Moab, Utah – Great Area

Thank-you Harold, Jim, friends in New York and everyone who told us that we should make sure to stop in Moab while we were in Utah.   We almost didn’t go there as it is east of the route we were going to take from Yellowstone down to Bryce Canyon.  I am so glad that we followed your suggestions, the whole area is simply gorgeous.  Arches National Park is beautiful.  Not just for the natural arches that you see but for all the red rock formations.  In many places the rock on the top of a formation has worn less than the rock below.  For some reason the top rocks are often circular making them look like heads on skinny bodies.  Even I, who lack imagination, can see the different images the rocks create. Often the enormous boulders on the top looked like they were very precariously balanced and could easily fall down on us.  The geology here is just great.

View through Jackie’s sunglasses
Balanced Rock with tiny Jackie on right side.

I had a hidden advantage that I didn’t realize at first. My prescription sunglasses enhanced the red tints everywhere and made the scenery brighter.  This took already dramatic scenery and enhanced it even further.  I tried taking this picture holding my sunglasses in front of the camera lens.  You can see the with and without sunglasses images. After about three days Mike bought some normal sunglasses that did a little of the same thing.  Mind you, the rocks and mountains didn’t need enhancing, they were spectacular on their own.

In many places the red cliffs just towered above us and the sides were very smooth straight up and down like the front of them had been sheared off a million years ago.  It was all extremely dramatic.   What doesn’t come through in any of the pictures is the size and grandeur of the scenery.  I always thought that was true about the Grand Canyon as well.  Pictures just don’t do justice to what the eyes can see.  In some cases the cliffs or formations range from hundreds to two thousand feet high.  You can’t tell the difference in a picture without people right at the cliffs edge.  In the gallery I added a photo where I am not much more than a dot to give some perspective to the formation above me.  In another one we got an SUV below us on a trail.  You can only see the dot that is the SUV if you blow the picture right up.  The scale of everything is huge.

They sky has been bright blue and cloudless.  The only slight downside has been the temperature.  Utah is having an abnormally hot September and walking or climbing on rocks in 90 and 100 degree temperatures is not the best.  Everywhere you go in the parks you see signs about taking lots of water with you and they really mean lots.  Our altitude was often about 6,000 sometimes 7,000 feet above sea level.  I would have thought that meant cooler temperatures but I would obviously have been wrong.

We took a three hour jet boat ride down the Colorado River.  I took my ereader and almost took my computer with me.  I thought three hours sounded a bit long.  We had a super time.  Most of the boat was covered except about 12 seats around the stern.  The jet boat was travelling at almost 40 mph (64 kph) and the wind at the back was great.  It reminded me of the rides in our boat that I had missed this summer.  We travelled 34 miles down the Colorado and then came back the same route.  Lots and lots of movies have been made along this stretch of canyon.  Many of the movies make you think that you are in the Grand Canyon.  The movie industry is one of the major industries after tourism.

I had wanted to stay an extra day and try sky diving in this part of the world.  My husband informed me that I had already spent two vacations with him with a broken foot in a walking cast and he didn’t want to go through a third.  You might believe that he thinks his wife is somewhat clumsy.

After spending a couple of days in Arches National Park we went to Dead Horse Point State Park.  It was equally as dramatic if not more so.  It didn’t have as many of the unique arches but it certainly had the red cliffs and the canyons.   We also spent a few pleasant hours in Canyonlands National Park.

After four days in Moab we are leaving to head towards Bryce Canyon.  I would actually have liked a change of pace and maybe spend some time in a city first but this area of Utah is all about parks and nature.  The biggest town that I see us passing in the next few days might not actually even qualify as a village.  I would love to find a hairdressing salon but Mike has told me not to hold my breath.  As I have said, washing my hair in the RV is the one thing I prefer not to do.  What I really do miss in this area is my internet access.  It spans the spectrum from very, very poor to non-existent.  After about three days I did manage by this morning to get the map updated on this website and six of the eight pictures that I wanted to add to the photo gallery uploaded.  You have no idea how many hours of trying that took.  Sometime I will successfully upload the other two pictures that just wouldn’t make it.  Who knows when this note will get uploaded.

On our way to Bryce Canyon there are about three other major parks that we will at stop in and do the scenic drives at a minimum.  I have a feeling that my walking around many more trails might wait a day or two.  Even though I have said a change of pace would be nice neither Mike nor I would have missed the rocks, mountains, canyons and desert scenery for anything.

Dead Horse Point State Park

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