Sunday, July 20, 2014

Arches National Park

Sand Dune Arch, Arches National Park

Arches National Park, Moab, Utah.  7/20/2014:   Working my way north from the Grand Canyon, I stayed last night in Moab, a tourist-friendly little town on the way to interstate 70.  My friend, John Taylor, reminded me to at least take a quick run through Arches National Park, since it was just up the road from my hotel.

So I did.  

Oh, my.

I'm struggling for the appropriate word:  Majestic?  Monumental? Magnificent?   Gift?  

They tell me there are about 2,000 natural arches in the park--beautiful pieces carved through by wind and erosion--but there is so much more as well.  Huge and dignified rock walls, stone columns thrusting into the sky, vast reaches of desert, clusters that stand all alone in the statement nature makes for them:

I am in awe.  

One of the park's most famous objects is the "Balanced Rock."

Notice there's what appears to be another balancer on that ridge in the distance.

It's fun to look for specific shapes in the sandstone rock.  To me, this one looked like the Sphinx:

I also saw a crouching lion down the road and found the Maltese Falcon at another spot..but I'm running out of room here.  The park's named for the arches, after all.'s the Skyline Arch:

            ..and you can see the "Delicate Arch" up there on the hillside:

As you can tell, some of the arches are hard to reach and..if you're short on time..are better seen with a telescopic lens.  The approach to the Sand Dune arch, the lead picture in this piece, was through a crevice.  The floor to the approach was very fine grained sand.  Here's where you have to squeeze through:

So bring your walking shoes, your camera and lots of water.  It'll be worth it, believe me.  The water's very important..after all, the park is at a pretty good altitude and it's desert.  Come and see it.


And here's a little bonus.  My last shot of the Grand Canyon as I was leaving yesterday morning.

That's the Colorado River down there..I'm still following it as I move east through Colorado.  This was taken at the "Watch Tower," the last stop in the park before you head down the mountain toward Cameron, AZ.

Oh, my..for sure.         


7/20/2014..45 years after the first landing on the moon.