Monday, August 15th
Since this is our fourth and fifth times visiting Arches, respectively, we didn’t feel the need to wake up at the break of dawn and hit the trails. We were up and into town for our morning cup of Joe at 9am. After stopping in at the information centre in town, it was back out to Arches National Park, where we purchased an annual pass to the four National parks (Arches, Canyonlands, Hovenweep & Natural Bridges) in the Four Corners section of Utah. Why not? It will get used quite well in the next calendar year. We made our way into Arches, driving along the road, deep into the park, taking pictures along the way. Though we have tons of photos in Arches, there’s always the chance that we’ll get one from a different angle which will turn out beautifully. Taking some really nice shots of such notable formations as the Three Gossips, Sheep Rock, the Organ, the Great Wall and Balanced Rock, we made our way down to the Windows Section for our first stop, Double Arch, our favourite. This seems to be the arch we always visit first, kind of like a coming home. Though it looks the same, year after year, and without ever saying a word, it speaks to us in volumes. Devon actually has this arch tattooed to her right calf. Double Arch always seems to set the tone for our visit. Since it is right in the middle of peak season here, there are thousands of visitors to compete with. With this in mind, we decided to pull up stakes here and drive 30 miles down the highway to Canyonlands National Park. I have never been there and Devon has only visited it once. This should be good.
Canyonlands is beautiful and comes with a rich history, having been used as a hideout by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid during their stagecoach robbing days. We’re going to try and fit in Dead Horse Point as well. We entered Canyonlands and set out for the first arch in the park, Mesa Arch. This is an easy walk down into the trail that ends with an amazing view of a massive gorge. Mesa Arch is stunning. The rock face drops a staggering 500 feet below. You’re not allowed to stand on any of the arches in these parks, but that never seems to be enough of a deterrent, even though you run the risk of having the arch collapse beneath you. Devon yelled this fact to me as I was about to walk out on top of it. After taking in the beautiful views offered by Mesa Arch, we headed back into Moab to rent a room at the Motel 6 for much needed showers and make good use of the pool. With only three rooms available, we lucked out and managed to secure one. Gathering our meager road worthy belongings, we were off into our room, to drop our gear and head out for some food. Back in the room, it was time for a quick change into our swim suits, then we hit the pool. There are no words to describe just how refreshing this was. We spent roughly an hour in the pool and hot tub, then it was back in the room to rest and watch some telly while trying to bully the laptop into accessing the free WiFi. We repeated this once more, headed back down into the pool, then back to our room, before we finally crashed for the night.