(UPDATED) Arches National Park, Moab, Utah (September 9th)

Let me tell you why this post was published on accident. I’m not terribly awed by WordPress’s app. I end up writing the bulk of my posts and insert pictures with the app but then putting finishing touches (photo captions, featured photo, post tags, spellcheck) and other finishings on my Chrome internet app (all using Typo, my Galaxy S2 tablet). Well, the other day, my draft post was not uploading to the internet like it usually does. It will say “local draft” meaning a draft on this tablet only, not a draft on the network that I can access through my WordPress on Chrome. So, I’ve seen this little pop-up at the bottom of the window say “Sync” to the network. I’ve never used that little pop-up because all posts have usually just uploaded to the network as draft automatically. So I thought what the heck… it says “Sync” not “Publish”. So, and maybe this is just me, I would think “Sync” meant syncing your work to the network… not PUBLISH it!! Well, it published that post and it was absolutely NOT READY! So, I’m sorry you had to read through that rough version. I could have put that post in the trash, but I haven’t done that before either so I don’t know how easy it is to recover work already done from a trashed post draft. Whatever. You’ve all be super supportive and understanding so thanks! It’s appreciated.

I’m realizing (as I write this post on September 22nd) that I really need to finish writing about my road trip! I feel like a lot has happened since I got home, in the way of preparing for international travel, that I’m losing the ambition to finish the road trip write-up. So here goes… It was a short (an hour or less) drive to Arches National Park. The road went from a flat prairie-like landscape to descending into this huge red-rock canyon.

As we drove into Arches, we flashed the annual pass at the gate and as we drove by the visitor’s center I saw that they had the hours posted: 9:00AM – 4:00PM. I thought for sure we would be leaving by 4:00pm so I didn’t push the matter of stopping to stamp the NP passport. You would think that driving into Arches, there would be Arch formations everywhere… wrong. If you want to go and specifically see Arches, you should take the first or second right-hand turn in the park that is called “Windows.” That is basically avenue of the arches. Otherwise, the rest of the drive is undeniably beautiful but it’s not full of Arches! 🙂 The first pull-off we stopped at was on the hill above the visitor’s center.

Overlooking the canyon we drove through to get to the park entrance.

Second pull-off was at the Park Avenue Trailhead.

The picture doesn’t do this justice.  Maybe because my face is in the way.

Little more justice to the photo – it’s a panorama.

At the next place we stopped at, I saw a young man getting his road bike ready for a ride and it was giving me anxiety and a burning desire to go for a bike ride (agggghhhhhh)! Anyway, moving on. Once we got to the pull-off for Sand Dune Arch, that’s where things got interesting and fun! There were boulders, HUGE boulders that you could pretty safely scramble up. Did I scramble? Heck YEA!! Here are some pictures.

Entry area to Sand Dune Arch

This is where the scrambling started.

I love climbing rocks!!

Too many bouldering selfies.

Oh you wanted to see the landscape?  So sorry.  😛

If you can’t tell by now, I was totally digging climbing around on all these boulders!  Such a blast.

View of people looking at the sand dune arch (not featured in this photo).  The arch was pretty boring compared to scrambling up these awesome rocks.

Too bad there wasn’t water nearby.  That sand was the perfect beach sand!

This was a 360deg view further up into the boulders.

I thoroughly enjoyed this area. Oh, I do have a picture of the Sand Dune Arch.

As I said, the Sand Dune Arch was underwhelming compared to scrambling up boulders.

There are some more pictures of scrambling further up into the boulders.

My dad can scramble.  :p

Spot the lizard….

Just me again.

Nice lizard, good lizard.

Pine Tree Arch – pretty visionary and original name; there’s a pine tree under the arch.  😀  But I guess after naming several arches, you start using what’s there.

This is the last major boulder I scrambled up.  The path was a little busier than others we had been on and so didn’t want anyone drawing attention to me or getting the attention of a ranger.

About this time, both Dad and I were getting pretty hungry as a result of the scant breakfast at the hotel. Thankfully, I had a few granola bars in a bag to keep us going a little longer. So we ate those and kept going for while longer. I scrambled up some more rocks and saw a few more arches. By this time it was about 3:45 and I had in the back of my mind that the visitor’s center was going to close at 4:00PM but I didn’t want to rush out of the park. So we did a little more exploratory driving and headed back to the park entrance/exit. We got there at about 4:05pm and visitor’s center was totally dark and locked up. They weren’t joking. So, I don’t have the national park stamp but I have my pictures and this blog to prove I was there!! So I have to write Arches National Park as well as the Redwoods National Park into my national park passport because I missed those two stamps. We then hit the highroad (I-70E) towards Colorado. We figured that we wanted to stay somewhere outside of Denver that night so we set our sights on Silverthorne, CO. We stopped for lunch/dinner in Fruita, CO where Dad saw a Fairfield Inn or other nice hotel and he said “Oh maybe we should stay here or the night.” But he didn’t push the matter and so we continued on. At this point, a storm was rolling in and the sun was going down. I was driving and there were a few minutes where it was extremely hard to see the lines on the road. The roads were wet and it was raining, the other car lights were very bright, the night was very dark, and altogether it just swallowed up the headlights and gosh; not fun driving at all. We got through that and then Dad realized that we started driving through a canyon between Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs. He was kicking himself all the way to Silverthorne that we had not just stayed back in Fruita because we were driving through the most beautiful part of the Rocky Mountains on I-70 AT NIGHT!

Dad didn’t realize it but since I was driving, I was aware of how we seemed to be ascending for miles upon miles! We reached a point where the ascent took a step up in regards to the grade of the road so I had to gently beat the car (lol, not really) to get up the monstrous mountain pass. But we made it. We drove through Vail which was pretty cool. In Silverthorne, we got to our hotel for the night; a Super8 that had rooms available at a reasonable rate. It was fair at best; sufficient to get us through one night. Dad resolved that night that we would driving back towards Glenwood Springs the next morning to see what we had missed the night before. We would leave the trailer at the hotel, drive about an hour and change out, head back, pick up the trailer (Don’t Forget the Trailer) and head to Kansas.

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