Some places are more "expected" than others. Moab, Utah, for example. I've read numerous blog posts from this red-rock beauty, by several bloggers, over many years. They all espouse its beauty, its diversity of nature, its seemingly never-ending opportunities for fun.
Of course they're right (it's why I read you guys).
Our first morning we wake to sun on the Moab Ridge towering over our heads. We're up and out early for us - 9 AM - to meet up with Gay and Joe who have been in Moab since March and are therefore "nearly locals". To see just how much heart-stopping one can have in a Jeep in Moab, be sure to check out her blog!
It's so wonderful to see them again (we first caught up with them in Tucson in February), and we enjoy a tasty pre-outing breakfast at the Moab Diner.
Not long after turning off Highway 191 we pull over to enjoy a large panel of Fremont petroglyphs on Potash Road. The art is several feet above the road, which is several feet above the Colorado River. I thought the river must have eroded really fast, but read that the removal of talus slope to make the road had the additional advantage of putting the art out of reach of human hands.
|The art is found in the dark varnish high above the road.|
|The triangle people and rectangle animals are common among the Fremont rock art.|
|First time we've seen the round people.|
|We follow our intrepid leaders for a day of playing in the dirt.|
|A large lion head watches as we pass below.|
|Interesting that the "head" is different rock - like it was just set up there.|
|No less than seven "walls" reach out from the river valley.|
|This lone tower is stunning with it's many colors.|
|Water and wind will eventually eliminate the small base.|
|We pass acres of potash ponds - bright blue from the added chemicals to speed evaporation. Ironically potash is used in fertilizer to retain moisture in the soil.|
|The Colorado River meanders below the layers.|
|Pearl and Piper hang out. Piper has major shoe envy!|
|After warning us about the danger of the fragile edges.....come back Gay!!|
|There's a road up there :-)|
|Where we were.|
|Borrowed from the Internet.....I can do this :-)))|
|I don't actually look down, I hang the camera out the window and click.|
|Nearly to the top - a view worth the road.|
We have limited days here without the luxury of sitting out cloudy skies, so Wednesday morning we head out to see Arches National Park. First stop is the small Visitors' Center where we enjoy the very good video. Great information on the formation of the arches with several reminders that the ones we see today will be gone some day, while new ones are slowly forming each season. "Man-made bridges are the process of construction, while natural arches are the process of destruction." I remember this quote throughout our visit.
Even on an overcast, mid-week, post Labor Day morning, it's very busy. Easy access to most arches is the good and bad news of this park. The parking lots, trails and arch bases are nearly full. People are lined up for photos. We walk to a few of the viewpoints, but leave the more crowded spots to others.
|Although the namesake arches are spectacular throughout the park, the monuments in the Park Avenue area are my favorite.|
|Looking like a bust of Nefertiti, the top of this pillar seems to have "moved over".|
|The Three Gossips overlook The Sheep|
|Wonderful geology around every corner.|
|Road construction has closed the parking area for Balanced Rock, but we get a good view while waiting for the flagger to release our side of traffic.|
|Half a dozen of these rental RVs brought Landscape Arch with them.|
|Used to be an arch.|
|Is now an arch. In this case Double Arch.|
|Will be an arch.|
|Was never an arch.|
|Still beautiful, but lacks the real fire of a sunny day.|
|We like these crowds much better!|
|I love "sliced bread" fins.|
|The La Sal Mountains getting a nice snow dusting.|
|On our way out of the park, we stop to admire these dramatic walls.|
It's a good one!!