8/31 Moab/Arches National Park

2013 Moab 048

2013 Moab 111

2013 Moab 119

2013 Moab 083

Itinerary:

8/31-9/3 Moab, Utah

9/3-7 Grand Junction, Colorado

Drove through the town of Teasdale. No stores, but a good size cemetary. With rains approaching, Chris didn’t want to stop. Saw an old Gristmill (1890-1930) that went out of business as the settlers were growing the wrong kind of wheat. Drove through Grover (blink–not even twice!).

We took a drive to Boulder. The terraine changed about every 10 minutes, and soon we were among tall ponderosa pines and aspen. We learned that each stand of aspen is genetically it’s own strand as they propigate through an underground root system. Each stand of trees turns their fall colors at the same time, and on a different time schedule and coloring than the next stand. In Boulder we visited the Wildcat ranger station, built and still outfitted as if it were still the 1930’s. Two retired teachers from Ohio were volunteering their summer there. The highest road point was 9600 feet. The road was finally paved in 1985. Before that, the same red dirt roads that lead off to who knows where everywhere we look. We visited Anasazi State Park and saw the excavation of a village. The paleo-Indians lived there from 300-1250 AD.

We finished our tour of Dixie National Forest and moved on to Moab, Utah. When the sun is shining, it’s in the 90’s. Even when the lightning storms are all around us, it’s still in the 90’s! We spent the day at Arches National Park and didn’t even view half of it. Between the hikes and stopping to take breathtakingly scenic photo ops, the visitor center (only went through half of it), and just reading all of the info signs, our time was used up. We’re going back today to see the rest. We’ll have to see the other national parks on another trip.

I had purchased a walking stick the other day as I really have a hard time hiking over rocks and balancing. It was well used in Arches. Only had to hang  onto Chris twice–and mainly because we were looking over a cliff while going down a steep path/staircase (of sorts). The ranger gives talks every evening (8:30) at the campground amphitheater at the far inside of Arches. We drove an hour to get there, watching the bolts of lightning flash all around us. When we got there, she and the meteorologist ranger decided to cancel the program as the lightning cells were on three sides of us and merging. Chris offered that we at least wait to see if a fourth side would merge… While talking to her we found out that amphibians do live in the park. The shovel-toed frog comes out of dormancy when it rains, goes from egg to full grown in 14 days, lays it’s eggs, then at whatever growth state it’s in, sinks back into mud holes (which dry up) until the next rain. We’re in monsoon season, so it seems like all of the rain for the year is happening all at once. Since the ground is mostly clay, it doesn’t absorb, leading to flash floods.

Walked through neat gift shops in town–opened until 10 PM. Our motto is if you can’t eat it or wear it (and how many hats and t-shirts does one need?), don’t buy it. There is no place to put the beautiful crafts and artwork we see everywhere. We have stopped (as of two days ago) buying those hat pins that commemorate where you’ve been. The wall quilt I have been attaching them to weighs between 5-10 lbs! We found a different item–looks like a Chinese token that is stamped on both sides, one with the name of the park or area, the other with a logo of the sight. I was going to attach a  tack-pin to it, when Chris found a pocket holder for the tokens–holds 60 tokens. Holder cost $5, tokens $1.

The dogs still get walked 4 times a day, but this park doesn’t like the dogs anywhere except for a short dirt path, so they’ll need to wait until our next trip for longer walks. If we exit the RV park, we’re right on the highway with speeding cars and trucks–plus the ground is very hot!
Later–
Joni and Chris

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