Return to the Red Rocks. Day 7: Arches.

(Moab, Utah)

30 November 2022

I woke up early again, but managed to contain my enthusiasm for being up and at it, and didn’t wake Andrew until nearly 8am. After our usual gentle start of coffee, we headed downstairs for breakfast, where I got a lesson in how to use the waffle maker, with surprisingly good results.

We decided to go to Arches National Park today, where our first stop was the visitor centre or rather, it would have been, except that masks are still mandatory and we didn’t have them to hand, so instead we headed into the park, stopping at a couple of viewpoints to look at the snow capped La Sals across the petrified sand dunes.

Next stop was the Windows section, where we visited Turret Arch and the north and south windows, and then took the long way back to the car, by walking the primitive trail around the back of the windows.

After that, it was time to go and hike to Delicate Arch. It has been 5 or 6 years since we last did this walk. In the meantime, this has become so popular that, in the summer, there are sometimes over a hundred people there at once. It looked more promising for us, as there weren’t too many cases in the car park. We set off on an uphill gravel trail, which after a half mile or so is followed by the ‘traverse of the great slab’.

Finally you walk through a ‘garden’ section, before curving around the back of a cliff in a ledge cut into the rock.

And there it was. Still standing on the edge of a vortex…

We sat down and enjoyed the view for a while, supervised by a raven. Soon most people left, until there was just us and another couple. We made the most of it being so quiet and I walked around to the Arch… spot me standing beneath it, and see if you can see Andrew sitting on the rocks, too!

We made our way back to the car, enjoying the views on the way down, detouring to look at the petroglyphs which are between 170-370 years old.

Then we drove to the lower end of spark Avenue, for a short walk as the sun started to set.

Finally, we went to Balanced Rock for sunset.

We then waited in the car for three quarters of an hour, waiting for it to get dark. Eventually we thought maybe it was dark enough…it was certainly cold enough! The moon was bright and lit the rocks, to the extent that it was hard to get a long enough exposure for the sky. I’ll have to edit the photos at home, but hopefully this gives you an idea of the outcome.

Then it was time for a late tea, which we had at Pasta Jay’s. I’m tired now, so I’m hoping I get a good night’s sleep!

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