Tuesday, August 27, 2013

13th day away from home (August 22nd, 2013)

Gregg and  I woke up before 5.00 a.m. this morning so that we could go up to the Arches National Park for sunrise.  The link to the park can be found here.

When we got to the parking lot another car pulled in to our right, and we met two couples who accompanied us along the trail to get to the arch.  We smiled and said hello but after that we concentrated on the climb.  No one was talking on that climb.  It was all uphill and we certainly got our exercise that morning.

We had the best seat in the house and  reached the arch before 100 people joined us from two tour buses.  Gregg was surprised how fast I moved but as I looked behind me I could see a whole lot of people now making their way, all pouring out of the buses and seen in the distance like an army of ants swarming up the trail.  It spurred me on as if we couldn't have our solitude, at least we would have our front row seats.  Once again Gregg was surprised how fast I got up there but that sunrise was calling to me, and I wanted to be able to see it without having to crane my neck.  The dawn light was already beginning to show and when we got to the top Gregg felt like doing a Rocky pose.  I've never seen him do that before!

We were surprised at the amount of people as when we had done this a few years back and hopefully not sounding too greedy, we had the place all to ourselves.  This particular arch isn't even on the list for the best sunrises.  The Arches has become extremely popular.  Gregg was told earlier by a lady at our hotel that 3,000 people visit the park each day now, a million people a year.  He was also told that August is usually a slow month but this August was cooler than in the past with temperatures in the low 90's.  Normally people flock here in September.

A strange thing happened once the sun rose, all those people I told you about didn't stay and all made their way back to their buses.  I guess they had another stop on their itinerary.  They disappeared as quickly as they appeared.  Gregg and I hung around for a while, along with a few other people.  The young man below was trying to encourage his girlfriend to join him.  She followed him eventually, as did two others, all laughing quite happily as they slipped and slid down the rock.

In this picture you can make out the shadow of the arch.

Another arch not too far from the other.

I took a lot more photos here but will do another post eventually.

Afterwards we went into the town and had breakfast, and then went back to the hotel.

At 9.54 a.m. and 3,637 miles away from home, we are leaving on our third morning having enjoyed spending more time in Moab.  The National Arches Park is my all-time favorite,  next to Yellowstone. Hopefully, we will be back one day.