Early Friday morning, and we’re driving into Arches National Park to hike before the heat really hits. Arches has miles of trails, but we only “need” to do a few of them. We call this a “drive park”, like Bryce, because you can just drive around and see the highlights. And what highlights they are! That’s Balanced Rock, second from the left.
We wanted to hike to Delicate Arch first, but we weren’t the only ones. An easy 3 miles round trip, it was already 85 degrees before 8 a.m., and we were on the trail with a couple hundred others tourists. Most of them not speaking English, which I really enjoy. You can tell by the inflection what’s being said sometimes. This part of the trail was beautiful.
That’s us under Delicate Arch! A young woman from Bavaria who just finished med school in Germany took the picture for us and I’m so grateful. We really wanted this shot – it’s iconic. Everyone was very polite waiting in line for their own picture, although I noticed several people who wouldn’t venture out that far. It wasn’t that narrow, but I did ask my family to not move me around; I was a little nervous.
A little ledge hiking and I could barely keep up with those three. I like hiking behind them to get cool pictures, but for this one, they caught me and all turned around! This drop off was far enough that I knew I never would have been able to hike the Eye of the Needle in the Grand Canyon. I was practically gripping the wall!
On the hike in we had seen a sign for Petroglyphs on the left and knew we’d check it out on the way back – so happy we did. Only a couple other people detoured with us. The informational sign says these are from the 1600’s, probably by Ute Indians. They have it roped off, but it’s still amazing that people haven’t ruined them. The “Indians” had just gotten horses, so they were documenting it. Fun fact: Utah was named after the Utes, even though the Mormons wanted the state to be named Deseret.
Here’s the cabin Dan and I would be happy to live in the rest of our lives! Perfect size. It was built by the Wolfe family in the 1800’s. They lived in a sod house until his married daughter came to visit and made him build this one. He had moved from Ohio to recover from an injury, but at the end of his life went back to Ohio. There was a small stream nearby and it was the only water for miles around.
After a picnic lunch, we stopped at a few more places to hike, but it was starting to get so hot that we were ready to be done. This is the North and South Windows. Beautiful hike around the back on a “primitive trail”, which means you hunt for the cairns and aim for where you want to go.Many of the formations are named in the park, and the others we made up our own names. The one on the left above is The 3 Gossips and they are facing The Sheep. I hope you can expand them enough to really see them! After stopping at the Visitor’s Center and running into Nate and Eiiza’s old principal, we headed back to the RV park to nap, swim and eat a great dinner. Life is rough. Only 14 days left of our adventure and then we’re home!