Published: September 5th 2009September 5th 2009
Arches National Park
My next day was at Arches park. I have to start off by saying that I arrived late, stayed at what has been my favorite hotel chain for this trip - a Holiday Inn Express - and went to the Center Cafe for dinner. This place specialized in serving as many local foods as possible and it was just a great pick. The food and wine were delicious, the staff friendly and helpful and although it was tucked away on a side street and I passed it twice, it is absolutely worth looking for if you are staying in Moab.
Ok on to Arches. You can probably still see the smoke in some of these pictures. My first stop was the petrified sand dunes. They are exactly as they sound - these were what was compressed under buried sand dunes. Looks just a bit lumpy in the picture but it looks more like petrified sand dunes from an in person perspective.
Next stop was at Delicate Arch and I have to say that this is my favorite picture - it turned out great. You can see the people standing near and underneath the arch
The most well known in the park. See the people standing underneath.
for a look at the perspective. I love this picture!!
Arches is one of those parks I think would really benefit from a shuttle set up as in some other parks. I drove from site to site (I don't think you can walk or hike between them in a day) and even during the end of the summer when crowds were greatly reduced, there was still a lot of traffic and parking lots filled up. Peak season must be terrible! And this is a little vent for what became a HUGE pet peeve of mine on this trip - tail-gaters!! These annoying people would be just a couple of feet from my back bumper when there was a line of cars in front of me - as if them driving that close to ME was going to get the entire line to move faster. It was extremely annoying. And we were all doing the speed limit on the roads. Stupid rude people annoy me.
What you see next is Landscape Arch - and Buzzy underneath. This was the widest arch - I think it is nearly 300 ft. wide. Unfortunately I couldn't really get something to show perspective
almost 300 feet wide. And Buzzy just hanging out.
because the trail up to the arch was closed due to a large piece of it falling off in the 1990's while some hikers were hanging out underneath it!!
There were a couple of other arches near by but I am not including ALL of the pictures here... I am going to include one out of order (not that you would know...) and this one is of Balanced Rock. This rock was apparently an inspiration to Edward Abbey who wrote Desert Solitaire (great book! I have longed for the desert southwest since reading this when I was younger) when he was working as a park ranger and lived in a trailer close to this site. In the picture I drew a circle and an arrow because what you really can't see is a couple of people that were sitting at the base of the rock for a photo op - yes I know you can't see them, that is why I drew the circle. But that gives you the perspective of the size of the rock. Amazing!!
Next pictures included are a couple of formations that look like elephants. I think they do - can you see it?
To the left you see the white arrow and circle pointing to teeny tiny people sitting at the base. A huge rock.
OK - a listing of the rest of them - The caves. I got to stand on a rock across the road from them for this picture. For some reason I found that to be an enjoyable experience - the wind was really blowing that day and no one else was up there with me. It was fun.
The caves and the next pictures are in the "Windows" section and I am not showing everything here but there is a Double arch and in some of the pictures you can see different stages of formation of the arches. I thought that was interesting.
That is the end of my Arches trip. Again, I really needed to be able to spend more time here. I only walked on a couple of relatively short trails leading up to views and would have liked to take one of the longer hikes. Those hikes led to some arches that could not be seen unless you went on these trails.
I am also not including so many pictures - partly because some did not turn out so well with the poor visibility (fiery furnace for one) and others because I had
Can you see the elephant? I saw it walking on the trail before I even knew I was supposed to. :)
to pick and choose. All in all, this is a great place to visit and there is another park close by (Canyon) that I did not have a chance to visit.
After this, I headed straight up north to Yellowstone....
There are more photos below