The One Where My Mind is Completely Blown

So, I think this sums up today: about 20 minutes after we entered Arches National Park in Utah, I texted this to my sister:

Arches National Park…OMFG!

And how. ;-)

Dad and I got outta Fruita nice and early (after some 5:30am stargazing by Zoe and I - sooooo clear! Orion in the morning sky! Jupiter! Venus! Clear skies!), and hit the road for Utah.

Following the advice of a guy in a rest area working an information desk, we took a 'back road" off the interstate and onto Highway 128 - what an amazing decision that was.

For miles and miles and miles, we meandered through what I would swear was the Grand Canyon if I didn't know better. Clear blue skies, the Colorado River, and the views, the views….

Mini Grand Canyon

Mini Grand Canyon

Distant Views

And then we pulled into Arches National Park.

I blanched a little at the switchback road that was going to take us up, up, UP to the mesa were Arches is located, but Dad powered us up there in no time, and we pulled into the first overlook we saw.

And I'm telling you all, the stark beauty of this place wants to bring you to your knees.

And we weren't even "to the good stuff" yet.

I can't describe this place, other than stark, arresting, Martian, fascinating, clear, breezy, sunny, stunning, amazing, wow.

I mean, really:


Lunar Landscape

And this was just our FIRST view of Arches National Park.

We went to the Double Arch and had a walkabout...


We wandered around Balanced Rock for a while...


Different Angle

(And yes, the sky was that blue, and the air that clear...)

We then took a hike described as moderate - and which I would describe as the Bataan Death March - to see the Delicate Arch (you know, that image you see on everything about Arches), and took a few snaps and I took on a fabulous sunburn.

Yes, in September. Only me…

Now, I had the impression that we'd be pretty up close and personal to the formation, even though there is a 3 mile hike (straight up) that takes you to the base of it. I didn't wanna do that, but I figured we'd be nice and close.

Here's where I thought we'd be - great shot, right?

Delicate Arch II

Yeah, here's how close we actually were. ;-)


(It's back there behind Dad, past his right shoulder. No, really.)

Still, amazing to see!

Anyway, we also hiked to the Landscape Arch (an arch the size of a football field) which is in "Devil's Playground", but by then, I was hot, burnt and battling a seriously gnarly migraine, so I headed for the rig while Dad got a few more snaps...

 Landscape Arch II

Arch Side

Dad took us back "down the mountain" to the Visitors Center for a spot of shopping, then here to the Moab KOA.

Never thought I'd be so excited about a campground shower, but I'm telling you, it was worth the drive here just for that shower. Ahhh….

Wifi is stupidly slow so I'm hoping to get all the pics up tonight for y'all to see…

(Note: it didn't happen, hence this update being a day late.)

We're off to Bryce Canyon tomorrow and got a line on a scenic way to go. Can't wait!


Hex squares done: none. Too busy gawkin'. :-)

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