My Jimmer is awesome. My Jimmer loves to be outside. My Jimmer graduated high school in Utah - and yet he'd never seen Delicate Arch in person. Can you believe that? I mean, he's seen it on license plates. Ball caps? Check. All manner of unusual tourist paraphernalia in airport gift shops? Check. In person? Nope. So, the final stop on our little excursion was Arches National Park.
|Seriously. Whose child is this? She's such a ham.|
We camped in town (I may have told you this already) because the campground in Arches fills up within about 0.134 seconds after a vacancy appears. After our gallivanting around Canyonlands, we headed on the hike to Delicate. It's not a terribly difficult hike though the park labels it as "strenuous." The most difficult part about it is hiking across slickrock in the blazing sun. We solved that problem and hiked it at twilight. (But on a serious note: belive the park rangers and take lots of water. Just sayin'. You'll want it.)
Purrrrrr-fect. The walk is 1.5 miles each way and has a recommended travel time of 2-3 hours round trip. Sounds peachy, except we were hiking with a child and that always brings with it surprises. This day just happened to bring with it happy surprises. I had prepped Aeryn for the journey telling her that she'd need to help Jim get to the top and that since she'd already done this hike before we already know that she can do it - it's easy. She must have believed my brainwashing because at random times along the trail she'd say "Keep it up Jim! You can do it!" So cute, and he would have been able to hear her had we not been 15-20 feet behind him on the trail.
|The little spot is the moon. I confess I altered this pic to make it lighter. Don't hate.|
Even then, we made it to the top in a whopping 35 minutes (or something like that) which was killer fantastic. The sun was setting and it was hard to get good pictures but it was totally worth it. It is so beautiful up there. And yes, early June is much, much better than Labor Day weekend to visit Moab. Just in case that needs to be said.
|This pic is honest and raw - I didn't lighten it at all because I love the colors in the background.|
I love this pic, even though it's a different angle than typically seen and even though it's totally dark, and even though we look like we're about to fall out of the side of the picture. A nice gentleman at the top took this pic for us and was determined to get a decent one even though lighting was not on our side. It's schnazzy to see the other people in the image blurred from moving while the shutter was open. I just like it. Do I really have to explain why?
The flash made it so we can be seen, but not much else. There really is an arch back there. I promise.
And this is the point in the trip when we see ME hiking in flip flops. Though he is usually the flip-flop clad member of our little clan, he did not hike in them once. As many members of my family can attest, I more often than not wear flip flops on hikes in Moab (over the 20+ years we've been going there) and then find myself in a pickle slipping down the loose sand covered slickrock. In that we can look at me as the example of what not to do.
I'm so excited to get to spend the rest of my life doing this. BTW- the fiery furnace is behind us and I really really really really really like that hike. Take the guided tour so you don't get lost and parched in the desert sun, but seriously, take that hike.
Group shot at the base of balanced rock, though you can't see the balanced rock because it's far above our heads and cut out of the image. And so we end our vacation memoirs with this lesson learned: If we are ever asked to take a picture of people on vacation, hold the camera so they get themselves as well as the cool feature they were there to see.