Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Arches National Park

Sept. 18

Today started with an hour of Mo-maintenance. You may remember that Joe was working on the electrical system, specifically the alternator, back in Rapid City, SD. At that time he decided that because the connection for the alternator had been faulty, it had damaged the voltage regulator. As a result, the dashboard indicator dials have been acting strangely and indicating problems, even though we have been pretty sure that there really weren't any problems. So this morning, Joe replaced the voltage regulator. It was very gratifying to see that all day, the dials read "correctly" instead of bouncing around in an irregular manner.

While Joe dealt with the electrical system, I was appreciating the fact that I had cell phone reception and good wifi. Beth sent me some photos, then called to make sure I'd received them, so we had a nice chat. I also caught up briefly with Lois, and Joe's mom called us too! I had thought about doing laundry while he worked on Mo, but 'twas not to be.

By 10 a.m., though, we were back on the road, and by 11, we were at Arches National Park. We rented an audio-tour on CD, and it was a great $5 spent! Our CD guides took us through the entire park, with lots of information we'd never have known otherwise. I did, of course, take photos; but they can't do justice to the rock formations. I overheard a lady saying to her friend that she was "just wasting film" and she should buy postcards, and I kind of felt the same way. For one thing, it was mid-day, and the light was flat; the formations were lots more impressive than they show up in my photos. Nevertheless, I will share some:

Three Penguins

Three Gossips and a Sheep

Park Avenue

Queen Nefertiti

What I noticed most at first was the sheer hugeness of the rocks. Driving in among them really made everything else seem very small. You can see in this photo--that is Mo down in the lower left corner!

Mo the Peanut about to be eaten by an Elephant

I just realized I haven't uploaded any photos of any actual arches! Yes, we did see them. Here are a few:

Delicate Arch

Double Arch
Neither Joe nor I was feeling very energetic today. I think I was having trouble with the altitude again, and I didn't drink enough early in the day. As a result, we only went on a few short hikes, although we did see a lot and drove through the entire length of the park. At 3:30, I was too tired to keep my eyes open, so we decided to stop and take a nap! We were at the Devil's Garden area, at the farthest end of the road through the park. So we turned our dinette into a bed, opened all the windows, put on our battery-powered fan, and took a delicious nap for an hour! I felt like a new person when I woke up.
The nap had the added advantage that on our way out of the park, we got to see the rocks in better light of the later afternoon. I took this last photo on the way out of the park.

We returned our rented CD and headed to Moab, 3 miles further south. Moab is a very tourist-oriented town, with lots of cute stores, restaurants, etc. Because it was so early for us (only 6 pm!), we had time to go look in some of the stores, and then we decided to treat ourselves to dinner in a Mexican restaurant. So we had a nice touristy evening, a change from our usual habit of pulling into a campsite well after dark, eating quickly, and never having time to see what the area is like.

Tomorrow our plan is to head back up to see Canyonlands NP and Dead Horse Point State Park, and then continue south toward Arizona. I wish it weren't so hot, though, and I am wondering if we should alter our route. The weather in Yosemite was so delightful, I could use some more mountain-cool air. However, it's not actually too bad in the camper right now, so I am sure we'll sleep well.

1 comment:

Reluctant Penguin said...

Gotta love those penguins! The photos are wonderful, even if they don't do justice to the original. Thanks for sharing them.