Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 1...Arches National Park


I am slightly overwhelmed since our arrival in Moab; the crowds, the hazy air from fires in Idaho and Colorado, especially the uncertainty of our stay.  And we have a schedule which precludes our usual ability to be spontaneous.  Yesterday's grand entrance now seems comical in retrospect!

We get an early morning start for Arches NP, about 10 miles north of the RV park, in order to cram in as much as we can in one day.  The park's main road twists for about 20 miles to the campground and along the way are magnificent displays of arches, spires, balanced rocks, and eroded monoliths; a mecca for the multitudes of sightseers here from all over the world!

Courthouse Towers

Park Avenue

The Gossips

Two side roads head off from the main road, one to Delicate Arch, and the other to the Windows section.  We head first to Delicate Arch as the day is heating up and tour buses start arriving, hoping to get a bit of a head start on the fairly energetic hike up the slickrock surface to a good vantage point, and trying to balance the tri-pod on the uneven surface.

Hike to upper viewpoint

Delicate Arch

Continuing on to road's end we take the short hike to Sand Dune Arch reached through a narrow slot canyon....

A short, narrow slot canyon leads to...

Sand Dune Arch

Finally, just before reaching the campground is Skyline Arch where a kindly tourist takes our picture.

Us at Skyline Arch

Though the sign said "campground full", we decided to drive through before reversing our route out.  Howard spots the camp host, pulls over, and goes for a chat, while I sit in the air-conditioned car.  Several minutes later he returns with a triumphant look on his face and a reservation for the next two nights.  Yay, now we can relax our pace a little!  

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