Just how did “The Broken Oar” get its name? Well, it all started years ago along the banks of the Colorado River. After a long day on the trail, the camp cook, lovingly named Cookie, began prepping for the evening meal. The day had been long and stormy, and the crew was, wet, weary, and ready for one of Cookie’s masterpieces. As the rain poured down the river seemed to rise 50 feet
almost instantly. A flash flood followed and before anyone could act, Cookie found himself floating down a raging river on nothing but his chuck wagon. He held on for dear life as he was tossed to and fro. To Cookie’s terror he realized the river had narrowed into what we now call Westwater Canyon. The storm fed river that was once dangerous, had now become potentially deadly. Cookie frantically searched his wagon to find anything that might save him, as a last ditch effort, he pulled out the long wooden spoon he would frequently use to stir the massive pots back at camp. In order to survive he dug the wooden spoon into the river and along with the wagon hitch he was able to salvage he was able to navigate his way through the treacherous rapids. When the river finally calmed at what we now call the Moab Bridge Ramp, Cookie was able to work his way to the bank. As he was pulling in, his makeshift oar broke, leaving only the spoon shaped end. In shock after his ordeal Cooky began walking into town in search of food and refuge. Cookie searched in vain for what seemed like hours, and as he walked through the booming uranium town full of hungry folks he realized that the “broken oar” in his hand could be his salvation today in more ways than one. He set up camp and instantly began cooking for himself and others, naming his restaurant after his trusted “Broken Oar.” Now the West is full of stories, some are true and some are not, but hey, it’s the West and everything is bigger in the West…even the stories!