I had an Einstein Bagel breakfast and then had the random luck that a Cabela's (an outdoor store) had the boots I needed to exchange. The welcoming signs as I left "Colorful Colorado" and entered Utah's "Life Elevated," were rather accurate. Life at Arches was incredible, but also hot, arid, and sandy.
The Delicate Arch was extraordinary at sunset; the setting sun seemed to make its natural red tint furious. The hike back was thankfully cooler since it was probably 100 degrees during the ascent. That night, I drove to a suggested "night time photo shoot" spot and waited until the moon was high enough to lighten the night sky. Later on I tried to sleep in my car, but could not get comfortable because with the cracked windows came in the bugs.
|Some arches lit up by the moon.|
Its wild to think that at one point everything in the park was the rocky bottom of a salty ocean. Ravens flew everywhere and I wondered if they were waiting for us to die. In some places you could see where the currents/rivers eroded the land as it swirled along a bend.
I gave up trying to sleep at 6:15 AM, which was 5 minutes before my alarm was to go off. I captured the Landscape Arch, which is barely (but incredibly) longer than a football field in nice sunrise light. Then, I made my way to the most isolated and least visited arch in the park... Tower Arch. To get there I needed to drive on an intense 4x4 road and then hike 3.6 miles. The road, by the way, should have had a yellow triangle and exclamation point on the map, like on ski runs because theres a difference between an expert run and an EPIRB run! Anyway, I made it and the arch was worth it. Although difficult to photograph since there was little room on either side to capture it (its in a canyon), it proved to be my favorite.
|Sunrise at Landscape Arch|
|The 4x4 road!|
Two quick conclusions; the auxiliary driving lights that I installed ARE especially helpful at night. Also, desert-life is undeniably a tough habitat to endure. At all times, there was sand somewhere, in your ear, beard, food, eyes, etc. After I had overdosed on the arches I set out to the Flaming Gorge in Northeastern Utah, where the fishing is supposedly special. I snuck into a campsite that had hot showers, and then peeled out to a marina on the Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Finally feeling clean, I made myself a nice dinner and crashed early night for a day full of fishing tomorrow.