I believe I left my heart in Moab, Utah. The awe-inspiring red rock formations, the huge arches, deep canyons, and ever vast vistas are indelibly etched in my memory. There’s a beauty as well as a harshness to this intriguing land.
Weather extremes are common but sandblasting 40 mile per hour winds couldn’t keep this gal from enjoying the sights around Moab. With the help of friend and fellow blogger, Cheryl, I found myself in some very unique spots.
balancing atop Landscape Arch in Arches NP per Cheryl’s lightroom talents.
Balancing atop ‘Three Gossips’ in Arches NP
We met Cheryl and hubby last winter while boondocking in Quartzsite, Arizona. Cheryl has an infectious sense of humor as evidenced by her photos. She sent me these photos letting me know it was fun putting me in some dangerous places. Al and I could not contain our laughter and I just had to share the images. Thanks, Cheryl 😆 Apparently, in addition to all my other talents, I’m a skilled rock climber. Even better, no rock or vegetation was harmed during my endeavors.
Ah….that was Moab back in September. We were camped at a BLM Campground with no services. We were surrounded by views and nature. Although I don’t have any serious complaints about our current location in Phoenix, it just doesn’t offer the same feel or inspiring scenery I’ve become accustomed to; scenery so stunning and motivating I can easily take over 400 photos a day. Don’t get me wrong, the RV Park Resort is beautiful. There’s plenty to do based on one’s interests. Me personally, my interests lie in nature. Thus, I have to work a little harder to scope out the hidden beauties while staying in the RV Park.
I find myself drawn to this little spot in the Park routinely. The Blue Heron was a pleasant surprise. Hum, I wonder what other treasures I can find……
Arch, bridge, window, hoodoo, spire, tower, fin……these are all names given to sandstone rock features. I sure have been spending my fair share of time among some of these amazing, wind created rock formations.
From the Colorado National Monument to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, I’m awed by the shear beauty created by Mother Nature….. I might even say “awed by Mother Natures wrath” after the repeated sandblasting I received. While enduring short hikes in whipping wind conditions in Arches and Canyonlands, I’m sure I’ve ingested my daily allowance for minerals….at least that’s what the grit in my mouth is telling me. And don’t even get me started on all the other places I’ve detected sand 😉
So what’s in a name? To qualify as a stone “arch”, a hole must have an opening at least three feet (1m) long in any one direction and is created by wind. It doesn’t matter if it’s width or length. Some arches are small and some are HUGE!
A natural bridge is formed by running water and spans either a present or former waterway. Arches National Park has very few natural bridges as the majority of arches are formed by wind and not water. Natural Bridges National Monument in southern Utah is loaded with natural bridges…..evidenced by the name 😉
Then of course there are the names given to some of these unique rocks.
However, sometimes the most entertaining aspect of exploring this area can be the shapes themselves…. do I see a face or thing? Hey, doesn’t that look like…….
Is that Snoopy on the left?
Could that be a chocolate bunny?
FYI: We are currently staying at the Pueblo El Mirage RV Park & Resort in Phoenix AZ until the end of December. I am experiencing some of the worst internet connectivity on our journey to date. Sometimes I can’t even respond to emails….grrrh. Please know that I am still reading your posts but may not be able to comment or even hit ‘like’. Trips to McDonalds or Starbucks may be in my future 😉 Oh, and if you’re in the area, do stop by and say hi!
Al and I are off to a slow start this morning. Last night’s rain and wind made for a rather restless night. Although neither one of us slept well, I’m on a mission today. I pack us a picnic lunch, don the hiking boots and it’s off to Arches National Park for a day of hiking and sightseeing.
I have a hike to a famous, well-known Arch all picked out for today’s adventure. It’s a three-mile round trip hike. Not too difficult but we’re told to plan 2 hours. I can’t wait. Arches National Park is truly unique and a one of a kind place.
Last night’s winds have not let up, but I refuse to allow the wind to curtail my plans. Hubby, the practical one among us, recommends a few scenic stops before setting out on that hike. You know, to test out the weather first. Well, he didn’t have to recommend we stop along the way more than once, as I was eager to snap away at this amazing scenery.
After a couple of stops and battles with the wind, we arrive at the “Delicate Arch” scenic overlook. From this vantage point we see the famous Arch in the distance perched on a large sandstone rock other wise known as slick rock. We can’t hike to the Arch from this point as a rather huge canyon separates the overlook from the Arch. The trailhead leading to this iconic Arch is up the road a short distance, allowing hikers to wander near and under this towering Arch.
It’s a half a mile uphill to the top of this scenic overlook. The wind is whipping. I continue past the end of the trail hiking out on the slick rock in pursuit of the perfect shot of Delicate Arch. I’m being sandblasted by the ever-present red sand while hiking on sandstone. This isn’t the kind of skin exfoliation method one hopes for. This is anything but Spa like. The sand whipping around is almost uncomfortable on my bare legs. I should have worn pants. Thank goodness I just so happen to have a pair in the vehicle.
Al and I quickly return to the vehicle. We are duly impressed with our speed and agility as we traverse the trail downhill all in an attempt to seek shelter from the driving winds. I work to remove grit from my eyes before driving off. As we sit in the vehicle enjoying a short reprieve from the blasting winds, Al in a rather chiding tone of voice asks, “So are we still going on that 2 hour hike?” Head slung and in a defeated tone, I respond, “No. Not today”. The wind wins!But just because we don’t do the hike to Delicate Arch does not mean the day is ruined. Plan B; take in some other sites. We opt for short hikes with breaks from the wind back in the vehicle.
The La Sal Mountains in the distance are getting hit with weather ….probably snow. The weather front adds drama to an already dramatic landscape.
The winds do settle as the day progresses, but not without leaving in its wake some cool temperatures and a fresh coating of snow on the La Sal Mountains. Snow? Yikes! The thought of snow has us in the mood to move south. Arizona here we come!
The above event took place last week. We are currently in transit on our way to Phoenix, Arizona. Our short visit to the Moab area was indeed too short. That said, I do believe a revisit is in order next Spring. I know…. it’s a tough job, but I’m up for the challenge!