Friday, May 30, 2014

Fun in Arches NP with Friends!

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
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 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!
 After "oohs and aahs", some playing around on the rocks, water and crackers, we were on our merry way...


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!
 ...back to where we started.

What a great day we had...but it wasn't over yet. Pam and Vic invited us all for Memorial Day dinner.

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!


  1. Love your pictures of Arches! (wish we were there...perhaps later in the year) --Dave

    1. Thanks Dave and Marcia. Arches is quite spectacular!

  2. That is such gorgeous country! Made more special by sharing it with old and new friends!

  3. Great photos. When we visited Arches it rained and rained and rained. Our pictures weren't so good.

    1. Aah will just have to come back....

  4. Such fun times you are having and awesome pics!

  5. Good time, good friends. Nice pics as usual.

    1. Thank you Gayle. You will never believe what we saw. Two different fifth wheels towing a jeep on the back have pulled in at Portal.

    2. I have never seen fivers pulling vehicles before. We have seen boats being pulled. I know we wouldn't be comfortable with doing that, it just doesn't seem safe. I think we'll stick to renting a jeep when we get out there. Keep posting those photos!

  6. Another perfect Moab day with new friends:) We had friends with a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee and they, too, wanted to try that same road. We made with our Jeep but they just couldn't get the same traction. Can't wait to hear about the next adventure!!!

    1. Hi Pam...I felt really bad for Guy. He wanted so badly to make it! I was glad he didn't break anything and really glad we had a plan B. I loved our hike!

  7. Agree with your Pam description, in the short time we met in Key West, I felt her warmth and energy. Too bad we have not enjoyed yet her delicious cooking :(
    Pam and Vic must be kissing under the arches, how sweet!

    1. You and Steve are in for a real treat if you have a meal at Pam and Vic's! I don't have that talent...

  8. Gay, sorry I somehow missed seeing this post when we were in Vegas. Just caught up with it and love the way you captured our adventures in the park with you, Joe, Guy, and Catherine. You even included Vic and me kissing under the arch!. Can't wait 'til we meet again!

    1. I just know our paths will cross again Pam...we had such a good time with you and Vic!