Utah--Arches NP--Seen One Arch You've Seen 'em All
Trip Start Apr 16, 2009
32Trip End Jul 12, 2009
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On our way, we briefly crossed through Capitol Reef National Park. Pioneers named it Capitol Reef because of the huge domed formations that reminded them of the nation's capitol. In the Park, the Waterpocket Fold, named for the impressive buckling in the Earth's crust, stretches 100 miles. This is a park for recreation. It has a river, overlooks, canyons, arches, and slickrock wilderness.
The drive was long after that. On the east side of the park, we returned to the "hell on earth" desert for another hundred miles. In Hanksville, even the Food Mart was closed. Got lost in Moab trying to find the RV park. Then when we found it, since it was Saturday, it was almost completely full and incredibly congested. They didn't have the pull-through site they promised us, so we had to do incredible maneuvering around other units, trees, and bicycling youngsters to get in the site
DAY 46, Sunday, May 31--Today we visited Arches NP with its rock formations and arches with names such as Park Avenue, Three Gossips, Sheep Rock, Petrified Dunes, Balance Rock, North & South Windows, Turret Arch, Tunnel Arch, Pinetree Arch, Fiery Furnace, and Salt Valley. You can walk through many of the arches At North Window, it looked like a big boulder would drop down on our heads. We are thinking now, if you've seen one arch, you've seen them all. Then looking back at the literature, we learned we had missed the two most famous arches in the park, Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch, so we'll have to make a trip back. It was hot hiking in this desert climate, even though the temperature was only in the 80's The sun made the difference. On Tuesday, we plan to return for a ranger-guided tour of the Fiery Furnace. This hike must be with a National Park ranger because it is so easy to get lost in the maze of gorges and fins. It gets its name from the fact that in the afternoon it looks like hot coals.
DAY 47-Monday, June 1--Taking a break from Arches, we rode the Colorado Riverway, Scenic Byway Utah 128 alongside the Colorado River past the towering red cliffs to Red Cliffs Lodge and Castle Creek Winery
Back in town, we visited a Nature Conservancy, wetlands by the Colorado River, but in the heat of the day, the only wildlife we saw was mosquitoes. In the evening, we traveled to Dead Horse Point State Park for the sunset. It gets its name from the legend that early cowboys corralled wild horses on this high cliff and then forgot about them. The horses died in the "natural corral" in sight of the Colorado River flowing below. Somewhere here in the Park is also the point where Thelma and Louise went over the cliff at the end of the movie (it was not the Grand Canyon as indicated in the movie). It was cloudy, so there wasn't much of a sunset, but there was a scary dropoff to the canyon below here at the edge of Canyonlands NP.