Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Last day in Arches

I woke up early again, checked out of the hotel and headed into Arches for another sunrise. I felt bad for a couple I met yesterday who waited until the park opened at 8:00. The gates are open 24 hours a day, which is the only way to see the sun come up.

It was another pretty, cloudless day.

I like Balanced Rock so much, I stopped back by. It looks much better in the evening light, so I went with a different approach.

More of nature's stacking. These are each about the size of a building.

If you look closely at the left half of the picture, you can get a good idea of how thin some of the fins are. There was a huge pile of crumbled rock at the bottom where the fin used to be whole.

Then my pleasant surprise. I decided to take a quick wander along the Colorado River before heading home. It was after 10:00, which makes for a pretty intense, glaring sun. I was expecting very little.

I found that every once in a while you could find:
  • No rapids
  • No wind
  • Sun on the walls
  • No sun on the river
That gives you spectacular reflections.

There wasn't much flexibility on picking location. I was hacking through bushes and climbing down rocks to get to the places I could. My kingdom for a nice pair of insulated hip waders!

But I love the outcome. Sometimes if you expect little, you are rewarded with some little treasures.

I'm home now, so that wraps up my trip to Arches. The next photo outing will be either Bryce or Canyonlands.

Travel tips (mostly just reminders for me):
  • Moab and the parks are slow from November to early March. As March rolls along, the crowds roll in. It was so quiet that I felt no concerns about stopping my car almost anywhere. At one point I had my tripod set up in the middle of the road.
  • The Hampton Inn was wonderful. Very new and clean. Big rooms. Free breakfast. I will stay there every time I am in Moab.
  • Driving through Duchesne adds about 10 miles, but is a lot more scenic. Not a great idea with snow on the roads.
  • Paradox Pizza and Singha Thai were both excellent.
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