September 27, 2008 –We started the day with a muffin and Cappuccino the Arches Book Company. Very civilized and a great change from the hotel breakfast. I’m always most at home in a book store.
We then headed up to explore the Arches. It starts with a long winding road.
The guide book suggested that with a “willing driver” a person could walk the mile from the first scenic spot to the third one and meet the driver. Carl matched the description, perfectly, so I took the walk. The trail is marked by “cairns,” rocks piled pyramid style. Many were knocked over, but no fear, even though I was alone, the footprints in the sand told me that many, many had walked before me.
When I came out to the parking lot, I could see the Prius, but no Carl, but I kept hearing a birdlike whistle. The sun was so bright, that initially I did not see Carl sitting in the shade!
Each of the stops along the road offer fabulous views… but surprisingly few arches. As it turns out, you have to go for (long) walks (maybe “hike” is a better word) to see the majority of the arches.
Here is a picture of a balancing rock. Note the “weather” in the background. Miles away we could see that it was raining but it never reached us.
The following double arch is visible from the road but we took the short walk to see it up close, as well. Of course, the climb is a little more vertical than it looks from the road.
To get the most out of the colors, it is recommended to see the Fiery Fins in the late afternoon sun. Well, our timing is a bit off, but they still look impressive to me. By the way, a Fin is similar to a hoodoo, only it is longer from the sideview – but when you look at the edge you might think it a hoodoo.
When we reached the end of the road, we have the chance to see three more arches. We started to hike in for the nearest one, but realized about half way there that we did not have enough water. Now that we have a better idea about this place, if we should come back, we will be better prepared. Regardless, what we did see still made for a good day.
As we leaving the Arches and driving back to Moab, I was caught by the vast number of colors in one scene: