Ok I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write about this past weekend but without further ado here it is:
Instead of leaving at three in the afternoon like we had originally planned, we were on the road by 12:30. I guess we were both anxious to just get going and I know that I at least, did not want to be at work anymore. It’s only a three hour drive down and the ride went pretty fast. No need for any of the books on tape and I was very happy that she drove her car. Usually I end up being the driver which I don’t mind most of the time. But her car gets better gas mileage and I didn’t want to put the miles on mine. Anyway, we got to Moab about 3:30 and checked into our motel. If you ever make your way down to Moab I do recommend The Inca Inn. It was a simple, basic room that was clean and they provided a simple breakfast every morning that among other things, consisted of homemade bread, muffins, and sweet rolls. Yum!
There really wasn’t much we could go do at this point. The sun was going to be setting soon so hiking was out of the question. We decided to walk around the great town of Moab (ha! It’s pretty much only one street long) but unfortunately we discovered that everything shuts down at 5:00. We were feeling kind of hungry so we decided to stop at a bakery that we had passed when we had first parked. I have to say my mouth was already drooling at the idea of fresh bread and hot chocolate. Only when we got to the store, we noticed through the windows there wasn’t any bread. That’s when I looked up and noticed the sign didn’t say bakery it said barkery. Yep, it was a dog store. Lovely. So instead we ate at a place called Eddie McStiff’s. I just got a burger and fries which were pretty good. We headed back to our room and watched TV.
We woke up to rain and fog but decided to go up to the parks anyway. We bypassed Arches National Park and headed up to Canyon Lands. The fog was pretty thick and you could only see about 100 feet or so in front of you. We got to the entrance toll booth and no one was there but there was a sign saying to pay at the visitor’s center. But when we got to the visitor’s center it was closed and wouldn’t open for another hour. So I said we should just go through anyway and pay on the way back. No big deal. So we went on to Mesa Arch and were taking pictures when a ranger shows up about a half hour later. My friend asks him if the visitor’s center was going to open at all that day because it was Thanksgiving and that we still needed to pay. I realize she was trying to be honest and do the right thing but why she volunteered that information I don’t know. The ranger had no idea we hadn’t paid until she told him. It was at that point when the guy turned into quite a douche. Apparently there was some machine at the toll booth we should have used blah, blah. We didn’t see it. So he gets her name and info and tells her to make sure we stop at the visitor’s center on the way out and that he’ll check to make sure we did and if we didn’t he would send her a citation. We kind of joked about that which I don’t think he appreciated very much. I guess wounded his ego a little because he puffed up his feathers and said that by not paying it was a misdemeanor which is a felony punishable by up to 6 months in jail. Um, yeah ok bub. Pretty sure they only incarcerate when you have a fine of $5,000 or more. Doubt the $10 entrance fee qualifies. My friend was asking him about the weather and I’m not sure if it was because she was generally curious or was trying to soften him a little but I had long since turned away and continued with my picture taken. As far as I was concerned he was dismissed.
We left Mesa Arch and the Canyon Lands (yes we did stop to pay our fee) and went on to Arches. We stopped at a few little hikes (walks from the car) to look at stuff and take pictures. Then we decided to go ahead and hike Devil’s Garden. We started out and for the first mile or so you’re on an open trail and the hike up to this point isn’t very strenuous at all. Then the dirt trail ends and you walk up this
Only it was rainy and very slick. As we watched a couple attempting to come back down we decided we would wait and tackle it the next day. So we turned around and headed back out which was a good thing because the rain picked up and by the time we made it to the car we were pretty wet and cold. Since the fog was still pretty thick we just headed back to town. It was only 2:00 in the afternoon and for the rest of the day/night we just watched TV or read. We did venture out for dinner and ended up with Chinese. It was so so.
It was still overcast and had been raining all night but again, we headed out anyway. We decided to go back to Devil’s Garden and attempt the hike again. Luckily the rocks weren’t really wet so we went for it. It’s a pretty cool view once you get up there and walk out on a fin. There are actually a few different arches to see once you get up the rock wall and there weren’t a lot of people out there which was nice. On the way back, however, throngs of people were making their way up. One group had three guys that looked to be about our age. I guess they didn’t want to stay at the arch too long with all the other people (when we were there only moments before, we had the place to ourselves) so before we knew it they had doubled back and had almost caught up to where we were. There are a handful of areas on the hike where you have to wait for people to pass before you can. Before I knew it, she was going as fast as she could down because she didn’t want to be at any area when these guys showed up because she didn’t want their help getting down (assuming they would bother to offer). I’m all for doing things on my own and not being overly needy on a guy to get things done but for heavens sake, I also didn’t want to slide down the rocks and break my leg. We made it back to the above picture and going down was looking like it was going to be worse than going up. So instead of trying to hustle our way down before the guys showed up, I said we would just wait for them to pass. Besides there were now other people coming up and we were going to have to wait anyway. The guys made their decent down and when they were about half way we started ours. Funny thing watching them. They were sliding down on their butts and as my friend and I made our way down we almost caught up with them. It wasn’t as hard as I had anticipated and maybe we should have offered them our assistance instead.
We kept hiking at different spots and now they all run together into one big hike. I do know that we started hiking around 8:30 that morning and didn’t get back to the hotel until around 6 that night. The clouds had begun clearing and the sunset that night was phenomenal. In town we ate dinner at a place called The Broken Oars. I got a BBQ burger and I must have been hungry because I ate the whole thing before my friend finished half her wrap and before the girl next to us finished half of her burger. And she got hers before I got mine. It was pretty tasty.
This was the day we had set aside to climb delicate arch. The clouds had parted more and you could see the blue sky. The sky was a beautiful blue until, you guessed it, we got just outside of the Delicate Arch turnoff. The clouds were so thick again you couldn’t see out very far. So we turned around and decided to hike a few of the little ones we had done the day before, kind of to waste some time. Amazingly the sky was perfect at these other arches and it was great for pictures. After about an hour and a half we went back up to Delicate. It was still foggy but we decided to hike it anyway rather than keep waiting. The first part was no biggie. Then you climb solid rock for what felt like a mile but it was probably only half a mile or less
Somehow the pictures don’t make it as daunting as it felt. These were taken on the way down because on the way up, it was so cloudy you could only see a few feet in front of you. Once you got to the top it was open and flat for a little bit and then you had to walk along a ledge that reminded me of a cartoon
But once you come around the corner the view is totally worth it
Up that high, the clouds were awesome. And we timed it just right because about a half hour after we reached the top the clouds had disappeared and it was a perfectly clear, sunny day. We sat up there for a little while before making our way back. We had wanted to go up there at sunset but because of the fog the day before and the fact that it was only noon we decided we would just have to do it another time. So we headed back to the car and back home.
I ended up taking about 750 pictures and editing around 90. I posted a handful of those here so feel free to take a look.