Arches National Park & Moab area camping March 2006

Tyler

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Jan 18, 2012
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Alene, Caiden, and I went camping in a campground about 6 miles outside Moab, right along the Colorado River along with Bill & April and their son Lanik, and Clint and Annie. We spent the good portion of the trip hiking through Arches National Park. This would be our first time in Arches, so we were obviously blown away.

Before I met Alene, I never found much of a fascination with the desert, red rocks, red sand, etc. However, after actually spending time there with her I'm in love. Many will think of it as nothing more than a hot, barren, wasteland however Alene said her feelings on it perfectly to me about it being lonely yet romantic in many ways (I'm paraphrasing and can't remember the exact words, but they still meant a lot to me). I love how she sees the beauty and good in everything.

We visited all the major arches in the park on this trip that your average tourist would see. I was most proud of Caiden doing every one of the hikes at 6 years old. We did the 7 mile Devils Garden hike. We did the 1.5 mile hike up to Delicate Arch, which is the famous arch you will see on every brochure and Utah license plate. It's obviously very touristy; there had to be at least 30 people up there and you could see a constant line of people coming and going up the entire trail from the trailhead, but it was still worth the trip. It's pretty scary too as the arch itself is right against a huge cliff. Next time I do that hike, I want to go there at sunset. The elevation change to that area is a little higher in the park so when we were up there, it became VERY windy.

Some other arches we visited were not hard of a hike at all (drive up and get out of your car). Double Arch was awesome (where they filmed the last Indiana Jones movie; the river phoenix scene at the beginning). Caiden was quite proud of himself because he climbed all the way to the top of the bottom ledge of the arch. The day before on our Devils Garden loop hike to double-O arch we climbed up to the bottom arch but when climbing down we had some problems with him being scared. He ended up slipping about 5 feet on the rock coming down and scratching his back. I felt so bad for him, but I think it helped him knowing he could make it up some tough climbing.

When we returned from hiking all day, Bill had the ingenuity to build a shower out of some tarp and a large water jug. At first he was trying to get everyone to use it, but most of us refused. I eventually caved in and gave it a go and he's right: It feels so much better be cleaned up back at camp.

I'm so glad to have these opportunities to camp often. I'm glad that Alene loves doing it because it motivates me. I've always wanted to camp for the first 5 years I lived in Utah, but I never had a ton of motivation because I couldn't find people that wanted to go. Alene would rather camp every weekend than stay at home so that is good. I love that Caiden gets a chance to go out and experience these things too. I want him to have the best of memories as I do with all my future children.

While we were down there we decided to buy a National Parks pass which is good for a year. This gives us motivation to get out and see places like Zion, Canyonlands, and Glacier (which are areas we hope to visit this year) so we should get our money's worth.

Here are pictures from the trip:


Caiden next to the Colorado River near our camp site



In front of Landscape arch, which is more delicate than the popular "Delicate Arch", which you'll see down below. A portion of this arch broke off (underneath) back in '91 and someone actually captured a picture of it, which was on a sign post along the trail.



Looking back on Devils Garden



We stopped by Sand Dune arch on our way from Devils Garden to play around a bit




This is a spot that Alene climbed up to at Sand Dune arch. You can't see it very well, but just below her is a pool-shaped area in the sandstone. She was very proud of it and decided that she was going to build a house right next to it and create her own hot tub there.



Alene, April, and Caiden inside of double arch


Walking over to Double Arch, which is where the last Indiana Jones movie was filmed.



Double arch.



Caiden taking some target practice at Turret Arch



Alene and April hiked Park Avenue together while the boys waited at the end of the trail to pick them up



Caiden all pooped out from the Saturday hiking at arches.



Caiden and I hiking up to Delicate arch



April and Bill working their way up



The family up at Delicate arch



Caiden and I standing under Delicate arch. The arch is WAY bigger than you would imagine.



A look at Delicate arch from another little arch (or more like a hole poked through the rock that you can see Delicate from).



A view of the natural "Bowl" that is created next to Delicate arch.



Here is Alene in the mini arch by Delicate



Here is the family up above delicate a bit. It was so windy up there, I felt like any moment we would be blown over the top!



Here is a crazy photographer (you can't see him so well, but I circled him in red). Homeboy inched his way down this wall there to take pictures. He had no climbing gear on or anything. You can't see the drop, but it's BIG fall below him.



Finishing off a (root) beer after hiking down and before hitting the road to head home. Caiden took the picture.



My first visit to Arches was awesome and I look forward to coming back often and hope to explore more the park has to offer.

Featured image for slideshow:
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intuitive cat

Jurassic Dust in my Bones
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
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Good ol' Arches NP. She treated me well. my first visit was March of 2007 & then I volunteered as an Interp ranger there for 6 months that following winter (late oct-mid march). I think I would have been overwhelmed during the main season, but it was so quiet in winter that when i had to do my half days of trail roving my supervisor actually let me go pretty much anywhere I wanted, which was good considering there are only the 6 main trails. There are still secret places & oddities that I need to go explore there. One day, I swear I am going to get down into Lost Spring & Clover Canyons (been to the rim of them).
 

intuitive cat

Jurassic Dust in my Bones
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
Messages
402
also: in terms of that photographer - it's possible to head out a fin from halfway up the trail to where he is. he did not have to skirt the bowl. I still have some nalgene bottles that my roommate, who was a backcountry ranger at the time, had collected during one of his many lost items cleanups down below.

and how could I almost forget the time that we had an SAR at Delicate Arch and we had to belay a cage fighter who had broken his fibia down from between those domes just east of the arch to the little itty bitty ledge below the arch & then back up to arch level. the dude weighed almost 300 lbs! It was my first SAR & luckily all i had to do was help guide the litter.
I did have to descend to that ledge though, and it was the day i discovered that i have 'mountain goat feet'
 

Nick

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Aug 9, 2007
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I think I'm traumatized after injuring myself on the Delicate Arch trail. Can't look!! :eek: </sarcasm> Yeah, I actually feel like such a boob when I see all those people again and realize that's the trail that took me out. :facepalm:

Great TR. :thumbsup:
 

intuitive cat

Jurassic Dust in my Bones
Joined
Mar 9, 2012
Messages
402
I think I'm traumatized after injuring myself on the Delicate Arch trail. Can't look!! :eek: </sarcasm> Yeah, I actually feel like such a boob when I see all those people again and realize that's the trail that took me out. :facepalm:

Great TR. :thumbsup:
Funny . :)
there is just something about that trail. on my first trip out to Utah, first trail - Delicate Arch, I seriously twisted my ankle while coming down the steps of the Salt Wash bridge. Important to note that the person I was with was a romantic interest that had flown over from London after months of corresponding on Flickr. talk about embarrassment! She was pretty cool about it though, and I sucked it up and walked around with a walking stick for the next three weeks of our road trip. We had a blast even though my ankle was three times normal size.
 
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