During September and October Susan and I embarked on a tour of several midwestern and western states, driving in our 2000 Toyota Siena van(215,000 miles before our trip)a total of 7,279 miles through 13 states. We were gone 33 days and spent the night in 21 different places. When we got home it dawned on us that we had been together virtually 24/7 for the entire trip with no major disagreements and without growing tired of each other. I think our marriage of 41 years will last.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wednesday September 28: The Arches National Park UT

We left Salt Lake City early and after breakfast on the road in Provo had an uneventful drive to south except for this.

A rubber strip around the windshield started coming out and rather than having this thing flapping in the breeze, we purchased the solution to many of life’s problems—duct tape.


Having solved the problem we continued our journey to Arches National Park near Moab UT.  Upon entering and saving another $20 (!) we watched an orientation video at the Visitors’ Center, then proceeded to the Delicate Arch trailhead.  In the park there are over 2,000 documented arches, some formed up to 100 million years ago.  On the road to the trailhead we passed a number of interesting rock formations.

The Organ

The Three Gossips

and the Balanced Rock

The trail to Delicate Arch was moderately difficult but well worth the effort.  A lot of the trail was over “slick rock,” which was smoothly eroded rock and was sometimes “slick” from dirt or sand.  Here are a few shots of the trail up to Delicate Arch.


Susan on the slick rock portion of trail.  Note the trail is marked with stacks of small rocks called cairns.

Near the end.  That’s quite a drop off to Susan’s right.  Maybe that’s why she’s hugging the other side.

Our effort paid off in these spectacular views of Delicate Arch.  To give some perspective, the arch is 52 feet tall.  The arch is on the brink of a canyon with  the La Sal Mountains forming the backdrop.


Less spectacular

On our return hike we viewed the Ute Indian petroglyphs carved on the side of a cliff near the trailhead.

After Delicate Arch we hiked to a number of other arches, including. . .

Pine Tree Arch

Turret Arch

and Landscape Arch.  Landscape is 306 feet long from base to base and is 6 feet thick at its narrowest point.  In 1991 a slab 60 feet long and 4 feet thick fell from the underside.  Needless to say, tourists are no longer allowed to walk beneath Landscape Arch.

The thinnest section—6 feet thick

This is going to fall one of these days

Another section of Arches National Park we didn’t have time to visit was Fiery Furnace which you can see in the background of this photo.

As the end of day approached we were at the North and South Windows Arches and got a few photos as the sun set.  Note the changing colors of the rocks.



The sun was setting as we left the Windows Arches area and it was the end of another great day.

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