After we left Zion National Park, we headed to Arches National Park.
We got on I70 at the very beginning…by the end of our trip, we had driven the ENTIRE stretch of I70! I always pass the sign at the Eastern beginning of 70 and see signs for Denver and think, I want to just go and drive. It’s a very satisfying feeling to know that I actually did, even if it was in the opposite direction. 🙂
As we drove through Utah, our jaws were continually on the floor because of the utter beauty of the state. Having been to 37 states with Bret (I’ve been to a few more without him, but we’re only counting the ones we’ve been to together), I can almost safely say that Utah is my favorite state. At least to drive through and see things. Such beauty. Ah. Even as a writer, I struggle to find words to properly describe this state.
Take this picture as an example. This was on the side of the highway! Oh, you know, just a CANYON, chillin’, sup guys.
We made it to Arches as the sun was setting. Talk about cutting it close!
Despite the late arrival, we were graced with stunning colors on the red rock.
Since we had a limited amount of time, I thought taking the short hike to Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoint would be a fine option. Thinking Upper and viewpoint were good indications that it would be a way to knock out viewing the delicate arch….
Ugh, talk about a disappointment. See that reallllllly tiny arch in the middle, yea, that’s it. We still got some nice pictures, but we were disappointed.
As we got back in the car, we talked about potentially changing our plans. At this point, we were going to drive to our next planned stop, the hanging lake in Colorado, probably sleep in the car somewhere. But we asked ourselves honestly, would we be disappointed if we didn’t go back and hike up to the delicate arch tomorrow? We were HERE after all. After chatting about it, we decided it was worth finding a campground and staying the night. Unfortunately, finding a campground at 9:30/10 p.m. isn’t the easiest. We ended up driving circles around Moab (which is the coolest little small town! I want to go back and explore it some more!) Bret then suggested we find a motel. We ended up stopping at the Silver Sage Inn. We ended up getting the LAST room and it was a no nonsense hotel. No breakfast, no pool (though they did have a hot tub), just beds, a shower and a basic room. It was exactly what we needed. We even got a KEY, not a plastic thing. A real, live key.
I think I would like to stay here again. Especially if I do hiking and adventures in Moab. Seriously, look up all the outdoor adventures you can do in Moab!
The next morning, we went back to Arches. We packed up a few things for the 1.5 mile hike. There are SO many signs telling people to pack and drink LOTS of water (a gallon a day). We had a big jug, so we took that in a small backpack. It took us about an hour or so to get to the top and boy was it worth the hike. THIS was what I wanted to see when I went to Arches.
One thing I’m SO glad we did was let someone take our photo. Being a very touristy spot, there are a ton of people on the hike and at the top. Everyone wants this shot and most people are happy to take a picture for you. They’ll ask someone or they’ll offer. The guy who took our photo had just taken some photos of a family. He asked if they wanted another and after they said no, I joked that he could take some of us. Just the other day, I mentioned to Bret that I’m SO glad we got these pictures. Friends, if you feel an inclination to take a photo, do it.
On the hike back, around the first corner, there’s a little arch up a short, sloped rock wall. I was ready to get back to the car and get on the road and thought, nahhh, don’t need that little detour. But I had that little inclination, just walk up there and see. When will you be back? So we walked up, made faces at a baby as a family was trying to take a picture and I was glad we went up.
The family who took the picture offered to take our picture. Thanks family!
At the bottom of the hike, there is a rock art panel. I wasn’t expecting much on this short detour on the hike down, but I was pleasantly surprised!
After we got back to the car, ate some sandwiches….which, I have to say, sandwiches after or during a hike are THE best sandwiches….we did a little exploring. We ended up at Double Arch and Bret wanted to walk up. I was pretty tired from the hike and could tell I was near the end of my energy levels (It’s so important to listen to your body!) and didn’t really want to. Thankfully, my husband knows when to encourage me to do things. It wasn’t a long walk, just about a quarter of a mile, but realize the sun is HOT in Utah. Oy.
We made it to the arch and I sat down in the shade while he explored. Now, remember, I didn’t want to go. But if I hadn’t, we wouldn’t have gotten THE best selfie of our lives.