Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Arches NP!!

Hello,  Arches!!  We've never seen so many natural arches anywhere, ever!  So really cool to think of how they were formed........but starting the day with breakfast at the Jailhouse Cafe (used to be the jail portion of the old courthouse in Moab), we arranged to have Casey Macdougal shopped out to a doggie daycare--really a nice setup for the old boy...

Then, off to the Park!! We're again using our "Senior Pass" for free admittance--such a deal!  Then off to the Visitor's Center and the design for our day.  We love to hike so we tried to include as much of that as possible in our trip plan.  If you've never been to this NP, it can be done driving in half a day, but with a variety of hikes/walks it takes the better part of a day.  We saw so many beautiful arches and unusual rock/sand formations.  There was "Parade of Elephants," "Three Gossips" and then Balanced Rock, which appears below.  
It's interesting as you're walking the trails to listen to the different languages.  There were many different languages spoken on the trails and very little English.  We spoke with one very nice Italian woman who noted this was very different than her landscape.  I hope she doesn't think that all of the US is like this!  Our variety of mountains, lakes, oceans and weather differences is amazing--but because we are such a big and diverse nation it must be hard for foreign visitors to take more than a small section in on a single vacation.  In talking to the Rangers, they say that the majority of the visitors to this NP are foreign....which is great but you would like to see more US folks take advantage of the beauty here, too. 

There is a campground about 15 miles in that is fantastic!  We took note of this for a future visit!  We hiked the Windows loop which included the North and South Windows arches and then the Sand Dune Arch.  The best for me, though, was the Landscape Arch, which a large portion of which came tumbling down in 1991...yikes!

We also visited the "Tunnel" Arch:

 and then on to the Visitor's Center to get our goodies for the kidlets.  Then off to pick up the Case-bomb and, wonder of wonders, he was a good boy (according to the woman I was paying at the time)...he was exhausted when we got home and hasn't moved much since arriving at the Beast.  Hardly a head move even during dinner! 

Off to Canyonlands NP tomorrow.  We will have a 70% chance of rain tomorrow, which is much better than the 45-55mph winds we had today--we fought sand in our eyes and neck and hair all day hiking...on the last hike I had to shield my face with both forearms in front of me to prevent my face being sandblasted to death!  (only a SLIGHT exaggeration)

All of you frequent followers, let us know what  you think of the new format vs the old this easier to read or would like to see the "old" format?  We appreciate all of your good cheer for us and we think of all of our friends and family often...

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