Our final day in Moab was spent in Arches National Park.
The day was overcast and slightly rainy.
That good misty rain.
I had never been to Arches. I take that back. My parents said they took me to Arches when I was little. I don't remember it.
Before we turned off to go to Arches, we had to make a stop.
I guess it is a Moab tradition for my husband and kids that go to Jeep Easter Safari every year, to stop and get some piece of crap from this Rock Shop.
Petrified wood, petrified dinosaur bones, petrified dinosaur poop...
Onward to Arches!
At the entry to the park we received a couple of maps.
The maps were handy for pointing out rock formations along our path, and the names of the formations.
The maps also contained facts about the park.
(There are over 2,000 arches in the park!)
Here was the first notable formation.
Called "The Three Gossips."
(In order to be classified as an "Arch" the opening needs to be at least three feet in diameter.)
The kids wanted to hike around a bit.
Everything in Arches is so weird looking...like an episode of "Dr. Who."
I am not sure why.
I guess cause everyone else was doing it.
There was nothing up there.
And I quickly discovered that the hike UP to the cave was not bad, but down was an ugly thing, full of bum scooting.
Then we decided that since we were in Arches, we may as well take on the hike to see "Delicate Arch."
(The best known Arch in the world!)
It was a three mile hike, round-trip.
The kids were grumbling a tad.
Here we are about half-way there.
You can see the unmistakable excitement on Shianne's face! Also note the teeny tiny cars in the background...it was high up on that mountain top.
Then we passed an 80 year old lady with a walker.
I am not even kidding.
There were all types of people on the trail. Runners gliding up in spandex, moms with newborns in front carriers, and tons of foreign people there. We heard a lot of different languages in Arches. I can see why it is a tourist attraction.
The landscape is so very unique.
Finally we reached the top, where the Delicate Arch is.
I was glad we chanced upon an overcast day for the hike.
It was perfect to keep us cool.
I can't imagine hiking that thing in the heat of summer!
We goofed around a bit:
(Diet Mountain Dew and Beef Jerky is a surprisingly delightful combination.)
Climbing into rock pods:
Those boys just ain't right...
("Looking for sheep is an exercise in patience," according to nature essayist Peter Steinhart, and "it's usually rhymed with disappointment." guidebook, page 6)
Good to know, Pete. Good to know.
We did, however, see this:
Some Indian Petrogylphs.
Our kids were not about to hike anymore.
I told them we would just walk until I could get a picture.
1.5 miles later...
There was plenty to see on the hike.
And it was a flat, smooth path.
We would see a tourist group coming (bonus points if they were foreign) and we would stop and everyone in the family would point at...nothing. I would pretend to take pictures. When the group of people reached the area that we were "pointing out" they would stop and look. And look. And consult their guidebooks. And look...
The kids thought it was hysterical.
We are idiots like that.
There were gorgeous views:
We finished up, and drove for home, with one pit stop in Price to eat some late lunch/early dinner.
(Price will be having a Cinco De Mayo Celebration....MAY 7TH!!)
We got home in time for me to throw some red sand caked laundry in so that the kids would have britches to wear to school the next day.
All in all, we give Arches two thumbs up.