May 26 & 27, 2014
Picking up where we left off...
Sunday turned out to be a mostly rainy day reminding us how nice it is to sometimes just sit and visit. We had a quite a peaceful day visiting with Pam and Vic and then later in the afternoon with Guy and Catherine.
Monday dawned bright and sunny for our planned adventures in Arches NP. First on our list of fun things was a ride thru Salt Valley via the washboard, gravel road to Tower Arch. Its a beautiful ride thru the valley with scenes of rock formations and the LaSal Mountains. I was surprised and disappointed at the lack of wildflowers. I had hoped for bursts of color in the meadow as a result of recent rains.
Aside from seeing this beautiful valley, Guy wanted to try his hand at the Tower Arch 4X4 trail that leads to the arch and exits the NP via Willow Springs Road. The trail offers a hike to Tower Arch as well as Eye-of-the Whale Arch. After several valiant efforts by Guy to crawl the steps in his rented Jeep Grand Cherokee, he decided to give it up rather than risk damaging it. We resorted to plan B.
We returned to the main park road and the public parking access for a very short hike up to the Sand Dune Arch and a bit longer loop hike to Broken Arch. Public access parking was overflowing but the parking genie (thank you Pam) quickly picked up on our positive vibes and we pulled right into a spot! Sand Dune Arch is hidden among tall fins and rock formations.
This sandy path traverses thru a narrow slot that opens to a pleasantly shaded "sand box" with an up close look at the arch between two fins. So close, I couldn't really get a good picture.
Sand Dune Arch is probably less than 20 feet high with a scramble up the fin to the base.
Some folks...no one in our energetic group...climb on the arch which is against park rules. Shame on them!
|Pam, Catherine, Guy and Vic|
After back tracking a short distance, we picked up the Broken Arch Trail and were on our way again.
The trail follows a sandy path lined with sage bushes thru a meadow as views of the mountains and rock formations opened up all around us.
|Pam and Vic|
We weren't the only critters on the trail...
Broken Arch is so named because of the crack in the middle of the arch. The trail continues on thru the arch and requires a short scramble up the slickrock.
|Thanks for the hand Guy!|
The rest of this almost 3 mile loop trail winds thru pine trees, over more slickrock, around the campground, and descends thru a passageway between several rock fins...
|Thanks for the hand Vic!|
Pam loves to cook and the end result of her efforts was spectacularly delicious with yummy ribs, her grandmother's German potato salad, beans, a special tossed salad, rolls and grilling cheese. Oh, thanks go to Guy for tending the grill while Pam did her magic.
|Joe and Rico|
As Pam put the finishing touches on dinner, I took Rico for a walk and Joe had a minute to visit with him as well. Rico and his mom Jetta are lovely Portuguese Water Dogs. We hope to have time to get to know them better in the future.
I just have to say that Pam & Vic are exceptional hosts. Pam's engaging personality, obvious warmth and high energy perfectly complemented the delicious cuisine to help create an absolutely perfect evening.
We still have one more day...up next, another "WOW" in Arches NP!
Until next time, take care and
enjoy your journey!