We checked into our hotel and because we were only in Moab for one night we immediately headed into town. We walked around a few shops and watched the moon rise and the sun set.
Pretty is not the word I would use to describe Moab. It is surrounded by red bluffs and filled with cyclists, rock climbers, campers, foreign tourists, and families like us. There is quite and eclectic group of people walking around.
My girls fit right in. I know that most of you are thinking what cute pictures these are. But my brother Greg is having the same response to seeing the girls in these glasses as I did when they put them on....Oh god! How many other children have done that exact thing and had those plastic mustaches on their mouths???? Kinda ruins the photo, does it not? No? Good. I tried to look away while simultaneously snapping a picture.
Lucy wanted this beanie. Instead of getting it for her, I took her picture wearing it. That is kind of the same thing, right? The hat would have been lost or discarded by the time we got home. The photo, she will have forever.
We then headed over to Moab Brewery for dinner and of course, beer. Lucy fell asleep on the dinner table. We had had an extremely long day and I had this lofty goal of being in Arches at sunrise the next morning.
We did not make it to Arches at sunrise. Around 4:00 a.m. a tremendous thunderstorm blew through with rumbling thunder that shook us in our beds...and Lucy into mine... The sound of rain was a lullaby that I had missed so we just slept in our beds and listened to the gully-washer all morning. When finally we woke up, we packed up and had a healthy breakfast of powdered-sugar donuts and milk and set out with our bellies full of nutrition to see Arches.
If we had felt alone in the universe at Colorado National Monument and on the highway driving in through the canyons towering over the Colorado River, we were definitely not alone at Arches. After checking in at the visitor center we drove to the back of the park and hiked to Landscape Arch. Along the trail we heard so many languages. We heard French, German, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and people with Australian and British accents. Suddenly, it didn't seem like we had traveled very far at all to get here.
Here in the shade of a Utah Juniper, in this high desert, in the land of the Anasazi Indians, she received her Indian name. She shall be called "One who picks M & M's from trail mix".
This is Landscape Arch. It was worth the hike. Round trip from the parking lot it was a little over 2 miles. It was around 90 degrees this morning but I must confess, the sun was searing. My skin, which normally can stand being in the sun all weekend on the sailboat and not get burned, was screaming for shade. The higher altitude combined with the thinner air made the sun feel like someone was holding a magnifying glass over me and waiting for me to spontaneously combust.
Emma Jane took the camera from me and took these.
She has such good composition.
Check out her use of the shallow dept of field. That is Lucy and Mike in the bottom right hand corner. She is a natural.
Maybe she will guest post for me sometime. Give us a few photography hints.
After Landscape Arch we headed over to the North and South Window Arches. We had a picnic in the car and then set out with full bellies once again.
We rested in the shade of the arch and looked out over the vastness of the Utah desert. Emma Jane and I climbed up the back of the South Window. It was a tough climb but she wanted to do it so badly. When I asked her the next day what the best part of her trip had been so far, she said climbing up to the South Window with her mom.
The view was great, but the sense of accomplishment, greater.
We had an unforgettable time in Arches National Park. As we were walking away from one of the window arches, Emma took my hand in hers and said...I'm going to bring my kids here. Thanks mom for bringing me here.
Here is the perfect family photo to capture the day.
We left Arches around 2:30 for the drive through Utah to Salt Lake. The girls and I fell asleep and sweet Mike drove us the whole way. We left the high desert behind and were heading into the mountains of northern Utah where the air promised to be cooler.
I made an instagram collage of our day at Arches. And as I am posting this, I realize there are two photos not of Arches. Please forgive this tired mom. It is 3:56 a.m. on Friday morning. As I type this my family is sleeping all around me. There is a cold breeze blowing in from the window and it is 52 degrees outside. I can hardly remember the heat of southern Utah.