Today we went back to Arches National Park to see the things we missed last time. Wow! It didn’t take us long to realize that this is a weekend. In addition to more cars, there were tour buses by the dozen.
Our first stop was the Windows area. We got an early start and had to wear our jackets. The crowds had not arrived and I got a parking space close to the trail head.
The North and South Windows look like a pair of eyes.
This trail had stairs, but they were very shallow and easy to climb, unlike those tall ones at Canyonlands.
Here is another shot of the North Window Arch with the sun shining through it.
The South Window is just a few steps away, around a big rock.
Turret Arch is also close to the North Window Arch. It is very large; I can barely make out the person standing on the right side at the bottom of the V.
This mushroom-shaped rock is high on the rock left of the Turret Arch rock.
I named this rock Ladies’ Favorite Rock.
It was a big shock to be out in the middle of nowhere and have the phone ring! How did I get a signal? Does the park have cell antennas hidden on top of some of those big rocks? It just happened to ring as we were approaching a tree along the trail, so we stopped to talk in the shade. It was Ken Brooker, a campground host at Cataloochee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I took this picture of the Double Arch while talking to Ken.
Here is the enormous Double Arch. I can barely even see the little people that were crawling all over the rocks under the front arch.
This interesting formation was also near the Double Arch.
Here is a close up of the little soup tureen (or sugar bowl) rock next to it. It must be 15 to 20 feet tall.
There were dozens of motorcycles sporting Danish flags when we returned to the parking lot. When I looked it up on Google, I learned that the Denmark flag is the oldest flag still in use, since 1219.
Next we drove to Delicate Arch. I parked in the trail head parking lot first, then we got back in the car and drove one miles to the viewpoint parking lot. Delicate Arch is probably the most famous arch in the park. Even though it is only a mile-and-a-half, we did not hike the trail to it, since it looked too difficult for balance-challenged Andy. We took a look from a view point and I zoomed the camera to get this shot.
Our next stop was the Devil’s Garden area again, where we missed two arches a few days ago. A man was photographing this lizard near the beginning of the trail so I got my picture too. It seemed to be posing for us.
We were almost to the Pine Tree Arch when this lizard ran between my feet. It stopped for a second, but not long enough to get a picture until it hopped on this rock.
Here were are approaching Pine Tree Arch.
There is a pine tree framed by the arch, but it just looks like a dark blob in my picture. I walked down to the base of the arch. It is massive.
The last arch of the day was Tunnel Arch, which actually had two holes in the rock. We could not get close to this arch as it was very high in the rock.
There was a boulder sitting on a rock in the background through this arch.
We were very satisfied with our arch watching today. We didn’t have any trouble getting a parking space anywhere. And the tour bus crowds were either just leaving when we arrived or just arriving when we left. So, we never felt too crowded. And, since it was morning, it was still comfortably cool.
We went home for lunch and then rested a bit before heading out for a drive in the afternoon. It was 99 degrees at that point, so staying in the air-conditioned car seemed like a good idea. We drove up UT 128, the Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway. the road runs right along the river in a narrow canyon.
There are steep walls on both sides. We drove about twelve miles up the river, stopping to take pictures here and there. The river is lined with campgrounds wherever space permitted and all of them had “Campground Full” signs posted. We also saw a number of boats, large and small.