Thursday – July 9
Sometimes its a good thing to wake up at 4AM. I’m still surprised we were abled to pull it off. We woke the boys up at 4:15, gave them toaster waffles, threw them in the truck, and hauled off to Canyonlands National Park. Why in the world would we do such a silly thing? Mesa Arch at sunrise of course! I will have to say, it did not disappoint. The colors look great in the photos, but hey still are no match to what the human eye experiences. The brilliance of the sun coming over the horizon and lighting up the arch is spectacular. Just be careful though. You don’t realize you are on the edge of a huge cliff until the sky lights up a bit!
Some people have no manners. I don’t have pictures for this one, but it is probably best for the bobos I’m talking about. Mesa Arch is a photographers dream. The smart ones get there on time. We were the third party there. The first two were photographers that staked out their plot for the best shot – and I admire them for that. The ones I don’t admire are the morons who don’t set their alarm, and think they can just squeeze in on your space, sticking their butt in your face, and never once asking “am I in your shot.” They also forget that they are precariously perched next to a cliff with people they just made enemies with. I cannot imagine how many fights break out in that place. The world loves our parks. I am not exaggerating when I say this. I think 70% of the people I hear in our national parks are not from America. Japan, Korea, China, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Canada, Switzerland, and who knows where else. It amazes me that they love our jewels enough to come see them. It amazes me even more that they outnumber Americans. Do we even know what splendors we have at our disposal? Have they become too commonplace for us? When they say ‘arches,’ they mean ‘BIG arches.’ I wasn’t prepared for the size of these things. They are huge! Giant sculptures of sandstone standing in the desert, these structures tower over you, juxtaposed with the deep blue sky. Arches has over 2000 of such pieces it gets its name from. Some are a mere three feet wide. But many are as tall as a ten story building! Look closely at each picture to see if you can see the boys.
Elephants can live in the desert. Jennifer said, ‘I hate to say this, but that looks like a bunch of elephant butts.’ The boys guffawed. Sure enough, on the map, the butte is called ‘Parade of Elephants.’ It does rain in Moab. We’ve had some crazy weather. It is best to get out early to beat the heat. But more importantly, it is best to get out early to beat the afternoon thunderstorms. Every afternoon we’ve had some doozy storms. So much so, we’ve seen some street flooding – as is illustrated by the girls rafting down the street.
Itinerary: Mesa Arch at Sunrise (Canyonlands NP), The Windows (Arches NP) – Turret Arch, North & South Windo, Double Arch, Moab Aquatics Center