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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Arches National Park…The Ultimate Jewel of National Parks in Utah


April 8th and 9th 2014

Leaving Green Valley on I-70 East, it was just aA short break! Arches NP, near Moab, UT short hop to Exit 182, heading south towards the town of Moab, UT. It was still open plains for most of the trip down towards Moab.

Nearly in an instant, the landscape changes from grassy plains to the reddest red rock that I have ever seen…nearly, blood red in color! Next we begin to see many, many ORVs in this giant BLM parkinSo unique!g lot. Obviously, there must be hundreds of off road trails to satisfy the ORV enthusiast. The road now wines downhill at a fast rate. Rounding the corner, the Moab Fault Valley blows your mind away. Another thing that caught my eye, was the government project call UMTRA. I believe they are mining Uranium for Nuclear Power Plants. A long train setting on a railroad siding was being loaded with dirt just off the highway. Who knows!This shows scale! Balance Rock

Moab is the “Town” very much like Jackson Hole WY. It is a mecca for every outdoor enthusiast in the US! Very tourist oriented, many outfitters, many Jeep tours, many river rafter tours, mountain bikes, hiking…everything you can imagine is here. We seem to fit in there some place. Our sprits were and are back up.

A friend back home, had told us to check out this place called Buck’s Grill House. We found it in short order…by coincidence, the Slickrock Campground was located to the rear of the restWhat kind of rocks am I looking at?aurant. I took a picture of me, sitting in the campground Jacuzzi, with the restaurant sign in the background. Needless to say, we had a very good evening.

Our plan for Wednesday, the 9th, was to get up to the Arches NP fairly early to beat the crowds and also the heat of the day. We would be hiking up to Delicate Arches, not much of a long hike, but a 480 foot rise in elevation. Got to use my Senior Pass again, savinBusy trail Delicate Arches NPg us hundreds of dollars on this trip at all NPs.

Our ascent, up the mountain side, was recorded on my hand held point and shoot. We stopped at all view points and cranked out many photos. I realize that the photos won’t be award winning because the pros spent several days getting the sunrise and sunsets Don't look down!just right under the right lighting conditions, on the Arches or what ever they are capturing. My photos will tell a story and be cherished for future recollections.

The parking lot at Delicate Arches was already full. We got the last RV spot. Now for the hike! Helen packed fruits, water and snacks for our jaunt. To our surprise, we didn’t figure on how many kids were hiking with their parents. We met many parents carrying their babies in backpacks. A lot of big families with six and seven kids. It must be a Mormon thing to have big families! Yes, That's us! Delicate Arches !!

The hike up was very easy for the first mile. The rest was safe, but one does not have a fear of heights when tackling this trail. Many parents and little ones have gone to the top to view Delicate Arches. I have not reviewed my pictures, as of this writing, but I’m nearly positive that I got some doozies! That wireless camera remote paid for it self on this trip. I set the camera way off across from the arch and we walked around and stood underneath and just kept clicking What a Day! BLM campsite 13 miles south of Moab, UTaway. I was getting a Rocky Mountain High…well we’re just very close to Colorado and the Rocky Mountains.

I just can’t write enough about what we have been seeing and experiencing on this Southwest journey! I expected some, but got a lot more. From being able to support Jerry on his marathon in New Mexico, to friends along the way, to the purple mountain majesty it’s been a “Trip!”

That is what we saw and did!

Move course over the photos for captions  


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