"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Moab: Where to Start?

Wow! There is so much to see and do in Moab, Utah. In this town everyone seems to be hiking, biking, climbing, rafting, ATVing, jeeping, scenic driving, as well as eating and drinking, from dawn to dark and beyond.  Rick left for LA for a few days, so I'm on my own with all of these options. There are many I am not even considering, so the choices aren't really that hard. (I am not rock climbing, dirt biking, or ATVing. So there.)

Our first day here, before Rick left, we took a quick afternoon driving tour of Arches National Park, just to get the lay of the land.  Arches is high above the town of Moab, and has lots of huge rock walls, towers, needles, balancing rocks and arches that are kind of isolated from each other, a little bit like Monument Valley.  Many of them are named, like this one, The Three Gossips.

Below are some of the smaller formations. Ms. Subaru would be dwarfed compared to many of the others...

...like this one.

And this is the arch that is on much of the Moab literature. It's called Delicate Arch.  If you look really closely you can see some little white dots below it. Those are people.

The first day Rick was gone, Kona and I hiked Negro Bill Canyon at dawn. We were the first ones there, and we didn't see many other people until we were almost done.  It was the longest and hardest hike she's ever been on, bless her heart. It's about 5 miles round trip, but what made it so worthwhile for her was the clear cool stream that runs alongside the trail for most of the way. She was really motivated to find the next pool she could dive into.

The canyon is red and cream colored rock, and the trail sometimes climbs up onto the rock. At other times it runs right along the stream, crossing it about six times as I recall. There are stepping stones at all the crossings.

The hike ends at Morning Glory Bridge, where we rested awhile, listening to the little stream that gurgles out of a crack in the rock.

It's kind of hard to tell what you're looking at here, but that's the bridge going vertically up the middle of the picture. Imagine standing right below it at one end and looking up. It's a huge bridge and impossible to get in the picture.

Kona was just happy to find yet another place to get wet.

There were a few places that I had to bribe her to climb up or down pretty steep places with no good doggie footholds, but she did it!

This was one of our favorite shady spots.

It was a long, hot walk, and we were dragging by the end. It was all we could do afterwards just to go home and take a nap.

Over the next few days we visited Dead Horse Point, Canyonlands and Arches again.  I'll post about those tomorrow.

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