Jul. 22nd, 2008

Driving Home )

We visited our last two parks in Utah on Monday -- Canyonlands and Arches, each of which is best know for precisely what its name suggests, though both also contain many other amazing features -- a meteor crater, a salt valley, an "island in the sky" accessible only via a narrow strip of land called The Neck. We woke up to see rabbits and lizards right behind our cabin, ate breakfast and drove to Canyonlands, which in addition to its Upheaval Dome and enormous canyons boasts both a view of the Rocky Mountains and some wonderful rock formations with names like Whale Rock and the Monitor & Merrimac (all of which really do look like their namesakes).

We had a picnic in Canyonlands, then drove to Arches, which has even more amazing rock structures (the Three Penguins, the Sheep, Balanced Rock) has lots of caves, including the ones from the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as well as Fragile Arch, Pothole Arch, Double Arch, Broken Arch, Sand Dune Arch, Skyline Arch and many more. It wasn't nearly as hot as the day before -- at least, there was a nice breeze blowing on the hilltops -- and it was much more pleasant to take little hikes to see various features.


Canyonlands and Arches )


Before heading back to the campground, we stopped in Moab at two fossil and crystal stores, where younger son acquired an ancient extinct shark's tooth. Then, while Paul took the kids for ice cream, I went into Lost River Trading Company and bought a salt-dyed dress and a silver snake ring. Back at the campground, Paul made salmon cakes for dinner and the kids toasted marshmallows. We could see Jupiter in the sky before the gorgeous pink-and-orange sunset over the mountains. Tuesday we head across the Rockies past Denver -- a long driving day again!

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