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.
Our first sunset was quite a show..
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!
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.
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.
Next, it was back on the park road to drive beneath the massive Courthouse Towers--
The late afternoon sun is just magical against these red rocks and bright yellow cottonwood trees!
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!
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!
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!
As I waited for Suzanne to carefully crawl down from that perch, I admired the view out the north facing arch. What bliss!
Nightfall was quickly descending as we drove past Balanced Rock and back to camp. Our Arches NP visit was off to a magnificent start!