Colorado 2011 – Day 5: Arches NP and MRE’s

We decided to drive to Moab, Utah (about 2 hours away from our cabin in Colorado) to visit Arches National Park.  I had originally planned for  us to go to Canyonlands National Park (also in Moab); however, after researching it further, I realized we could not see it all in one day, so we decided at the last minute to go to Arches.

After entering the park ($10 for a 7-day pass!), we would spend the day wandering around inside.  This greeted us:

Huge rocks called fins rise from the earth upon entering the park

In the distance, we saw The Windows arches, which was our first stop in the park.

The Windows

We drove to the parking area, and from there, it was a short walk up to the first window.

Once we got up to the arch, we rested in the shade.  Well, I rested in the shade and took pictures while the Brown-Eyeds climbed and chased chipmunks.

When we left the shelter and the cool of the arch, we found the entrance to a “Primitive Trail” that promised to take us back to the parking lot.  It was not well-marked, and we followed it (blindly at times) for about an hour before making it back around to our car.  It was worth it, though, because the views were spectacular.

The trail took us around the back side of the Windows arches

I couldn’t get far enough back with the lens I had to get both full arches in one frame.  {Darn it!  Now I have to go lens shopping!} This is the best I could do, and I had to go way far off the trail to get it:
The Windows, Arches National Park

It felt, at times, that we were the only people on earth.

We got back in the car and drove to our next stop, Devil’s Garden Trail.

On the way to our destination…

…Landscape Arch, which is the longest natural arch in the world.

Landscape Arch
And here’s the gratuitous, cheesy, holding-up-the-arch shot:
(Fail.)
We got as close as we could to the arch, but they no longer let people walk underneath it because some of the rocks forming the arch have fallen out over the years.  So we got back in the car and drove to our next destination – the famous Delicate Arch, where the Olympic relay torch for the 2002 Winter Olympics passed through.
Delicate Arch
This was the last stop in the park for us.  I fell on the way up the trail (no biggie; I fall all the time!), but at that point, I was just dunzo.  It was 100°, we were out of water, sooooo sweaty, and exhausted.  It was around 5:00pm when we got back down to the car, and we had a 2 hour drive back to our cabin.  Or so we thought.
God had other plans for us.
I say God created the majesty of Arches National Park, and Mother Nature has remodeled it over the years.  In keeping with the trend, she took rain from the day before that occurred 20 miles away, and sent it on its way down the arroyo.  So much rain that it covered the road leading out of the area of the park we were in, and stayed for hours.
(‘Scuze the smooshed bugs on the windshield)

Long story short, we were stranded there for over 7 hours, finally getting to leave at 1:00am.  Search and Rescue had taken over after dark, and brought water and MRE’s for everyone because they had no idea how long it would take for the water to subside.  They told us it could be tomorrow before we could cross.
We opted against the food you had to heat with the heater-thingy that was provided in the pack.  We got beef ravioli and and and omelet and hash browns.  One of the people in the car next to us got tuna and quirt cheese.  Another got beef stew.  Nice to know that soldiers and refugees are given such a wide variety of choices… 
We were all pretty miserable by the time we finally got out of there.  (Well, except for my Brown-Eyed girl, who fell asleep around 10:00 – lucky dawg!!)  I told the kids that in the future, it would make for an exciting story.
Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who thought so.  It’s the only time I’ve ever been in the news.   That I am aware of.
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