Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Arches: The Unplanned Adventure - Day 15

Today we started a little closer to our Colorado destination than originally planned. Because of this and our late arrival late night, we decided to relax a bit and hang out at our hotel until checkout time. We spend some time in the outdoor pool, swam some laps, and relaxed a bit. This sounded great but would prove to be our downfall as Oliver discovered another possible destination along our route, Arches, Utah. He wanted to see the landform that was used for Utah license plate. 

After we left Provo, Utah and got out of the more populated areas, we drove through some beautiful canyons. The road paralleled the old train route, so it was a good change to discuss the challenges of planning rail routes through mountain terrain. Another thing of note was the use of wind power generators in the area. They were really close to the road, so, unlike what we saw in Oklahoma, we could get idea of the large size of these windmills . They are huge. 

About this time, Oliver began working through his National Park book we picked up in San Francisco. As he was checking off the many parks he’s visited, he discovered The Arches Utah. Somehow we missed this park in our planning and it was only 50 miles out of the way. He noted that there was an arch there called Delicate Arch which was used on the Utah license plate. We altered our plans a bit and headed in that direction. When we arrived we had pay yet another National Parks pass, we really should have studied a bit more and got the annual pass, at this point we would have spent about $15 less doing things that way. Because time was at a premium, we went to straight to the visitor center for some planning assistance. While there we spoke with Marshal Page who gave us the scoop on which arch was used for the license plate and where we could view it. Because get right up to required a hike that Oliver wasn’t to prepare to endure, we chose to visit the location that we could see the arch with the naked eye and be satisfied with being that close. 

Out drive out to the view point was spectacular, Oliver took tons of photos as we drove along and say many amazing sites. Once issue we continued to fight was time, it was getting later in the day and the drive to the viewpoint was pretty far into the park. We really should have planned on spending the day out here. When we arrived at the parking of the viewpoint it was packed with German tourists. I am sure some of the same tourists from our Grand Canyon visit were there with us. Oliver spotted Delicate Arch first and got very excited. He was finally able to see what inspired the Utah license plates he had been seeing. 

After the viewing, we made our way out of the park and went to Moab to charge and get dinner. We ate at a really nice pasta place that was near the charger. Ae finished dinner about the time the car was ready to go. Everybody was full and ready to move on to Colorado!

As we neared the Utah/Colorado state line we had a small incident. There was a skunk who had decided that crossing the interstate was the thing to do when traffic was thick. Unfortunately, there was no place for a to go to avoid him as we were boxed in by a car on our left and not able to stop in time to save him. We ended up hitting the skunk and Oliver got to smell skunk for the first time. The smell lingered in the car for a long time. We actually had to stop at a car wash before turning in for the night to be sure we eliminated all remains of the odor from the underside of the car. 

All this excitement made our arrival at our campsite in Colorado, very late. We ended up setting up camp in the dark and rushed to our sleeping bags for some shuteye. I was a little lazy and didn’t install the rain fly. To his credit, Oliver told be do so. This would prove to be a bit of an issue as it started drizzling just after we woke up and went to the bathroom the next morning. We are now experts at the quick camp teardown. I’ll not ignore Oliver’s intuitions next time.

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