On the Trail of the Red Rocks from Sun Up to Sun Down

Published: October 27th 2006
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(The format of the blog has changed again!! Be sure to hit the "Next Page" button, at the bottom of the page, to get all the photos and info. I hope that they are done with all the changes!!)

It was like "speed dating" with the National Parks. With only one spare day left, we managed to see Arches at sunrise, hit Monument Valley for lunch, and end with the Grand Canyon at sunset. Previous visits to each of these sites was longer and more comprehensive. These visits were get in, get the shots, walk a bit, and hit the road for the next park on the list.

Arches is one of our favorite parks and a wonderful place to hike. Several years ago we hiked to the base of Delicate Arch and it still remains one of our best hikes ever. It's about a 2 hour round trip hike and is challenging, but not too difficult. The view from the top and through the arch is spectacular. Unfortunately, those shots are on slide film and you won't get to see them this time.

Monument Valley is on Navajo Tribal land, and isn't really a National Park. It is vast, lonely, and rugged. The long drive into the valley provides views of varied rock formations of all sizes. The most famous of the formations are "The Mittens". These were easily viewed from the Visitor Center. So, with little time to spare, the photos were snapped and we were back in the van on our way to the Grand Canyon.

The Canyon is always beautiful, immense, and difficult to capture in a photo. It's one of those, "you have to be there" places to really appreciate. Arriving at sunset was perfect since all the formations seem to glow in that low angle light. However, there was no time to hike into the Canyon like we would usually do. This time it was a view from the top only.

Dinner and the after glow at the Bright Angel Lodge completed our visit to the Canyon. From there we continued on to Flagstaff and collapsed for the night after our very busy and very long day. Tucson and warm weather were on the schedule for the next day.

Tucson has been lovely and the daily hikes have been beautiful. After the many hours in the van this has been very theraputic for both of us. We will be here until Nov. 17 and then we will be heading back to Indiana for Thanksgiving. I am currently working on photos of our favorite Tucson sites and will share those before we have to say good-bye to the West. Hope all is well with y'all.

Happy Trails,

Additional photos below
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Organ TowerOrgan Tower
Organ Tower

This would be a good rock wall climb!

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