WordPress Photo Challenge: On Top

After 10 fabulous days in Moab, Utah, our travels took us to Grand Junction, Colorado. We arrived in GJ a couple of days ago and our days have been filled with repairs to the RV, catching up on laundry, bills, cleaning, etc. ” What fun”, she says sarcastically!

on top photo challenge

me… on top of the world; Canyonlands National Park, Utah

We’ll stay in Grand Junction for a month or two.  There’s lots for me to explore.  But for now, I’m super happy the water lines in the RV have been repaired.  New tires and a new wheel fender are on order from that blown tire damage.  It feels great getting the RV fixed.  A major cleaning is also on the schedule.

wordpress weekly photo challenge on top

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

I still have so much to share regarding our stay in Utah.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t ready to leave Moab, but we really needed to get to a bigger town to get all the materials necessary to repair the RV properly.

wordpress weekly photo challenge

Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

In the meantime, when the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge was posted I felt I couldn’t wait to share just a few of my Utah photos.  If you’ve ever visited Dead Horse Point State Park or Canyonlands National Park then you already know viewing the amazing vast scenery from the top of that mesa can make one feel like you’re on top of the world.  So here’s my take on the WordPress weekly photo challenge: On top ….. me feeling like I’m ‘On Top’ ….. on top of the world that is.wordpress weekly photo challenge on top

wordpress weekly photo challenge

Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

 

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What’s in a Name?

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.

Sand Dune Arch

Sand Dune Arch

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock

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!

Landscape Arch

Landscape Arch….visitors are no longer allowed to stand beneath this spanning Arch. It could collapse at any time or not for the next 50 years…no one knows!

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 😉

Double O Arch

Double O Arch

Then of course there are the names given to some of these unique rocks.

Three Gossips

Three Gossips

Double Arch

Double Arch – look close…there are 2 arches.  Can you see the people in the bottom of the photo?  Gives scale as to how huge some of these arches are.

Fiery Furnace

Fins and spires of Fiery Furnace

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…….

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!

Yep, that’s my photo

We point the rig toward Utah via Interstate 70 and head in a westerly direction for about thirty minutes before making the turn south.  Yes, our southern migration has started.  We pick up Utah’s scenic byway 128 which meanders along the Colorado River.

Utah

Scenic Byway 128, Utah

Moab

Scenic Byway 128, Utah… Fisher Tower and La Sal Mountains in background

The last time Al and I took this route was nearly twenty years ago.  I remember feeling very uncomfortable in this remote and desolate terrain.  It’s a far cry from the flat cornfields of Illinois or green forests of Wisconsin.  “We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto”.

Colorado River

Scenic Byway 128, Utah. Road meanders along the Colorado River

The discomfort felt years ago has long since been replaced with excitement…..excitement to explore and experience new and unique lands.

The distance between Grand Junction, Colorado and Moab, Utah is around 100 miles.  It doesn’t take us long before Al and I find a picturesque place to call home for a few days located just south of the town of Moab, Utah.  We had debated whether to stay in a RV Park or dry camp in one of several campgrounds operated by BLM (Bureau of Land Management).  Since we’ll be staying in a RV Park for a few months this winter, we opt to rough it.  It’s all about the views and open space in this gorgeous slice of the United States.

Moab, Utah

Our new home just south of Moab….complete with waterfall in the background

Like many folks, we like the conveniences of full hook-ups but love to have views and trails out our front door.   Al and I have found what works for us.  A little dry camping, a little RV Park, back to dry camping, followed by a RV Park.  We all have to figure out our own way and what floats our boat in this RV lifestyle.  So for this leg of our journey, we dry camp and what a sweet spot we found….complete with a waterfall in the background.

Moab, Utah

Trailhead across from our campsite….trail leads along creek up to the waterfall…waterfall pictured in next photo up

Once home is set up, hubby and I set out to take in the landscape, and oh, what spectacular landscape it is.  Our first stop is Canyonlands National Park.

Canyonlands

Well known Mesa Arch in Canyonlands

Canyonlands

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands

We were glad we wore our hiking boots. Trails to overlooks aren’t always easy or short.

Canyonlands National Park is located in Southeast Utah near the town of Moab and is the largest National Park in Utah.  The park is divided into three different sections.  We visit the northern section; Island in the Sky.  Aptly named since Island in the Sky is a mesa surrounded by sheer sandstone cliffs sitting over 1,000 feet above the terrain below.

Whiling driving through the park, we’re greeted with panoramic views at the various pull-outs and scenic overlooks.  We’re told one can see as far as 100 miles (161 km) away.  Each overlook offers a different and spectacular landscape.

Canyonlands

This colorful landscape has been eroded into canyons, mesas, and buttes by the Colorado and Green Rivers.  These two rivers wind their way through the heart of Canyonlands.

Mesa Arch

Yep, this is MY photo!  Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park ……similar photo preloaded in  most computers desktop backgrounds

The highlight of my day was the visit to Mesa Arch.  I’m sure many of you may recognize this photo.  Most Computers have a similar preloaded photo option for your desktop background; found under desktop backgrounds – landscapes.  I’ve always been enamored with that preloaded photo.  To actually visit the place and snap my own photograph was sheer joy.

Mesa Arch

One of the rare times excessive winds made me smile….happy camper!

It was a super windy day whipping my hair around, but then again it is the wind that forms all these unique sculptures.  Visitors, myself included, are sure not to venture too close to the edge.  The gusts of wind play with one’s balance.  And it’s a long waaaay down!

Canyonlands

“Hey, Ingrid….don’t get to close to that ledge. It’s a long waaay down”!

After our day exploring Canyonlands National Park, hubby and I realize we did not allow ourselves enough time in our travel schedule to stay in the Moab area.  Guess we were having way too much fun in Grand Junction.  We have a reservation in Phoenix starting October 1st.  Oh well, perhaps we’ll be a day late because I’m already dragging my feet with the thought of moving on.

Moab

My new backyard

Ah, the beauty of the RV lifestyle…..I get to come back in the spring when the heat of the Arizona desert pushes us north.  So as hubby says, “We don’t have to see it all today”.Canyonlands

Next stop Arches National Park.