Friday, September 23, 2011
Provo may be a charming city, but our accommodations were... utilitarian. Not one of our more memorable stays, but at least it was clean, and we were on the road by 7:30. We have been blessed with wonderful weather, so far. Only one light sprinkle of rain, and we were in a cabin at Yellowstone. This morning? Gorgeous. Driving SE over the Wasatch hills we had an eyeful of fall colors :D It was also about this time that a large rock hit the windshield, but let's not dwell on that, okay?
We were watching the temperature rise from a low in the 30's up to 75F as we pulled in to...
We decided to drive all the way to the end of the road, and then work our way back out, stopping wherever we wanted. The first item of business was lunch, and we found a great picnic spot in a little, green oasis.
I'm sure you're not supposed to feed the wildlife, but somehow we 'dropped' a few crumbs this fellow's way...
With the temp heading up into the 90's, we headed off, down the trail.
Where are we going?
Into the desert, that's for sure. I could tell the boys were excited because they were constantly asking me to take a photo of something that interested them, like this cactus. We're a long, long way from home.
And suddenly, right before our wondering eyes... Pine Tree Arch, and an extra arch. Can you see them both? Pretty cool :D
Then off the other direction, to Tunnel Arch. Look closely at the top of this arch... as my children are about to scamper through it. Does that look stable to you? I didn't think so.
Also, look at the position of the boys in this pic. After the (short) hike in to the arch we were all really feeling the heat. I had to practically force them to step out of the shade and into the sunlight so I could get a photo!
From the other side of the arch, looking up. Again, does that look stable to you? Hmmm.....
They were slightly less enthusiastic as we hiked back toward the van, though the AC, and cold water in the cooler were definite lures.
Just a little bit further...
Tate found a friend along the way. I can't remember how many of these he caught and released. No bites.
Everywhere we went, the boys found places to climb. I started calling them my mountain goats ;D
I hope I'm remembering correctly, but I think this is Landscape Arch. A large chunk on the right collapsed recently (2008?), so you're encouraged not to walk under it. Alrighty! I'm happy just to look from a distance.
Just driving through the park was amazing. So completely and totally different from home, it was hard to believe we were in the same country!
Next, we pulled off at the Wolfe Ranch. Frankly, in spite of all the beauty, I'm a bit boggled that anyone would choose to live here. But a John Wolfe and his son Fred did - for a decade - completely alone, in this one-room cabin. Then for four more years, his daughter and her family lived here with them. Amazing.
Even more amazing, and just a few steps away, are these petroglyphs, made sometime after the Spanish came to the south west (because the men are on horses - introduced by the Spanish.)
Further down the trail... Delicate Arch.
By this time the thermometer was rising (through the 90's) and interest was waning. One of the hardest things for Kerry, on this trip, was realizing that the boys' saturation point was lower than his. We couldn't possibly see Every Single Thing, and trying would make us all miserable. We had to pick and choose, and enjoy what we did.
Here's where Tate's Access Park really came in handy. With the NPS charging $25 per vehicle, per entry into the park, I know I would've felt pressure to do more, more, more before leaving the park. But with Moab, and our KOA just 15 minutes away, we decided to go cool off.
First things first. Nothing like ice cream on a hot day!
Though I don't have pictures (because I have this crazy aversion to getting my new camera wet) we enjoyed an hour or so of swimming in the KOA pool. Hallelujah and Amen. That went a long way toward restoring everyone's good humor and sense of adventure. Just in time to pile back into the van and head back into the park for sunset.
First, a stop at Balancing Rock.
But the Big Kahuna awaited us. If you're a movie buff, you may know what I'm referring to. Recognize this? (We nicknamed the formation to the right the "Flux Capacitor" cave, but that's not what I'm hinting at.)
Look familiar yet? Um.... Indiana Jones, anyone? I think Indiana Jones, Search for the Holy Grail, the scene when he was a young boy scout?
This is Double Arch, and we were racing against time to get there before the sun set. You can see by the light inside that the sun was low. What you can't tell was how big these arches are.
Look again... Kerry and the boys have made it into the picture. Yah. Huge.
Kerry and I took off, madly, scrambling up into the arch on the left, to see the sunset, while Wyatt and Tate just wanted to climb. As high as they could. Be still my heart.
Kerry got up quicker, as I was protecting my bigger camera while trying to climb. And it was a hands-and-feet maneuver, believe me.
Gunnar decided to follow me, rather than his brothers. Be careful, little one!
By the time the sun set (no fabulous pic of that), it started getting dark very quickly and we got busy extricating the boys from the cliffs and following the trail back to the van.
Then, on to the Moab Diner for a feast!
What an amazing day! Lots to write about, for sure.
We really loved our cozy, KOA cabins. I would definitely do this again. Cheaper than hotels, as long as you don't mind walking a ways (not far) to bathrooms and showers, which were clean, hot, and free. Nearly all had pools and laundromats, and some had a cheap breakfast (four buck pancake feed) available.
Though they have bunk beds at home, the boys loved the log bunks and worked out a rotation of who slept where.
Except me. As Queen of the Testosterzone, I got the rare privilege of a 'private' room :D
It was a very happy day :D
Day 7 Miles : 287 Total Miles : 1970