Good fortune has shone down on us though. Of course, with the set back to our schedule, I sent off an email to our boss, Brad, explaining our predicament and that we would let him know as soon as we did an estimated time of arrival. Shortly thereafter, we received a call from Brad. We discussed our options back and forth, and to make a long story short, Brad arranged for a co-workamper couple to head on down to Evanston with their truck, and towed our coach up to the ranch for us. So we are settled into our summer home here at Luton's Teton Cabins, able to start work on time after all, and so grateful to the compassionate and giving nature of our fellow workampers. It truly is a wonderful community.
The view of Grand Tetons National Park from our campsite. Awesome isn't it? We started work today, and after I am caught up from last week I'll post pictures of the ranch and what our jobs are all about this year. But be patient, as we are working the next 6 days in a row :-). Nothing like jumping in right away!
I do still have some catching up to do, as there are two National Parks, one National Monument, and some fun hiking we did that I haven't shown you yet :-). This post will be about our first day visiting one of the most beautiful areas I have ever seen, Arches National Park in Moab Utah.
We had arrived in Moab after a short three hour drive from Torrey Utah on May 20. I had tried to get reservations in a really nice RV Park that our friends Steve and Joan had stayed at, Portal RV Resort, but they were all booked up when I called in March. We ended up at Moab Rim Campark which was a nice campground (until the holiday weekend, but the issue wasn't their fault and a different story), clean and just south of town. It is right on the highway so there was highway noise to deal with, but it wasn't too bad. We decided to have dinner out our first night, and had a really good dinner at The Moab Brewery.
Arches National Park was our first destination Wednesday morning. First stop was the Visitor's Center to pick up maps and information. We had the dogs with us that day, so it was just the driving tour and reconnaissance mission :-). They also have a CD narrated driving tour of the park for rent for five bucks, so we did that. It was very interesting, I enjoy taking the audio tours of parks when a ranger tour isn't a viable option.
After leaving the Visitor Center you start climbing up switchbacks, and the first stop was an overlook of the Moab fault line. The highway pretty much follows the fault line that occurred about six million years ago, causing the east side (that we are on) to sink about 2600 feet lower than the west side (across the highway).
The landscape immediately became stunning. This area is called "Park Avenue". The sheer walls of this canyon reminded early visitors of tall skyscrapers.
The "Petrified" Dunes, with the LaSal Mountains in the background. Petrified implies that they were once an organic organism like wood, but here it refers to sand that has been cemented into rock.
In Cathedral Valley there are several formations that have names. The most popular formation in this group is the three pillars on the left, called the "Three Gossips".
Balanced Rock is one of the most popular formations in the park. It looks like a rock has been cemented on top of a column, but in actuality it is all one formation. A widely told story exists about an elderly gentleman who swore the lighter colored layer was cement, and climbed up there to prove it was. He ended up getting stranded and needed to be rescued by Park personnel!
Cove of Caves area on the way to the Windows formations. Scenes from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" were filmed here. As we swung through the parking area for the Windows formations, it was very crowded and no spaces available, so we'll return to that later!
The iconic view of Arches National Park and is featured on their state license plate: Delicate Arch. It's down in the left side of the picture, I took this from the lower overlook point. One can take a 3 mile round trip to the base of the arch, but not today: no dogs allowed! We thought about going back and doing it later in the week, but when the rains came through over the weekend it flooded the entrance area and Park Rangers had the area closed.
The Fiery Furnance area, so named because of the way the formation is situated, the setting sun's rays light up the red rocks brilliantly, making it seem like they are on fire. There is a Ranger guided hike through the Fiery Furnace twice a day, as it is very easy to become lost in the maze of rocks. We did inquire about doing this hike during the week we are there, but the Ranger at the Visitor center told us the hikes were booked solid for the next two months. Since the advent of online reservations, he said it's highly unlikely to get a spot by walking in. Shame.
Skyline Arch, on the way to the end of the scenic drive at The Devil's Garden. There's also a campground down here, and we drove through, checking it out. Very nice. No hookups, but what scenery!
Having come to the end of the scenic drive, we decided to head back to the campground, take the dogs for a walk, have an early dinner, and then we would return to the park ourselves to do the hikes around the Windows area, and possibly get some nice sunset pictures.
This formation is called "Nefertiti"
The Windows section with the LaSal Mountains in the background.
Together, they are referred to as "The Spectacles"!
Turret Arch. It's really hard to get pictures without any people in them, but at least the little figures on the right give a sense of scale to the formation :-).
The sun is setting....
and we're done for the day!