Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hiking, Jeeping, Flying and Dining...part 2

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
June 4-9, 2015

Our adventures with Dee, Kathleen, Jim and Erja continues. On June 7th, our destination was Top of the World. Ronnie and Carol pulled into Portal the day before and we were thrilled to have them join us.

Weather has not been kind to this 4-wheel drive trail as it has steadily increased in difficulty through the years. Several places were very eroded leaving steep ledges to climb. 

When we stopped for a break, the designs in this dead tree caught my eye. As I was making my way around to see the other side, I had quite a surprise! 
A gopher snake was slithering toward the dead tree as well.

Alot of the trail twists and turns thru a pinyon pine and juniper forest...

We had lots of threatening clouds all around, but only a few drops of rain came our way.
After almost 10 miles, we reached the end of trail which just happens to be one of the most dramatic overlooks we have seen. 
This was the first time Dee had driven Blanche on Top of the World.
Jim and Erja take in the view...
And what a view it was!

Fischer Towers to the west...


Looking down into Onion Creek area.

Kathleen gets a few pictures...Dee and Erja enjoy lunch with a view!

Our team L to R...Cooper, Jim, Dee, Erja behind Dee, Ronnie, Kathleen, Joe and Carol

Picture taken near Dewey Bridge at the trailhead for Top of the World.

The next morning, June 8th, Kathleen, Erja and I were up early and eager to do some hiking in Arches NP. 

Our first stop was the Windows Arches area. 
My favorite here is Double Arch.

This area was used as the opening backdrop for the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

There are no fences or's way fun to climb!

 According to information I read, Double Arch is a pair of natural arches that share the same stone as a foundation for both the outer legs. Unlike most arches it was formed by water erosion from above (rather than the more typical erosion from the side) making it a pothole arch. 

The largest of the two openings has a span of 148 ft. and a height of 104 ft. 

Just across the road is the The Windows area. The trails here meander all around and even through the arches...three all total. 

In the picture below, only one window is visible, but here are two windows (arches) which were formed in the same sandstone fin. 

Within walking distance is Turret Arch. It is fun to climb as well. This fin is over 100 feet wide. The arch is "young" and small. Just to the left in the picture below is a very small opening and it is predicted that within a few hundred years or so the two of them will join to create a much larger arch.

The picture below shows our next destination...Delicate Arch. 

 Erja shows the magnificent size of this beautiful work of nature.

I think I heard a "WooHoo".
 This masterpiece is a freestanding natural arch and is the most widely recognized landmark in Arches NP. Delicate Arch was first known as "The Chaps". 

Delicate Arch hike is rated a strenuous hike in the park's brochure. It is a 3 mile in and out hike which includes a steep incline on slickrock. 
 The parking lot is in the middle/right side...
Happy trails!
Coming up next is part 3... the biggest adventure of all...flying!


  1. The view was awesome but I still couldn't drive up there! Thanks for letting us share you experience.

  2. Some of the photos today look like you are at the Grand Canyon!

    The marking on that dead tree look like petroglyphs!

    I just love the dramatic clouds we've all been getting with all these rain storms!

  3. Wow! Now that was a gorgeous trail drive. You were really up there. What a beautiful view:) I love the photo of Dee and her Jeep on the edge!

    How nice to have the girls day our on the trail. I am surprised that the park doesn't refer to the Double Arch as as Double Bridges if they were formed by water. Thanks for the info, I didn't know any of that. Delcate Arch is a beauty, for sure. I am just so amazed that it formed the way it did all alone up there. So glad the La Sal's still have snow for that through the arch photo:)

  4. Great view and fun Jeeping whats not to like about that ?

  5. Loved the pictures from the air. We will have to add that to our list of things to due next time we are in Moab.
    You are making me miss the road.