Monday, June 22, 2015

National Park Tour ~ Arches

Arches National Park is our second stop for this 
Surprise Birthday Road Trip, and it's really a surprise.

It's claim to fame is over 2,300 arches.  
I wonder who got to count them.

But there's also a whole lot of interesting rock formations that aren't arch-shaped, like these vertical slabs on Park Avenue.  They remind me of domino's.  Big, red sandstone domino's that some kid lined up ready to topple the whole line with just a flick of the finger.

And there's huge formations like these, 

with interesting names like The Organ, 

And The Three Gossips ~ looks like four to me.  

So I also wonder who gets to name them.

They think there used to be an arch here ~

Some of them state the obvious ~ like "Balanced Rock"

Also seems obvious, but......

And some I'm not sure about, like "The Garden Of Eden"

This is a nice driving park, much of what is spectacular is just a few feet from the road ~ so those who are not "real hikers" can have as great an experience as those who are "real hikers".  
(This is a travel tip, by the way).

We feel compelled, though, to hike a bit to see The Windows  
Even though the temperature is climbing into the high ninety's by now.......

And these Windows Arches are truly something.  I think they look like a pair of eyes -- see the nose in the middle?  Later I read that the locals call this stretch "The Spectacles", because it looks like a pair of sky-blue eyes with a nose in the middle.    
I guess I'm spot-on.

There's remnants of an old homestead here in the park,
 a weathered cabin, root cellar and corral ~ it looks so isolated to me!

John Wesley Wolfe's homestead cabin is still standing from back at the turn of the century.  It's very small, and it's pretty rough ~ they were proud of the upgrade to wood floors!  Just a single table and a bench inside.  For a family of 5.   Yikes.

And these, my very all-time favorite Ute petroglyphs on the rocks you see in the background behind the cabin.  They are unique because they clearly show domesticated animals, like the doggie in the lower left, and a kitty-cat in the upper left; plus we thing way over on the right they are showing a rider on a ? lahma?  Perhaps poor artistry of a horse & rider is more likely.

The Ute Indian Tribe, by the way, 
is where the State of Utah got it's name.  
Just an idle fun fact for you ~ 

We conclude with a viewing of "Delicate Arch", 'cause the book said "Going to Arches without visiting Delicate Arch is like going the Louvre without seeing the Mona Lisa."  Can't have that, now can we?!?

The day is now wearing thin, and so am I in this heat, so we are moving on now to Moab, where a hot bath and some cool A/C are waiting to greet us at our hotel.

It's been a pretty glorious day at Arches National Park.


  1. on the petroglyphs toward the right side between the drawings looks like a bear coming out of there. Oh what a glorious place to see!!!!!!

    1. I see the bear now, Mary ~ and yes it's really an awesome place to see! All within a day's drive of us.......

  2. Love this article! Gorgeous photos! Jason really wants to head over there. You are so right about the driving thru and seeing so much! What did you think of Moab?

    1. Thanks, Karen. Hard not to have gorgeous photo's with this kind of material. Jason would be in photographer's heaven! Moab was actually a pleasant surprise for us. It's a cute little burg who's heart is all about the great outdoors. Jeep rentals, ATV rentals, bike rentals, kayak rentals (our hotel was right beside the Colorado River), boat rentals.......on & on & on. Daughter T says lots of her Portland friends go to Moab -- there are bike trails out of town that lead to both Arches and Canyonlands Natl Parks; and somebody she knows is into base jumping, it's big for that, too. So you can rent and do it all on your own, or there's tons of adventure excursion places that will take you out with a group. The town itself is cute, a great place to wander the main streets, loaded with cafe's and restaurants and pubs, after a long day in the great outdoors. We talked about it being a wonderful family vacation spot for families with young kids. The age where they can hike and bike, at least, during the day, then return to the hotel to swim in the afternoon, then walk down the street for pizza and ice cream at night. Lots of lodging, all price ranges. We want to take the grandkids when they get just a tiny bit older. We really liked Moab!


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