I was in awe from the moment the giant, red rock mountains jutted from the ground reaching high into the sky. I felt as if I was in a prehistoric land where at any moment at monstrous dinosaur would go walking by.
We arrived midafternoon on Saturday after leaving a cold, damp Denver and unknowingly driving through a blizzard. The warmth and shining sun was a welcomed change after what felt like a solid 2 months of gloomy skies and snow covered ground.
We stopped at Sweet Cravings for a late lunch. It’s this adorable bakery/café serving simple items done extraordinarily well. I ordered a delicious Panini with homemade applesauce, and I couldn’t pass up a coconut ball for dessert. The owner’s mother took our order and we chatted with her a while. She was so sweet! I really love small town hospitality.
After lunch we drove up to the Arches right outside of Moab. There are only two other times in my life that I have been caught off guard and my breath taken away; the first time I stepped foot on a white sandy beach surround by brilliant blue water in Destin, FL and the moment I turned the corner and came face to face with the Eiffel Tower. I can’t find the words to describe the beauty of the red sandstone terrain. This part of the world is just magical.
We walked the short loop to the two arches called The Windows. To the left of the main trail is an unpaved “primitive” trail marked by cairns, small stacks of stones. Kevbot thought they were just randomly stacked by some tourist kids, and kicked a pile over…Oops!
We then started the 3 mile hike to the Delicate Arch. I wouldn’t classify it as an easy hike, and you gain about 500 ft in elevation. It’s even more difficult when you add a very heavy, uncomfortable camera bag…this was the LAST hike I took with my big camera. I usually wrestle with myself on which camera to bring on hikes. I like my big camera because I have more control of the settings, better lenses, and better quality overall, but it gets so heavy and uncomfortable! In the end I am glad I made the trek with it on this hike because the light was just gorgeous, and I was able to get some amazing shots including a crazy uni-cyclist attempting to bike across the arch!
The next day we hiked a few different trails, and we never got trapped under a boulder or had to amputate our arm! Yay! There were times we were so far away from civilization with no phone signal that I thought a lot about Aron Ralston, who was pinned for 5 days in the Canyonlands not too far from where we were.
One of my favorite hikes was to the Upheaval Dome. The first part of the hike is pretty easy, and while impressive it’s fairly crowded. However, if you continue to the second lookout point the experience is reverent. It’s only about half a mile further, but I kept thinking we’d gone too far, and was a little nervous we’d fall to our death off the slick rock edge. A fence protects you from a sheer cliff drop off once you get to the lookout point, and Kevbot and I just stood there for a long time in amazement. It was eerily quiet as the sun began to tuck behind the ridges. My mind tried to imagine what it must have been like for Aron to be trapped somewhere in the vast landscape knowing the slim possibility that another human was anywhere close. I was stunned to discover there are still places so remote and so untouched by civilization, I just stood there soaking it all in.
I really wish we had more time in Moab. It’s a place that offers endless opportunities for fun and adventure and I’m in love with the hippie, active town. I can easily see planning a week or two vacation back to Moab for some mountain biking, zip lining, and camping.
Hikes: Upheaval Dome- Island in the Sky district, Delicate Arch- Arches National Park, Slickrock Loop- Needles District
Overrated: La Hacienda- This place had possibly the worst fish taco I’ve ever had! It was like frozen fish sticks covered in raw onions!
When I was little someone pointed out to me
Some constellations but the big dipper’s all I could see
That brontosaurus must have stood a thousand miles high
That brontosaurus laying on its side up in the sky
Built to Spill- Big Dipper