Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Awe-mazing Arches National Park

After our weekend in paradise, Millie and I had some social engagements to get to back in Moab.  Our friend Suzanne was coming to see the two national parks here, and after being in the Moab area for two whole weeks and not yet having set foot in either park, it was high time for me to pay each a few visits as well.

The nice BLM boondocking area north of town, Willow Springs Road, made a perfect base camp for the week as it sits right between both Arches and Canyonlands, has gorgeous views, great 4G cell service, and you sure can’t beat the price…free!

I found us a nice, large campsite big enough for 2 Views and 2 Trackers and set up to await Suzanne’s arrival.

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Our first sunset was quite a show..

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but our neighbors up the lane had an even better view of Arches NP and the La Sal mountains from their “patio” on a large mound of slickrock!

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Have I mentioned yet how much I am loving this free boondocking thing?!!!

Suzanne rolled in the next day and Millie made a beeline right to her door to greet her.  She knew right away this was no average Winnebago View coming for a visit, this was the infamous “Karnivore Kafe”, no doubt, bringing Millie a few dozen pounds of fresh meat!  Millie hopped into Suzanne’s rig, jumped onto her new bed, and made herself right at home.

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But, alas, it seems Suzanne had been spending so much time with her plant-eating hiking friends Jim & Gayle, that her Karnivore Kafe’ was now out of business and Millie had to settle for just a few pats and tummy rubs.

While Millie stayed home to guard the rigs, Suzanne & I paid a few visits to Arches National Park.  I had been to the park a few times before (most recently in 2006), so was fearing I’d be a bit bored by the scenery and frustrated by the crowds, but oh this little park has such a way of “wow-ing” you!

After climbing the side of a huge red rock cliff (thankfully by car!), we arrived to the Park Avenue overlook where large “fins” of Entrada Sandstone create a natural amphitheater of stone.

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Next, it was back on the park road to drive beneath the massive Courthouse Towers--

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The late afternoon sun is just magical against these red rocks and bright yellow cottonwood trees!

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But our main destination for sunset on our first night was to spectacular Double Arch. I remembered from past trips that the setting sun would illuminate this arch nicely, and it was still true to form on this night!

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Ever the eager rock-climber, I suggested that Suzanne climb up to the West Arch for a portrait.  It looked like an easy enough climb from the bottom!

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Apparently, the backside of this arch is a 200-foot cliff with a very narrow ledge to stand on.  Glad I was the photographer and not the model for this shot!  But, oh, does it not express the well-deserved freedom and utter delight of a new retiree at the start of perhaps the most inspirational chapter of her life? Bon Voyage, my friend!  Many more happy climbs & sunsets!

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As I waited for Suzanne to carefully crawl down from that perch, I admired the view out the north facing arch.  What bliss!

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Nightfall was quickly descending as we drove past Balanced Rock and back to camp.  Our Arches NP visit was off to a magnificent start!

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14 comments:

  1. I just love those photos of the arch!
    Glad to have finally met you, too. See you Friday.
    Gayle

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  2. What a beautiful piece of paradise. I love your shots, especially the landscape framed by the arch.

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  3. Lynne, these pics of Arches are just beautiful! This is such a beautiful park--hope you by now have done, or will do, the Delicate Arch hike--it's pretty spectacular. Loved our time here, and so glad you and Suzanne have found this great boondocking site!

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  4. Lynne, you are absolutely amazing and an inspiration, some day I will trace your tracks. You set a new standard, both in adventure and photography. Hats off!

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  5. Wow, you surely had such a better tour that we did. Thanks so much for the photos of what we missed. Tis life, isn't it?

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  6. Gorgeous photos, as always. And you're right--a wonderful way to start retirement!

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  7. No matter where you are you manage to make everything look spectacular but you have outdone yourself this time. Wish I could be there.

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  8. Gorgeous pictures, am saving this post so that hubby and I can go! We just left on our 'fulltime' adventure Sept. 21 also! Have really enjoyed your hints/advice and Milly posts.... :)

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  9. That really was such a GREAT boondock you found! I know some of the "scouting efforts" were not easy, but thanks for finding it. And those photos look 3D!

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  10. Just saw a great photo of yours on the RVillage newletter.....loved the Warner Lake photo! And these from the Arches are also magnificent!!

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