Friday, July 1, 2022
Karen, Josh and Melissa flew into Grand Junction, Colorado, about an hour and a half from Moab. Their flights were on time and without a hitch. We stopped for lunch at Qdoba, which was very good.
First driving west on I70, we turned SW on 129, which follows the great Colorado River through a beautiful canyon. We stopped several times for pictures and stopped at Sandy Beach and stood in the water. Melissa did one better. She went all the way in, then laid on the hot sand making sand angels.
There is a very pretty Lion’s Park and bike trail that extends 3 miles upriver from Moab. It also goes up to the entrance of Arches National Park and into and through the town of Moab. It is a great place for walkers, runners and bike riders.
Saturday, July 2, 2022
We got up at 4:10, and left at 4:30 in order to see sunrise at Delicate Arch. We had headlights, thinking we would be walking in the dark, but there was a pre-dawn light, so we really didn’t need the lights. Why so early? Martha and I had taken this hike a few days ago, and I will never forget passing a pretty girl carrying a camera. I asked if it was still there, and she said, “Yes, but the sunrise isn’t.” We were determined to catch the sunrise this time. This is an easy hike for Karen and the kids, but not so much for us, but we made it for sunrise 😊.
It is only a mile and a half hike, for a three-mile round trip, but it is an up-hill climb that is quite strenuous. It is a beautiful hike, finishing along a ledge with steep drop-off. Since we had done this before, I brought the 70-200mm lens. While Karen and the kids climbed to a high spot to see the sunrise, I was taking pictures of the arch when a voice with a heavy accent asked, “Can I see what you are taking?” I turned to show my last picture. He was interested in the lens and settings, and was a handsome young man from Ukraine. There were six or seven of them in a group. I asked him how things were in his country. He said, “The 21st century is crazy.” A perfect description I thought. I’m not sure what the story was, but they were having a big time.
As we sat watching the sun rise, making all kinds of light changes on the arch and surrounding cliffs, more and more people came up the mountain. They came speaking all kinds of different languages. Everyone wanted pictures under the arch. I was surprised how courteous they were, waiting their turn, then being pretty efficient in getting their pictures and getting out of the way.
The hike back down is easier, and we could look at the beautiful surrounding mountains. Again, we took the side trail to some of the best petroglyphs I have seen. Although a bit difficult, we would rate this hike at the top of our list. The arch is beautiful; the surrounding mountains are spectacular; the hike up a huge rock hill is cool, then walking along a cliff edge is cool, but an important part was unexpected. The people from all over the world, speaking different languages, small children, all with courtesy and respect. They took their shots under the arch, then got out of the way for the next group. Across the valley, Martha spotted another group viewing the arch from behind, perhaps with the sunrise showing through the arch. Cool!