On the Road # 18, 2003 - Arches National Park & Moab, UT
Monday, April 21 (ArchesNP, Utah):
We waked up this AM to strong winds and blowing dust so stayed in until the wind slowed after noon, then drove into Arches NP for a few hours. It is much like the other parks we have seen in Utah but also very different since nothing in nature is ever the same. We had to climb, by switchbacks, over a 1000' wall to enter the park. We saw a lot of interesting formations, balanced rocks and arches. See "Arches.jpg". We also saw the Wolfe Ranch cabin where John Wesley Wolfe settled in the late 1800s with his oldest son. They lived there for over 10 years when, in 1906, his daughter, son-in-law and 2 children moved out to join him. The daughter was shocked at the primitive cabin so he built them a new one with a wood floor and even a window. Times have surely changed. See picture of the old and new cabins on "Cabin.jpg".
Tuesday, April 22:
The winds came back with a vengeance this AM so didn't go back to the park today. There's dust everywhere and the visibility is hazy due to the blowing dust. Joe went over and checked email, then worked on pictures from yesterday.
Wednesday, April 23:
The wind subsided some so we went back into Arches NP. We walked to see some arches and over did it a bit. We decided to walk to Landscape arch. It is one of the longest in the world at 309' long and looks very fragile. It is the bottom arch on "Arches.jpg".. They say it was much thicker until 1991 when several tons of rock fell off it. It was .8 miles from the parking area. We took a side excursion to a couple of other arches, so by the time we round tripped it, we'd gone over 2 miles. Much of it was up and down. By the time we got back to the car, we were both totally beat. We drove through Wendy's for a spicy chicken combo and got back to camp near 5 PM.
Thursday, April 24:
We had planned to leave today but, after all the walking we were sore all over this AM, so decided to stay until Sunday. We are taking today off to rest and recuperate. We got pictures, from the campground, of the snow capped La Sal mountains visible from all over this area. See "Mountain.jpg". Joe worked on pictures for awhile and we both read the rest of the day.
Friday, April 25:
We drove the LaSal loop road today. See email "LaSal.jpg". We had breakfast at McDonald's, then headed up Utah 128, alongside the Colorado River, as far as Fisher's Towers, where there was a campground at the base of some interesting rock formations. We passed several BLM campgrounds along the river. We came back to Castle Valley Road, passed the settlement of Castle Valley and turned on LaSal loop road to bring us over the foothills of the LaSal Mountains. We got almost to the pass when the Honda decided to run hot. We stopped to let it cool and poured in what water we had, when some nice young folks stopped and finished filling it from their water can. We went for another mile and it was hot again and it was obvious we were losing water. This time a nice guy from the local Sheriff's Dept. stopped and stayed with us until Joe got Good Sam towing service on the cell phone and they verified that help was on the way. We enjoyed the scenery for about 45 min. until the tow truck arrived to bring us down the mountain. We saw several deer on the way down, but couldn't get pictures from the wrecker. The diagnosis was a broken heater hose, which he fixed, and a leaky water pump, which he could not fix. We'll just keep adding water until we get to a bigger town where they can do Honda repairs. Maybe it's about time for a new tow car. At the rate we're going, soon it should be mostly new.
Saturday, April 26:
We slept late this AM, then Joe sent email, Sue did 4 loads of laundry and Joe went to town to get lunch. We hooked up the car, took on water, dumped waste tanks and are ready to leave tomorrow AM for Dinosaur National Monument and Flaming Gorge NRA near Vernal, UT.
Joe & Nancy Sue, On the Road, Moab, UT and heading for Dinosaur NM