It was a dark and stormy night. Yesterday it was quite cold, very windy and rained most of the day and night. We just stayed in the RV, nice and warm and read books. Later we thought about it and said that maybe we should have just taken a drive through the park to see what it looked like in a storm. It was not a thunderstorm though.
This morning we were back to sunshine but it was still a bit cool. The wind however made it quite cold. At our first stop everyone was putting on heavier jackets and hat. I almost put on my winter jacket. I am glad I didn’t because when you were out of the wind it was quite pleasant.
Today we went back to do several short hikes Arches National Park, first to an area called The Windows where there are, of course, several arches. It was quite busy. We got one of the few parking spots left. There was a tour bus here as well.
First was Turret Arch in this outcrop off by itself.
We always try to climb into the arch if we can to give the picture a sense of scale. First Jennie.
Next was the North Window.
Jennie got asked to take a bunch of picture for these people.
On to the South Window. You couldn’t easily climb up into this one. It looked possible but risky and not worth it.
Of course I tried to get a close as I could.
Looking back at Jennie and others.
A trail continued around behind the windows.
Behind us it almost looked like it was raining off in the distance.
Then we went through this gap back to the front.
We had lunch back in the car at the parking lot because the wind was still making it too cold to eat outside.
Another trail from the same lot led to the Double Arch.
Jennie thought this looked like a loin.
Beside the trail were a group of large rocks called the Parade of Elephants. There were others but the pictures didn’t turn out.
Up to the top I go.
It was a narrow ledge and there was so much wind coming through the arch I thought it best to sit down to enjoy the view.
Looking back down at Jennie, center bottom. The wall with The Windows is in the background.
Next to the arches was an interesting cave of very fractured rock.
Again I tried to climb up but reached a point where I thought better of it.
Behind the Double Arch was a semi circular valley called the Cove of Caves. I drove back down the road a bit and parked in a small pullout. There is no official trail but I had read in other blogs about people climbing up to them and we saw lots of footprints. We stayed on the rocks and in the washes so as to not damage any of the plants and soil.
We climbed up to the wall and worked our way around from right to left.
The right side was the back of the Double Arch.
One cave had what looked like crystallized salt up at the top.
I got part way up into this huge cave.
On the left was a bit of an optical illusion. When we first saw it from the road, we both thought this was just a cave where a giant rock had fallen from the roof.
In reality it is just an arch and the wall behind it was so bright that it looked like it was in front.
Looking back towards Double Arch.
Heading back to the road and car.
Our final stop was back down the main park road towards the entrance. In retrospect we should have done this trail another day because by the end we were really tired.
This area is called Park Avenue because of the line of tall thin rocks that look like skyscrapers.
There is a downhill trail that runs for about a mile along the valley. We did about 2/3 of it and the turned around to climb back up.
An Egyptian lady.
We walked along this wide creek bed that would have been fun to see, but not walk in, yesterday with all the rain.
It had lots of interesting patterns.
The Three Gossips.
We thought this looked like a giant foot.
We did a quick bit of grocery shopping and then back home.