"When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the bolder."
– William Joseph Slim
Hello from Colorado!
We are making our way east again and heading for home soon. We haven't finished with the western part of the U.S. just yet, but I have to be in Chicago for school the first two weeks in June and Steve is going to take that opportunity to go home for a visit. Looking forward to seeing family and friends again.
So let's finish up our adventures in Utah. We moved from Salt Lake City to Moab for some time in two of our great National Parks. The first that we visited was Arches National Park. What a gorgeous place. The pictures do not adequately pick up the red color of the rock so you miss the incredible contrast between the red, the green of the sage, the blue of the sky, etc. Very picturesque. There are artists all over the place with their water color paintings going on and for good reason. This park holds great beauty, to be sure, but it is also a nice place to take a good hike. A lot of these arches were not available from the road so we got some good exercise while visiting this park. What makes hiking here even more adventurous is the altitude - - it is more than a mile up so breathing is difficult at times. An added bonus for this area are the petroglyphs and pictographs that are all over the place. It's fascinating to see these etched into the rock. Some of them definitely look like space men,don't they?
Another interesting park was Dead Horse Point State Park. What a nice surprise this place was. We stopped there on our way to Canyonlands and am I happy we did. The canyon views here are spectacular and both Steve and I felt they were more amazing than the Grand Canyon. That's not to say that the Grand Canyon isn't majestic or breathtaking - - what both of us felt about Dead Horse Point is that it was so much more available. The canyon below is only 1/2 mile down and not a full mile like the Grand Canyon, so the view of the river was better and there was clearer detail on the geological variations of the rock, etc. Plus the colors really popped more too. The name is such a deterrent to visiting though, don't you think. I would not have expected such beautiful vistas from a park named for a place where horses were sent to die. Check out this website for the story behind the name: http://www.utah.com/stateparks/dead_horse.htm.
Our last stop in Moab was to Canyonlands National Park. This place was sort of like Dead Horse Point, only the canyons were really much different. They were a lot more pronounced and held really cool geological features. Lots of good hikes in this park too, and one especially cool one leads to Mesa Arch which overlooks the canyon. Steve got some great pictures of this arch which looks, based on the cracks in the rock at the base where it attaches to the cliff, like it will go over the edge at any time. There were some spectacular wildflowers in this park too. Lots of yellows, purples, reds, oranges, whites, and blue. We weren't able to get a lot of them because they grow along the side of the road (of all places). But like Arches National Park, this place was awash in color between the rock, the canyon, the royal blue sky, and the wildflowers. Nice visual feast!
While in Moab, we experienced one of the most incredible wind and sand storms. The wind would gust upwards of 50 mph which would kick the red dust up into the sky to the point that you couldn't see a thing. It took two days of rain to get the sky cleared again and our pictures from Canyonlands suffered as a result. There was still a considerable haze when we were there so you aren't really getting the full impact of the view like we did. Anyway, Utah is an absolutely fabulous place to visit. From the south there is Zion National Park, Monument Valley and Bryce Canyon. In the north there are the ski resorts and the interesting history of Salt Lake City, and the central area has great National Parks like those we visited this week. If you are thinking about a place to visit for vacation, check out Utah. There is just so much to do here.
So we left Moab and headed to Colorado. We will update you on our visits to Mesa Verde National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Colorado Springs in our next update. We are super excited because Steve's sister and brother-in-law, Bev and Larry, are flying into Denver on Saturday to spend a week with us. YAHOO!!!!!!
Take care people