Wednesday, June 17, 2009

2009 Vacation - Day 8: Somewhere Under The Arches

Monday was spent exploring Arches National Park and the town of Moab, UT. Here the odd weather we've been experiencing went to our favor. Normally the temperatures in Moab this time of year are in the 100s. Today the forecasted high was in the upper 80s.

We stopped at the visitor's center to figure out how we should tackle the park. There we saw an awesome guided hike to Fiery Furnace. Unfortunately the next open slot was Wednesday after we were scheduled to leave. We considered doing the hike in the morning and turning Wednesday into a very long day but then the ranger listed the skills needed – rock hoping, no claustrophobia, no fear of heights, climbing in tight spaces. None of these things scared us really but the ranger then listed the equipment we would need – Good shoes (I had my boots but the Wife didn't) and four quarts of water each (I didn't have my camel back). We realized we were not equipped for this hike. We were both really bummed as it sounded like a magnificent hike. Next time. I swear next time I'll be ready. And there with be a next time.

After watching a movie about the park we started our car tour. We covered all of the park stopping at almost all of the turnouts. We did a group of small hikes – 1, 0.5, 0.5, and 1.8 miles (total of 3.8 miles). It was warm today (better than cold, believe me) and it limited how much we wanted to hike. Despite this the Wife and I climbed rocks all over the place and got up close and personal with several cool stone arches. The last hike, the longest, took us to the Landscape arch, the longest arch in the park at 290 feet and possibly the longest in the world. At its thinnest its only six foot thick.


After driving around the park for over five hours we headed into Moab for a late lunch and a short walk down Main street. After a while we had enough, went back to the hotel and took a soak in the hot tub and a swim in the pool. Nice end of the day. Pictures can be found here.

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