« Colorado National Monument (Grand Junction CO) and Arches National Park (Moab UT) | Main | Great Basin National Park, Baker NV »

Devil's Garden, Arches National Park

Yesterday morning after I wrote the blog entry, I talked to our neighbors in the tent, a pair of women who run seminars and teach, from Massachusetts. One of them is considering a travel trailer and so she came over for a tour and a bit of hot water for her tea. By all reports, the wind overnight was a sleep-shattering experience for the tenters, as I suspected. Her decision to buy a trailer just got accelerated quite a bit, I think.

As I mentioned yesterday morning, the day started gray and not at all like the brilliant blue I associate with desert scenery. Still, the light was wonderful for detail photos of the rocks, plants, and wildlife, and so by 10:30 we were off on a 3-mile hike right from the campground to see a few arches.

Or so we thought – it turns out that while the park is named for the arches (and they are wonderful to see), they are only claiming top billing on the program. The vistas, wildlife, and unlikely rock formations are worth the trip even if you never saw an arch.

Arches rocks.jpg

It is a testament to the beauty of this park that I ended up shooting nearly 200 photos in a single day, and after I reviewed them I kept about 140. The scenery is THAT good.

Arches landscape.jpg

By the way, I have a new desktop wallpaper from one of yesterday’s photos. In a few days, you’ll find it in the Photo album, in the folder marked “Arches National Park”, called “Desktop”. If you like it you can use it as your desktop too. I’ll get many other photos up there soon also.

Emma in Arches canyon.jpg

Here's Emma climbing in one of the many little crevices. She loved the climbing!

By afternoon the sky abruptly cleared to the blue I wanted, which tended to wash out the rocks but offer opportunities for silhouettes and skylines. Emma was busy with her camera too, shooting at least a couple dozen photos. Suddenly the rocks were a lot more interesting to her!

The wind picked up to 20-30 MPH, and at one point near Sand Dune Arch we got sandblasted pretty heavily. The sand is very fine and gets everywhere, so I had to hide my camera under my jacket.

The first hike ended at about 1:30. We all got back completely worn out (and with sand in our hair). Either we’re badly out of shape, or the altitude (4,800) and dry air are really wearing us down. Still, the scenery was not to be missed, so after lunch and a little rest, we headed out again at 3:30 for an easy hike to Landscape Arch. We returned in time for sunset, having covered about 6 miles on foot for the day.

Arches campsite sunset.jpg

With the early sunset, the evenings have been long, so compensated by having a bit of a campfire & marshmallows, a movie (“The Princess Bride”), and early bedtime. The wind rocked the trailer all night again (I’ve GOT to remember to put the stabilizers down next time!) but we slept like the rocks surrounding us.

We'll be in Great Basin National Park the next night or two, so I'll catch you up when I can ...

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Please enter the security code you see here