Saturday, May 24, 2014

Travel to Moab - Dinner with Friends – Arches National Park

(Moab, UT) Hi 79 Lo 59 -- It was a very quick travel day yesterday, only 74 miles from Blanding to Moab. The trip was both smooth and beautiful.

Here’s a couple pictures Dee took along the way. (Click on photos to enlarge them.)
2014-05-23 Views to Moab UT (22)

2014-05-23 Views to Moab UT (32)

When we arrived at the park we met our neighbors Kevin and Lynn, a nice young couple who were visiting from California in a Lance truck camper. They were preparing to leave, and we enjoyed talking to them about our full time lifestyle. We showed them our rig and we got to peek inside their camper. They’re both working, but they try get away from California when they have a few days off.

We discovered on that our friends Al and Karen are here in Moab in another RV park. We made plans for dinner at the Moab Brewery, a nice small restaurant on the Moab main drag.

We met them in Maine last year, and it was great to see them again. They’re on their way to a workamping job at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

Finally, no wind! But last evening we did have a storm come through, and we saw our first rain  in about two months. We also had some hail, but fortunately it was small and didn't last long. Today started out bright and sunny, but it was forecast to turn cloudy with rain showers by mid-day, so we hurried through our morning routine and left for Arches National Park. The park entrance is just a few miles north of Moab, and the cars were lined up out onto the highway to get in. You could tell it's a holiday weekend.

We stopped by the visitor center to look around at the small exhibit area, then headed into the park.

The main road into Arches goes 18 miles, with a couple of branch offs that go a couple of miles. There are well marked turnouts and viewing points all along the way. It was unusual to have to return on the same (18-mile) road instead of driving a loop. The road climbed rapidly after we left the visitor center, and we pulled over so I could get a shot of the traffic down below coming into the park.

Arches is one of those "Oh my gosh!" parks... the scenery just seems to get better and better every time you go around a curve of crest a hill. The beautiful red rock formations are just spectacular to look at. Here are some examples.

It wasn't long before one of the famous arches came into view. This one is Turret Arch. It's part of the three arches making up the "Windows" group.

We got a closer look at the Windows viewing area.

Along with Turret Arch, the other two are Windows North and Windows South.

There was a half mile trail that took you right up to all three of the arches.

Some more of the surrounding scenery.

Here's another arch we saw from a distance. I don't know if it has a name or not.

The next arch we saw was the most famous one in the park, Delicate Arch. It's the only one that's self standing. To get to the viewing area we had to walk a very steep 1/2 mile trail. It was a lot of work, but we made it.

We were still over half a mile from the arch, but with my camera zoomed in we got a pretty good shot of it.

The people in the photo got to the arch on a 2-mile primitive trail. The hike was classified as "strenuous," which means it's not for us. :)

We continued on and marveled at the incredible scenery. Here you can see the La Sal Mountain Range off south of Moab. The tallest peaks are over 12,000 ft., and they're still getting snow up there, as you can see.

More scenery.

This was the trail to the Sand Dune Arch. You had to go through that slot, and we wanted to but it was very muddy and had a lot of standing water from yesterday's rain, so we passed.

I'm not sure of the name of this arch, but we had a good view of it just off the main road.

The last arch we saw was Broken Arch. I don't know why they call it that; it looks pretty complete to me.

We reached the end of the park road, so we turned around and made our way back to the highway. There was some new scenery since we were headed in a different direction.

We spent about four hours in the park, and loved every minute. When friends ask us what was the most beautiful place we've seen in our travels, we usually say Rocky Mountain State Park in Colorado. We may have a new winner! Arches is simply awe-inspiring. And we still have Canyonlands, Bryce, and Zion National Parks to see within the next two weeks!

Tomorrow we're staying in. I have a tradition of spending Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend watching racing. I'll park myself in my recliner all day. I'll watch the Monaco Grand Prix in the morning, the Indianapolis 500 in the afternoon, and the Charlotte Coca Cola 600 in the evening. Altogether about 9 or 10 hours of racing... can't wait!

Dee will post some photos and tell about our park in tomorrow's blog. Thanks for following us!


roamingwhenwecan said...

Amazing and beautiful!

Al and Karen said...

It certainly is amazing. And just wait! Canyonlands is amazing, Bryce is amazing.....:-). It was so nice to hang out with you last night. we love meeting friends on the road.

Ray and Cindy said...

Of the five Utah National Parks, Arches is our favorite. They all are beautiful.

Mike and Terri said...

Another great post of another great and beautiful place.

Enjoy all the racing tomorrow, I'm sure I will.

Bill and Nancy said...

We are experiencing the same crowds here at Falls Lake near Raleigh/ However, our views aren't quite as beautiful as yours. AMAZING!!!

Laurel Owen said...

Arches is one of my favorites too. I can't believe how some of them are still standing!

Gail Houle said...

Wow. Just wow.
We are sure looking forward to going out there. Enjoy your races.

Gypsy said...

The road up to Moab certainly is beautiful, but the actual Arches in the park are exquisite!

Bob and Jo said...

On the way to Bryce/Zion is Capitol Reef NP, neat in its own way. If you stop get pie at the Historic Gifford House.

Karen and Al said...

After your summer travels, I'll be interested in knowing what is your new favorite place!

Beautiful pictures. I love the map you have on the sidebar showing the route you took. Is there a reason you took the southern route west? Is it flatter? We are not fans of driving the motorhome in the mountains, so are looking for the best route.