Saturday, June 12, 2010

Arches National Park

Saturday morning after we left our B & B near Mancos, CO., we drove to Moab Utah. We've driven through Moab many times but never taken the time to drive into Arches National Park. Since this was our hiking and exploration vacation, we were determined to do at least one hike in Arches. The red rock formations are so amazing. It's kind of a surreal world with strange and varied towers and formations. It's hard to imagine how there can be so much variation in one area. Smooth boulders, massive formations that look like enormous buildings, rocks balancing on top of other rocks. . . it's unlike anything you'll see anywhere else. It's definitely a National Park worth seeing.
Balanced Rock was just one of the many interesting formations. I don't know why this boulder hasn't just toppled off, and I suppose it will at some time . . . but I'm glad we got to see it.

The blue sky, red rocks, and petrified dunes made such a pretty contrast. Much of the rock formation looks like muscles stretched across the landscape. It's so awesome!
Southern Utah really has it's share of interesting geology. Everywhere you look there's something beautiful to see. I don't understand how all this was formed over the centuries, but I think it's some of The Creators finest!
All the hiking trails in the Park are rated easy, moderate or strenuous. We didn't have a lot of time to spend, so we decided that we'd take the Delicate Arch hike. By the time we arrived at the parking lot it was almost noon and 93 degrees! We knew it was a strenuous trail but we were determined to give it a try because it was something we really wanted to see. After we'd hiked about a half mile, we saw this rock formation in the distance. . . it looked like people were climbing it. It made us wonder if we might be taking on more than we wanted in the heat, but we kept going anyway . . . slow and steady. It really was a good hike. The brochure says this is a 3 mile hike, but it felt longer than that to us. We both walk a lot, but there were a couple of pretty steep climbs we had to make. We paused often to catch our breath, admire the scenery and then continued on.
We had heard that you don't see Delicate Arch at all until you come around a corner . . . then there it is! This was the corner.
Delicate Arch is so spectacular! It sits on top of a huge bowl and getting over to where you can stand under it was a little scary to me. But we did it!
That's us, those two little figures under the Arch. (I'm standing really still and trying not to look down).
Getting here on such a hot day had been a pretty good accomplishment for us, but it was so worth it. We'd seen photos of Delicate Arch lots of times, but now we were seeing it in person. It's hard to describe just how spectacular it is. We were so glad we'd made the effort.
This was the last hike on our little six day adventure into the Four Corners area. It had been a
wonderful few days! The weather had been beautiful, we'd tried some things we'd never done before, and seen a lot of beautiful country. Many of the things we did were a little outside my comfort zone, but I survived and I'm so glad I didn't give in to my fears! You have to get out an experience life and not just view it from the sidelines and that's what we did. We had a great time together and made lots of great memories . . . . again!

1 comment:

Kristi Burley said...

Awesome pictures. I haven't been to Moab or Arches National Park...but both are on our short list of places to visit!