Picture Pages – Volume Arches NP (aka I Can See My Van From Here)

Dizzying heights and sweet vistas characterized the Colorado National Monument. Arches National Park, just outside Moab, UT, could better be described as an accessible, yet mysterious, wonderland. It’s a short climb with some stunning monuments dropping your jaw right out of the gate from the visitors center. Then there are rolling hills and astounding viewpoints around just about every corner. We camped at Devils Garden, which is situated at the far end of the park, and were consistently in awe at being surrounded by so much scenery and within easy walking distance of so many trails. I think our final tally on photos was somewhere over 200 (a small sampling will follow). And this still left plenty of time for delighted giggling at snow flurries in sunshine, “cloudbusting” formation features, scrambling up and down rocks like kids on a jungle gym, and taking a few excursions elsewhere in the park. We also celebrated Thanksgiving and were especially thankful to note the odometer turning over the 10,000 mile mark of courageous Charley carrying us along on this madcap adventure. We’ve seen many a wondrous thing and made a few singular connections on this journey, but Arches will always occupy a precious place in both our hearts when we look back on this time.

Windows Arch

Windows Arch

Double Arch 1

Double Arch from below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 MPH Hair

The winds were 20+ MPH the first afternoon in the park. Hence the chicken ‘do.

20 MPH Hair Too

Lance also experienced 20 MPH hair – and beard!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desert Dirt

Late afternoon desert dirt. This place is a treasure trove of textures.

Perspective

Evening perspective at the Fiery Furnace overlook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terrain Tumult

Closed out the first afternoon/evening by checking out various viewpoints. The rocks on the left represent the edge of the Fiery Furnace, a labyrinthine area that requires a permit, and recommends a guide, to hike. We settled for the view from outside, wishing to self-guide our way around the park.

 

Our second morning, Thanksgiving Day, we made our way the half mile from the campsite to the Devils Garden trailhead. The winds had died and the day was dreamy as we explored around 8 miles of both maintained and primitive trails.

This Must Be the Place

Feet on the ground.
  Head in the sky. 
  It’s okay, I know nothing’s wrong.
   Nothing.
 
  –Talking Heads/”This Must Be the Place” (Naive Meldody)

Pine Tree Arch

Pine Tree Arch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

46 and 2

The light was too bright for good panoramic shots of the rock formations, but just right for taking surreptitious shadow photos of us as we Ambled along the trails.

Double O Arch (the second O is filled with a tree in the dead center of the photo).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our last morning, we were able to access the Broken Arch trailhead just a few steps from our campsite and had a nice mile or so loop to explore with relatively little traffic compared with just about everywhere else we went in the park the previous two days.

Take a Walk on a Rock

Take a walk on a rock…

Broken Arch

Broken Arch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urns

Better light in the early morning.

Cloudbusting

I have always enjoyed cloudbusting. The formations at Arches are the terrestrial cousins to the cloudy shapes I love to name. This one was either a steamer or a submarine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a good time spotting Charley van from various vantage points while we explored. Below are thumbnails of a series I like to call, I Can See My Van From Here. Lance gets photo credit for the one in the middle. Of course, it was taken while at the campsite with Charley, and so is a bit sharper and more arty than my shots on either side. 😉

Charley from Double Arch Evening Charley I Can See My Van From Here

 

 

 

 

 

ODO 10K

10,000 glorious miles, old chap. And more than a few to go. Thank you, Charley, for getting us this far. Thank you, everyone who is following along, for the good thoughts, comments, and support. ❤

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