Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Utah: Part III

We left Canyonlands early Thursday and arrived in Arches National Park around noon, where our first stop was of course the park's namesake: Delicate Arch.

We ate lunch at Delicate Arch, but we had to cower because the wind was absolutely howling.

After lunch we backpacked out into the Devil's Garden for a quick hike by at least seven arches including:

The nearly 300 yard long Landscape Arch!

Navaho Arch

Another arch I can't remember...

And a nice view of fins, the long skinny rock pieces which eventually erode into future arches.

We ended up at Double Arch where we asked a nice fellow hiker for a picture... I certainly hope his hiking skills are better than his photography skills...

After a quick hike out to the Black Angel (below) we continued south to Secret Arch where I briefly conquered my fear of heights for a photography.

A nice shot of my fellow hiker.

We got to camp about sunset, had a brief dinner, and then retreated into the tent for our last chilly, windy night in Utah! The next morning we woke up and hiked into the famous Fiery Furnaces for a two-hour self-guided tour. The area is famous as a nearly impenetrable maze, and after a little time wandering in the wilderness, we found the ranger tour trail and hiked back out.

Since we had a little extra time, we ended with a brief tour of even more arches, and my famous picture...

After leaving Arches we went in to Moab for a much-needed (and awesome) shower. Sadly the good news ended there- we learned that our train back from Salt Lake City had been cancelled because of the ungodly amount of snow in the Sierras. Instead we had to book flights for that night. Surprisingly, the sad part wasn't the cost of the tickets; we were just sad not to have a nice relaxing 22 hour train ride from Salt Lake City across the Great Basin, over the Sierras, and then down to San Francisco. All in all, we had a pretty awesome (BUT WINDY) trip. Canyonlands was definitely by favorite- Capitol Reef was a close second, but Arches was a much too car-centric park for my tastes. Thanks Utah!

Stay tuned: Yosemite, Coachella, Big Sur, and the Lost Coast to follow!

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