Dear God: Keep an Eye on the Thermostat, Please

Trip Start Jul 26, 2005
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Trip End Aug 20, 2005


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Flag of United States  , Utah
Monday, August 8, 2005

A sign on the edge of the road soon after we entered Utah welcomed us to "God's Own Country." Now, don't get me wrong, there are parts of Utah that are quite nice; the place where we are staying tonight is in a green valley amongst sandy, pine-dotted peaks. But the area that the sign was so proudly laying Deity-claim to would be enough to make even the devout question God's taste. Hills of grey slag crowned only with a few tufts of dead grass and sagebrush, as far as the eye can see, broken by stretches of barren desert.

The beating of the hot, desert sun off parched slickrock makes the 34 degree temperature worse than the same felt in California or Oregon. The license plates on Utah cars want us to "Ski Utah!" which is all well and good except it's August and every time we get out of the car there's an immediate rush to see who can get back in faster and jab at the AC button.

We drive into Arches National Park. All we really want to do is see the famous rock arch, the long one that looks like a bridge, and then drive the hell (sorry, God), back out of there. First we stop at "Balancing Rock," where a huge boulder rests precariously on a slender spire. A sign solemnly warns us that the geological forces that formed it will eventually cause it to fall, probably sooner rather than later. Maybe God might want to look into a blessed brand of Super Glue if he wants to keep his Country intact.

Then we drive up to Delicate Arch viewpoint, which we think is the bridge-like arch. Nope. We are disappointed to find that this is a much rounder, smaller arch, and we are too hot and lazy to hike the three miels up to it. We scan the map. The one we want is "Landscape Arch" and it is ages away and you have to walk two miles and God will smite ye if ye get too close, or something, so we take refuge in the car and drive off, disappointed by Arches. Where's a deity when you need to rustle up some shade cover?
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