Sunday, September 23, 2007

Arches & Canyonlands
National Park

Delicate Arch

We drove North into Utah onto Hwy 191 and headed to Moab while Colleena and Ambiana napped in the back. We arrived around 4pm and stopped in at the visitor's center at Arches National Park to find a hike and apply for our Jr. Ranger Badges. We made our weekly Friday call to Gaelen during Gammy's visit and spoke to everyone but Eden. Molly says Gaelen is thriving in Kindergarden, is the goalie on his soccer team and has already been to a classmates Birthday Party. Molly has startred massage school, my Mom comes up from Boston to stay with gaelen while Molly is in class all day Saturdays. Her and gaelen play baseball and go bowling. I am so fortunate that my mom can be there for Gaelen when I am not.

After we got off the phone we drove out to the Delicate Arch Trailhead and found it packed full of cars and sunset hikers. We cooked a veggie stirfry with some Quimwah behind the Vibe and then set out along the red sandstone trail along with the masses. It was a Photo Mecca trek with loys of cameras and tripods up a beautiful slickrock face painted deep red by the setting sun. As we cleared the last sandstone rim trail the arch opened up before us and the hundreds already there with their cameras clicking away as the sunset washed over the arch and the moon waxed above.

Half-Moon over Arch

When the last of the light slipped off the rock I strutted out beneath it for a picture and that opened the floodgates and soon there was a line of folks waiting to be pictured beneath it.

Morning Glory Arch


We camped for the night along the Colorado River in a canyon just South of the park entrance. I first camped in this canyon in 1989 at a pull-off I was unable to find this time 19 years later. Colleen spotted the BLM campground where we pitched our tent for $5 a night. There is a hiking trail and a mountain bike trail right across the road from the campground which was full of hikers and mountain bikers. We slept in a moon pool with no tarp on our tent and in the morning after breakfast we went up a canyon on the hiking trail in search of Morning Glory Arch.

The trail followed a beautiful clear running stream and was strewn with beautiful wildflowers. 'purple flower" Ambiana kept saying & showing us until Colleen couldn't resist and had to sit in amongst some for a photo!

We stopped on the way back near the trail head for a dip in the stream and Yaya hiked the remaining trail back to the highway.

Double Arch


After lunch and a quick trip to the Moab Library we went back to Arches to get our Jr. Ranger Badges and to make a short hike out to Double Arch. We met a nice couple on the trail who took this family picture of us. We raced a rainstorm back to our campsite and slept beneath the pitter patter spash splash of the falling rain.



Canyonlands


The rain had passed by morning and we made a futile attempt to find a greasy spoon for breakfast in Moab so we drove up the the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park and made a yummy breakfast, got out Jr. Ranger badges, and did a short hike out along the rim tip of the Mesa overlooking all the canyons of Canyonlands!