Friday, July 24, 2009

Arches National Park

After a 200 mile hot dash across the desert I made it to Arches
National Park. My plan was to blow right past it in favor of Monument
Valley 150 miles further down the road. However when the temp hits 106
degrees you tend to re-evaluate. The cost benefit equation becomes
unbalanced.

So I pulled into the Arches National Park visitor center and marveled
at it's rock models, interactive displays, and air conditioning. The
ranger told me the campsites were sold out so I thought I would just
tour the park, take pictures, and camp outside the park on the
Colorado river.

I saw the sites and took tons of pictures of red rock formations. I
even got lost briefly on a hike to an arch.
Late that evening I came to the campground. They appeared to be full
but the "reserved" area had some openings. Sure enough the nice park
rangers let me camp for the night in the reserved area. I didn't have
the $20 cash so I had to use an old check I keep in my wallet. I was
pleasantly surprised when I unfolded the check and saw the image of
Arches National Park on it.

Thankfully the temp dropped steadily as the sun went down. It fell
through the 90's, mid 80's by nightfall, mid 70's by midnight when I
woke up to star gaze.

Arches offered the best star gazing of my trip. Hopefully the pics
come out. You could see the milky way from horizon to horizon. If you
look straight up in such a way that the surrounding countryside is not
in your field of vision you could almost convince yourself that you're
in space
The pics will be posted to flickr.com/michaelb1

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