The ride to Moab is a short 30 miles-there is much to see and the landscape is ever changing
. Fields of grasses and the occasional oil well give way to the desert dotted with pinion pine, juniper and yucca. A few hills, a few switchbacks, long stretches of straight roads. About 10-15 miles in, the giant red mesas and buttes rise up from the earth and soon you are riding in their shadows. These begin to change color, lightening to gold as you approach Moab. Walls of rock to your left and open fields to your right as you cross the Colorado and enter the town. One day on the way to Moab, Bob spotted a large hawk sitting on a dead tree on the side of the road. He pulled over and captured him on film-sitting on the tree, ruffling his feathers in preparation for flight, and taking off-a great series of photographs that we have included in this blog.
Arches is mostly a visual park. Hikes are distinguished by which arches are to be viewed a long the trail. The trails alone are not that varied or interesting-at least in our view. Our main hike was the Devil's garden hike, about 4-5 hours of hiking to see a large number and variety of arches, fins, and buttes. It is, in some ways, like a trip to an art museum-all are amazing to some, some speak to you individually more than others, and in the end it's all either as plain as a pile of rocks or as phenomenal as anything that can be imagined or created. (I'm not trying to belittle or downplay, because this is a wonderful place to visit. It's just a different experience than some other parks
. Arches felt to me more passive or objectified-there to be viewed similarly by all. In some other parks you really get to interact with the landscape via different hikes or different wildlife, and happenstance, timing and luck can give each individual a different, more personalized experience.) Nonetheless, this natural art museum is like none other and we wouldn't have missed it. The wonder and awe of it, to me, is in what you don't see-how it was formed. The slow, natural erosion and degradation of rock by wind and water, choosing particular paths to wash away some here, some there, and to leave standing some other. The curious patterns, shapes and colors in another medium seemingly would be unlikely to arouse our interest, but as natural phenomena you are rendered fairly speechless. We've put many pictures up for you to enjoy yourself and reach your own conclusions. Enjoy!
The entrance to Arches National Park is just outside of Moab Utah, about 30 miles from where we camped at Dead Horse. We rode into town a few times, and Bob got some great shots of the scenery along the ride. We love our little Nikon Coolpix because it's so compact and takes great pictures. It's actually been dropped twice and, although you can no longer see anything from the display on the back (which is black with shatter marks and cracks) it still takes great pictures and movies. Bob has become quite adept at using it while riding to capture footage of our drives on film-both short movies and great photos. It's a way to get some unique pictures on the trip. Hope you enjoy some of the road scenes-I think they give you a sense of the landscape and the fun we are having with the motorcycles. I've put over 5,000 miles on my bike on this trip, Bob's put on over 6,000 on his. (The Winnie now has over 14,000.)