Road trip – Arches National Park, 4/24/21

Today we spend the day at Arches National Park. We go early to make sure we will get to see everything we want. As is by 11 AM our last stop is so crowded that we are unable to find a parking space. By the time we leave around noon the park is closed because it is at capacity.

I have a ton of pictures that I will just caption.

This is an explanation about how Arches NP came to be
Here is a picture of the same view as the explanatory placard
Different formations have whimsical names. This is the Courthouse (I think)
The Three Gossips
Interesting formation
The formation on the right is called The Sheep. This is actually a fallen arch. It started on the left and was connected to the head of the sheep
Explanation of fallen arch
John’s head is where the arch was
Mary and the Three Gossips
Our next stop is at Balanced Rock. It is a very popular site.
Balanced rock
Another view of Balanced Rock. There are actually quite a few of these “balanced” rocks but this one is the very large and standing on its own.
John in front of a formation near to Balanced Rock
Mary and Balanced Rock
John and a gnarly tree
On our way to Double Arch we see formations with “windows”
Explanation of how the Double Arch was formed
Double Arch from a distance
You can see how immense the Double Arch is by the size of the people swarming everywhere
John and Double Arch
Our next stop is at Delicate Arch. Delicate Arch is the iconic picture on the brochure.
We decide that the 3 mile hike to Delicate Arch which the brochure says is harder than you think is probably too much for me. So we hike to a view point and take a long distance shot.

The last thing we are planning on seeing is Devil’s Garden where there are several arches. But the crowds and traffic make it impossible so we decide to leave and let someone else have a chance to get into the park.

We go to downtown Moab and have an excellent pizza at Antica Forma.

Pizza from Antica Forma, Moab, UT

The rest of the day we spend shopping for the next day’s picnic and at the hotel watching some TV and planning our adventures for tomorrow.

Road trip – to Moab, UT. 4/23/21

Friday is mostly a travel day. We decide it will be more fun to take an interesting route and have a picnic along the way than just get back on I-70 and turn left at Green River.

Our route from Grand Junction, CO to Moab, UT

On our way to Gateway, CO which surprisingly has a fancy resort in it, we travel through the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area following along side the West Creek until Gateway where it joins the Delores River. Such a little creek has created beautiful canyons.

View along CO 141 on the way to Gateway, CO
Rocky cliffs
Some area are high enough to still have snow

After the turn southeast at Gateway the scenery changes and the rock turns red. The Delores River has fashioned these canyons.

Red canyons

We stop at a Point of Interest where the red walls tower over us on one side and the Delores River rushes by far below on the other side. Hanging off the walls above the river is a wooden flume, now in disrepair, that was built in the late 19th century to carry water. The water was used in the extraction of minerals.

Mary at the Point of Interest.
John with a background of red walls

These three pictures show where the flume was and a close-up of the wooden construction.

Delores River with flume

We turn the corner just short of Naturita and the scenery changes again

Now we are headed towards the LaSal Mountains. We zigzag up the mountains and head through a pass all the while searching fruitlessly for a picnic spot. Coming down the west slope of the mountains we turn onto US191 and head for Moab, UT. Once again the scenery changes dramatically and we are surround by red walls, columns, and hoodoos. We have our picnic lunch quickly at a rest stop where the wind is blowing and the temperatures are in the low 50s. Brrr.

Red rock near Moab

We get some excellent Thai take-out for dinner and spend the rest of the evening watching tennis and planning our adventures for tomorrow.