I’m the sort of person who could be next-door neighbors to Leonardo da Vinci and neglect to bring him a plate of cookies. Ohhh- I might do so when he first moves in. I’d definitely bring him one at the birth of his child(ren). I’m certain I’d also wave whilst driving to carpool when I saw him out painting his house.
On the whole, though, I’m not good at appreciating and utilizing resources I live near to. This is not the case for my blogging friend, Lisa, who not only lives in the paradise of the French Alps, but takes beautiful walks and hikes.
Since spending so much time indoors recently, I’ve resolved to change. I’ve resolved to GET OUT once getting out is safe and to visit what is right next door (figuratively). In the meantime, I’ve resolved to ‘visit’ the places virtually. I will use this as a guide for where to go once going is a good option.
So… first on our list is Arches National Park.
I’ve hiked around the area twice, I think. I remember seeing a photograph of my family from when I was a child. We stayed in a motor home (RV) borrowed from my grandparents and hunted for our Easter eggs in places like the shower, compact fridge, and foldout table.
My memory’s fuzzy since creating and caring for children, but I’m fairly certain Kevin and I returned to Arches as newlyweds. We encountered a boisterous family group from Utah and a much smaller family visiting from France. The large family thought teasing the French couple to be quite funny. “Yep; I’m the dad,” one of the men said. “These,” he gestured to cousins, daughters, and his wife, “Are all my wives.”
The French couple had one or two children, as I recall, and joked right along. Oh, how I wish I were proficient enough in a foreign language to understand subtlety and humor.
All of this tells you nothing about the park itself.
Arches National Park is located out in the middle of nowhere, very near to a very small city named Moab. A college roommate of mine came from Moab and explained that (polygamy or no) they were all related. “My family tree’s like a family wreath,” she joked.
Strangely enough, she ended up marrying a local and they still live there…
To get to the park, you drive and drive and drive and drive. If you were a tourist, the drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport to Arches National Park is 3 hours, 43 minutes (thank you, Google Maps).
Once you arrive, you realize you have driven and driven and driven and driven …out in the middle of nowhere. It’s hot (unless it’s winter). It’s dry (we are a desert). It’s red. It’s windy. It’s also slightly radioactive, but they don’t really want that in the brochures.
You and I will need sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, good hiking shoes, and lots of water. We’ll eat rattlesnake for food -or, also remember to pack in food.
The park is BIG. According to Wikipedia, it’s about 76,000 acres. It contains “more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches.” And, yes, those arches are really cool to look at. You just have to hike to them (good thing we brought hiking shoes).
The trail to Delicate Arch, the one you’ve likely seen pictures of the most, is three miles roundtrip. With a toddler, that takes about 6 hours. After that, you pick him or her up and hike the rest of the 2.5 miles without complaint.
The area has neat-looking land forms and geological striations visible from the road and the Visitor’s Center as well. Not bad, eh?
I recommend trying to find lodging nearby so as to enjoy the hikes and area on a fresh night of sleep. RV companies rent vehicles out for limited-time use. Locals have Bed and Breakfast options. One of my neighbors offers an on-site, parked RV for paid use as well.
Supposedly, this link will bring you to a virtual tour of Arches National Park.
Last week’s schedule, a little closer to home:
Thursday, April 16: “This and That and a Blogging Schedule,” a mix of thoughts and ideas for a blogging outline.
Saturday, April 18: Announced the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a humorous end to a useful object. PLEASE ENTER!
Monday, April 20: An inspirational quote by the internet.
And, another update about home life c/o COVID-19.
Tuesday, April 21: “Going Postal, VI.” Gotta love “Lucy.”
Wednesday, April 22: Today.
©2020 Chelsea Owens