Friday, February 14, 2020

Photo Friday: Arches National Park

While I'm busy traveling in Patagonia... I'm sharing some photos from a very different landscape, from last October! I shared photos from the first two parts of that trip here, and here (and I see I never  finished talking about the New England part of the trip). In the middle of October, we left the fall colors and flew to Denver (where we’d left our car), and continued the trip, meeting my husband’s brother and sister-in-law in Moab.

Highlight number 1 was Arches National Park. The low-light was that after all the mountain climbing in the first two parts of the trip, I had to back way off my injured foot, so my SiL and I did some nice short and easy hikes while the guys did the big ones (yes, I was envious).

Arches gets over a million visitors a year these days, which puts a lot of stress on the infrastructure (like the one road...). We dodged that by getting up and leaving our campground near Moab very, very early, and enjoying the best hours of the day in the park.
Ready to hit the road before sun-up. Our car is looking rather small these days!
The guys dropped us off and left the car so we could do a 1-mile one-way hike down through some of the formations as the sun hit (“Park Avenue” trail).

Sandstone colors and textures are endlessly fascinating, at least to me. Even without arches, Arches would be worth seeing for that.

Casting around for something to see without hurting my foot, we found Sand Dune Arch, which I hadn’t ever visited (probably because it’s so close to the road...). Love the dead or near-dead junipers against the red rock.

Carol and I were rewarded for both our patience in not doing the bigger hikes, and our diligence in trying to track down arches we hadn’t seen—we stumbled on a small, hand-written sign announcing 3 sites available in the park campground. As these sites much be reserved 6 months or more in advance, we’d never camped there! We nabbed one of the sites, and settled in to enjoy ourselves. Nothing like dinner with a view!
A sort of shepherd's pie thing, only without meat.

Being October, it was warm in the sun, cool in the shade, and still pleasant to go out after dinner for a couple more arches, easily walked to from camp.

Tapestery Arch in the late sun
We were able to walk right in under the arch and look up...

The second arch we almost missed--Skyline Arch, visible from the road and the campground, but accessible from the campground.

I don't usually do selfies, except to see if I've combed my hair. But this was kind of cool.
The next morning, my husband and I got up early to walk to Landscape Arch for sunrise.
Moonset. Or maybe it was moonrise the night before.
 Only one other photographer took the effort to get to the arch for the magic hour. Admittedly, it was made a lot easier by being in the campground, a quarter mile from the trailhead!

We stopped on the walk back to take a look at Pine Tree Arch, which is really nice.
I liked the shadows of the trees (junipers, really) on the sandstone.

Catch you the next time I have an adequate wi-fin connection!
The author (left) with my sister-in-law.
©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2020
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