Plenty of Arches- and not golden ones

Trip Start May 30, 2011
Trip End Jun 09, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Utah
Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 5 Sunday Arches National Park

Early departure at 7:30 for Arches to get ahead of the heat. Expecting 92 today and we're staying in the park all day. Watch the sunrise while waiting in line for the restaurant to open.

We start off easy with a 1 mile walk down Park Ave. This is mostly a lovely stroll down a now dry wash. High rock walls, spires, hoodoos, and pinnacles border the wash- is this like Park Ave? Interesting shadows as the sun begins to rise higher than some peaks. The walls as usual are red, some gray. The path is rock covered with swirls and zigzag designs laid down when it was under water. Some folks would like to have a slab or two for their entries.

Bob picks us up at the end of the trail and takes us on to see Balanced Rock- just a big chunk of rock hanging over the edge on top of a spire. It apparently had a smaller version nearby that fell off in 1976. This is all next to the road. We hop back on the bus and head off to the Devil's Garden part of the park. We head down a trail that will take us to Landscape, Double O, Pine tree, and Tunnel Arches. The heat is starting to really take effect now. I barely make it back to the parking lot where Bob has set out our box lunches. These are really delicious sandwiches and a special treat of juice drinks that are exactly what our parched throats need.

Then it's back onto the bus. First we check out Delicate Arch, but I view that one from ground level and forgo the opportunity to trek up the top of the hill. Did I mention it was over 90? That was a somewhat short outing so we head on to the Windows section of the park. On opposite sides of the road/parking lots are two sets of window formations: North, South, Pinnacle on one side and Double Arch across the way. I decide to check out Double since I can mostly see North from the bottom of the stairs. Did I mention there were lottsa stairs? Did I mention it was over 90?

Double Arch is an amazing formation. Two arches branching out from inside a gallery that has "grown" into a large amphitheater with a window exit in one end and a passage to the next cave on the other end. It also has the advantage of some shady rocks for weary and thirsty guests to rest a while.

Back to the bus where the gang is resting in the shade- wherever they can find it. Bob has opened up both sides of the two baggage compartments. It's shady and there's actually a breeze. We stop off at the visitor center back at the entrance. Obligatory shopping and park movie. I admit to closing my eyes for a bit.

Back at the hotel and dinner on our own again, but I have leftover pizza and a monster cookie from lunch to hold me over while I catch up on email and upload photos. I do take a walk back up Main Street after 7, but I'm not hungry enough for a full meal so opt for a root beer float from Wendy's. It's a whole new diet concept!

Tomorrow we head south, so it's packing time!
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