Today went much more smoothly than yesterday. Our 300 mile dash across Utah last night put us in a great position to see a lot of incredible sights today. We spent the night in Moab, which I gather by the signage as we drove through town, is mostly famous for being close to Arches National Park, which is just five miles north.
So, about Arches… several people had told me that Arches wasn’t really “all that.” Well, to us, it was “all that” and a lot more. It was our favorite experience in a National Park so far. We spent most of our day in Arches, because we wanted to see as much of it as we could. We even took several hikes without Dawn accusing me of trying to kill her. Well, maybe one time.
Seeing Crater Lake in Oregon was awe-inspiring and an incredible experience. However, once you’ve seen it and drive around the park, you’re essentially seeing the same thing from different angles. In Arches, it felt like we were constantly being exposed to something new. I took several hundred pictures inside the park, so I’ll share a few of my favorites here.
This is The Balanced Rock, with the following shot taken from underneath it, looking up.
Just in case you think they named the park “Arches,” when all that’s there is big piles of rocks, here’s a few arches, starting with Delicate Arch, which is also where we had our picnic today:
I think this one is called the South Window:
This is my favorite shot of the day. It’s Dawn, who is terribly afraid of heights and suffers from bouts of vertigo, celebrating standing on a rock overlooking a massive drop off.
There was a huge drop off behind her. I couldn’t believe she wanted to climb up there.
I have about a million other pictures of Arches that I want to share, but this hotel’s wifi system hasn’t fed the chipmunks in a long time and it is taking about twenty minutes to load each picture. I think I will do a bonus blog over the next few days (when I get better wifi) that is mostly pictures I haven’t found room for yet.
Next, we headed up to Dead Horse Point State Park. Here’s a good tip for you if you are traveling in Utah. When you pay to get into one State Park, your receipt will get you into any other park for the next three days. That saved us $10 getting into Dead Horse today.
The name of the park comes from a legend that cowboys used to drive wild horses into this canyon, which had high rock walls on three sides, then fence off the front trapping them. Legend holds that at one point, they took the horses they wanted and left the culls behind, where they died of thirst within a few thousand feet of the Colorado River.
This is also the location where the famous ending of Thelma and Louise was shot. If you don’t want the ending of T & L spoiled, don’t click that link. There is no marker that I could find that shows where that shot occurred, but in talking to people, this is my best guess:
Finally, at the end of a long day that found us traipsing around parks all over south-central Utah, we made our way to Canyonland.
We actually had a lot more terrific shots in both Dead Horse Point and in Canyonland, but my patience with this wifi has worn thin. I will put more shots up soon.
Tomorrow, off to a new state. Colorado? Arizona? I honestly don’t know. I will make a decision when we wake up in the morning.
Safe travels, and cheers!