Hank – The rabbits were out and about in the morning. We had a light breakfast, packed up, and drove to Arches National Park just north of Moab. Our national park annual pass came in handy again, saving us the $30 entry fee. What a bargain that pass has been for almost a year now.
After stopping at the visitor center to get a feel for what was in store for us we drove into the park, stopping occasionally at pullouts to take photos. We also got over eight miles of hiking in as well. The park is stunning and has far too many features to visit. It’s looking like a long visit to Utah and Arizona is called for in a year or two.
We drove to Fruita, Colorado (state #39!) and had pizza and beer at The Hot Tomato Cafe. The pizza was awesome. Fruita is apparently a mountain biking destination. I’ve never heard of it before. Bikes we’re all over the place. And there were many bike-related pieces of art in town.
This morning we noticed holes in the rainfly on our tent. I’ve had this tent for several years and it’s about done. Besides the rainfly giving out, the zippers keep leaving open gaps forcing you to unzip and zip again until it stays closed. We picked up a new tent at REI in Grand Junction. After the 20% coupon and applying our dividend from last year it cost us about $150. Nice!
We’re trying out the new tent at a campground tonight.
Kathy – Utah and Arizona’s landscapes are just magnificent. We chose wisely by deciding to drive to Moab, Utah and visit Arches National Park. This place is just astonishing. We will be back to this area for some riding and hiking. They have great riding trails (road and mountain) along with more hiking trails than you could imagine.
In the Arches National Park visitors center we watched two adorable girls (approximately three and five years old) get sworn in and receive their Junior Ranger Badges. This is a wonderful program offered through the National Parks Service. Young children promise to respect the parks, are sworn in, then receive their badge and a passport book. Every national park they visit after this they can get a stamp in their passport book for that park. The kids love it.
A little while later the two girls ran up to me with big smiles and proudly showing me their badges. They introduced themselves as Kaylee and Ellie. I was having difficulty understanding the younger girls name. Kaylee (the older one) was rolling her eyes as she stated, “Ellie likes to tell everyone her whole name.” Ellie just ignored her sister and smiled while quickly repeating her whole name three more times. Neither Hank or I could understand her full name after all her attempts, so I just politely told her how beautiful her name was. That made her smile even bigger and brighter. We were their new best friends. The girls were excited to show us around the visitors center. They wanted to show us everything they had found, but their mom was quick to round them up and move them along. Children are beautiful people. Those two little ones just made our hearts smile.
We spent six hours exploring Arches National Park and could have easily spent another six just touching the surface of this massive park. We loved hiking on the different trails and seeing so many of the beautiful arches made of sandstone. There are over 200 arches in the park. The arches were formed over millions of years by the winds and rains gradually wearing away at the stones until holes were created within the large stones. Unfortunately, the weather that made these arches will also eventually destroy them. The weather will continue to wear down the sandstone and the arches at some point will collapse. It took millions of years to create the arches so hopefully it will be a long time before some may fall. On a positive note, new arches will also form in the future.
It was a fantastic day of hiking and sightseeing in Moab, Utah and Arches National Park. We’ll be back! 😊
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