On the fourth day of our short five-day vacation after a delightfully quiet night camped near Hamburger Rock BLM just outside The Needles District of Canyonlands and after repacking the back of Bill’s truck hit the road headed to Arches National Park.
A quick stop at Newspaper Rock had me wondering what it all means. Archaeologists think “the figures represent storytelling, doodling, hunting magic, clan symbols, ancient graffiti, or something else.” What do they know? It’s all open to interpretation. I see the 2000 year history of people.
We continued to drive through intriguing geologic and more recent cultural history like quickly flipping the pages of a book. Currently called Mario’s Place with a sign hung on the gate to prove it—or somewhere in the general area—Bill was told a women once lived in the shadow of Shay’s Mountain and had several men living around the acreage that she could choose which one to bed any night. Known as polyandry when a woman has multiple husbands instead of the more frequently heard of polygamy—multiple wives—that’s usually heard of in Utah. (Please remember the source.)
Maybe an arch in the making. Over time cracks, joints, and folds in the sandstone are saturated with water which then freezes and melts over time causing rock to break away and eventually can create an arch.
Like Wilson Arch seen a little further down the road named after Joe Wilson, a local pioneer who had a cabin nearby in Dry Valley. Can you imagine living here in the early 1880s likely a Mormon farmer or his wife as the earliest of white settlers scratching a life from the red and white rocky landscape? Not for me, but I’d love to wander into this land for many days to discover some of its secrets.
Past Hole in the rock, where we did not stop, which is referred to as an historic 5,000 square foot home and now an unusual gift shop and trading post. Read tourist trap.
Stopped in Moab for lunch at Eddie McStiff’s with an outside eating area that’s dog friendly. The server even brought Sasha a bowl of ice water. I had a delicious Gyros sandwich, which are difficult to find. I’d recommend the place. Then Bill went to a book store while I thought about taking Sasha to the BARKery. Seriously, I think a self-serve dog wash is a great idea.
Finally crossed the Colorado River and entered Arches National Park. Only waited in line to enter the park a few minuets, not so the next morning when we returned. Stopped at the Visitor Center for a Junior Ranger book.
Two trails lead to Delicate Arch, or at least views of it. Back in 1983, Bill was married under Delicate Arch which required a 3-mile round trip hike. On this day we settled with a 100 yard walk to the lower viewpoint so as not to leave Sasha in the truck too long.
Back to the main park road headed to the campground, which of course was full, we made another stop at the Fiery Furnace overlook named not for heat but the iron red colors of the fines and spires that make up the landscape. Trails lead through this labyrinth that looks like it would be easy to get lost in.
BTW, today being veterans day, a BIG Thank You to all those who served in the US Military, is also a FEE FREE day for your National Park sites.
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