tend to mutter unhelpful advice like “don’t fly so close to the canyon walls” and “please bring the drone back now.”
In spite of the non-existent thrill seekers at the bowl today, I am able to pull together a short video of our visit. To see what a fairly empty Fruit Bowl looks like, check out Storm’s drone video below. After we explore the uninhabited topside of the bowl, we crawl down a fun 4WD switchback road to the area below the Fruit Bowl. Deserted but with the fading sunlight warmly painting the canyon walls, it is a dramatic and challenging end to our exercise filled day!