Sunday, March 6, 2011

Arches and I Don't Mean Golden

posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy

A few months ago, the DH and I took a little jaunt to celebrate our anniversary. This time around we stayed pretty close to home, only a few states away. We went to Arches National Park near Moab, Utah and close to the Utah/Colorado border.

As anyone who knows Aunty will attest, she is NOT an outdoorsy type. But the sights at Arches were just too spectacular to view strictly from the car window. Within an hour of our arrival in the park, I actually found myself doing something I literally had not done in years --HIKING! But there was just no other way to see these fabulous rock formations, which are unlike anything I've ever seen anywhere else.

Here are a few of my piccies so you can see what I mean:

The Windows

One of the most famous formations in Arches National Park. Individually they are the South Window (on the left in this picture) and the North Window. They, and all the other fantastic rock formations in the park are the result of wind and water erosion over hundreds of thousands of years.

To put the size of the Windows into perspective, here's the DH (all 6 feet 5 inches or 1.97 meters of him) standing in the middle of the South Window.

I'm standing about 100 yards down the hill so that I can fit the whole thing in. And yes, it was a stunning day, as evidenced by the clouds and blue sky behind the South Window.

Delicate Arch

Probably the most photographed and therefore the most famous of all the formations in Arches is this one. Also called "Bloomers" or "Cowboy Chaps" for obvious reasons. I viewed it from a very long distance and let the DH hike the extremely steep three mile trail for a closer look.

Delicate Arch stands 52 feet (or 16 meters) tall, and sits all by itself on the edge of a rocky plateau in the absolute middle of nowhere. This photo does not do the bright red and orange coloring of the arch justice. It is absolutely striking (even through binoculars down in the parking lot)!

Landscape Arch

This is the longest arch in the park, and I'll have to take DH's word that this is it. Once again, I stayed behind and read a book while he make the arduous hike through the Devil's Garden to view this arch and the other formations. It does look like the other pictures I've seen of it, so I guess I can trust his word that this is the genuine article.

One of the rangers told us that ten or fifteen years ago, a piece of rock cracked and fell from the center of Landscape Arch. Luckily it happened at a time when very few tourists were around and nobody was hurt!

The Three Gossips

Finally, a formation that is not an arch. The guide book described these gigantic pillars that look like over-sized human figures as the Three Gossips. I personally thought they resembled the Three Wise Men of New Testament fame. Or perhaps three ancient Egyptian dieties.

The park is full of pillar type formations. Some of them were undoubtedly arches whose middles collapsed. Other formations look like giant ships or castles. I won't bore you with any more of my less-than stellar photos. If you check Google Images, you'll see many fabulous ones.

Better yet, take a trip to Arches National Park yourself. Aunty guarantees you won't regret it!

When you travel, what is your favorite destination? City or great outdoors? Foreign or domestic? Same place different day or some place entirely new?


Helen said...

Is he coming to my place

Have Fun

Helen said...

Well it looks like the GR is coming to work with me today this should make an interesting day LOL

Aunty Cindy

I do so love the pictures it looks like a lovely place to visit althogh as for the hiking I don't think I could do that anymore we used to go up to The Blue Mountains here in NSW whwn we were a lot younger and take some really nice walks through the area and we have a rock formation there that is called The Three Sisters that is similar to the Three Gossips these days we would have to take pictures from the lookouts LOL.

One day I am sure we will get to do some travelling but for the moment we do enjoy a drive to some really nice places that are fairly close to home and don't involve too much walking

Have Fun

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Helen!
YES! Put the GR to WORK! He needs the exercise AND the discipline. ;-)

The one time I was in Oz, we did go to the Blue Mtns. AND we saw the Three Sisters. FABULOUS!!! Somewhere in my mass of pictures, I have some photos of two rock climbers scaling the sheer side of one of the "Sisters." Fun to watch but NO WAY I'd ever try it (even when I was younger)!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Sorry, everyone, we had some "scheduling difficulties" with the blog this weekend. VA jumped in yesterday and I filled in today.

Hope you are all having a GREAT weekend!


Helen said...

There is no way I would ever scale a rock either just way too much for me LOL

The Blue Mountains is such a beautful area lots to see and do lots of walks for the strong and not so fit people lots of lookouts they also have an area where you can catch a train down and I mean almost straight down to another area and they have the skyway that goes accross the top of the mountains I did go on that once and was so scared I don't think I could ever do it again LOL

Have Fun

TerriOsburn said...

I love to look at the outdoors, walk through forests in nice weather with a warm breeze blowing. But my knees just aren't up to miles and miles of hiking. In recent years, the only traveling I've done is to the RWA Nationals conferences. So far, I've seen cities and sites I'd either never seen or not seen in many, many years.

I've never been to New York City, so I'm quite excited about the trip this summer. My goal, however, is to get to Europe. *sigh* Someday.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

We went on that little train. ACK!!! It was almost STRAIGHT DOWN! Glad I hadn't eaten recently. :-P

Believe me, that 1.1 mile walk to the Windows just about did me in. But it was worth it.


Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb said...

When I was a kid, our family vacations included either jaunts around Iowa or trips to the Colorado Rockies. One photo I have is of my sisters holding snowballs and my mom and me holding small bouquets of buttercups on top of a mountain peak in June.

I loved visiting Denmark, my grandfather's homeland, when I was 25. I would go back in a heartbeat if I had the money to do so.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Terrio!

Actually RWA Nationals is a great opportunity to see some fabulous cities. I was happy to be able to show you Pier 39 and the sea lions in San Francisco. Wish we could have waited in the line for the cable cars coz Chinatown is a real experience. But we had workshops to attend. :-) Maybe next time...

You are gonna LOVE NYC! It's one of my fave cities in the world and my ideal vacation. I go to museums all day and Broadway all night when I visit there!


Deb said...

P.S. My husband and I would like to take our daughter to Disneyland or the Colorado Rockies some day.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Forgot to mention Europe.

Look for some GOOD DEALS, especially in the fall, Terri. If you can arrange for you and Kiddo to take a week or 10 days, you might be able to hook up a cheap deal to London or Paris, or maybe Dublin. I'll let you know if I see any.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Deb,
This trip to Arches included a drive into the Rockies. I'd never really been before and they were so breath-taking... LITERALLY! I get short of breath when I get above about 8,000 feet. YIKES!


BJ said...

Have fun with him Helen :0)

Aunty Cindy the pics are awesome...I'm so gonna have to go (but I have to keep the hubby's jeep away...LOL Moab + Jeep= no good)

I'm a total OUTDOOR person... I love to take pictures so bring it on. I think since I worked for the airlines for so freaking long and being stuck in big cities like Chicago and Denver I really rather be out in the moutians, the plains, anywhere eles...I'm a water sign...give me the sea for Heaven's sake!....LOL
I get out and I don't want to go back....Maybe I was born in the wrong time or something.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I haven't been to Disneyland in YEARS! It has become waaay too expensive, IMO. I actually liked Epcot in Florida better, but I'm sure your daughter would NOT agree. ;-)


catslady said...

We don't travel much any more but when first married we took as many vacations as we could. I loved them all. The cruise was my favorite but we did Europe and I loved the history. We've done Vegas and amusement parks and Florida and more and I've loved them all.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I have to agree Moab + DH in Jeep could = TROUBLE! ;-)

Being near the ocean is my absolute FAVE! Not that I go in the water... TOO COLD here in California! Too dirty in some other places I could name... But Florida and Hawaii are GREAT! The water is pretty and WARM. But mostly I just love the sound and smell of the ocean. Perhaps I was a sea creature in another life...


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Catslady,

You are "preaching to the choir" here about cruising! LOL! I am totally SOLD on them. :-)

I haven't been to Vegas in a couple of years but last time I was there, I told the DH a person doesn't need to go anywhere else. You have an Egyptian pyramid, a medieval European castle, New York City, the Eiffel Tower, Venetian canals... YOU NAME IT!


Louisa Cornell said...

Helen, good on you! Make him behave!

I am a castles, stately homes, museums kind of gal although it has been years since I've been able to do that sort of thing.

My vacations in recent years have been RWA conferences. Saw some great Regency era homes in DC when I attended the conference there.

I do, however, love the outdoors and I would love to see those lovely sites in your photos. I might even be up for the hikes to see them up close and personal. And it is my life's ambition to see Australia one day.

Daz said...

Dear Aunty, those arches look simply magnificent, and since my boy and I love hiking, we might take the arches in one day. Thanks for sharing.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Louisa!

I absolutely LOVE seeing how people actually lived so looking at homes and museum displays of period clothes and furnishings fascinate me. The DH, not so much! :-P

My only trip to Oz was only 13 days... not nearly long enough! I'm itching to go back someday soon, esp. since I now have buddies to visit while I'm there.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

I swear you won't be disappointed if you visit Arches! It is unlike anything I've ever seen.

It is rather out-of-the-way but well worth the drive. I recommend you avoid the crowded summer months if at all possible because accommodations are scarce and can be expensive.


Anna Sugden said...

Oh AC - The Arches was one of our favourite trips while we were in the US. Truly spectacular!

Our trip there included a stay in a wonderful ranch on the Colorado River, a drive through to The Four Corners, Monument Valley, through Zion, to Lake Powell and on to Las Vegas. Truly fantastic.

We certainly use our trips to RWA Nationals to see different parts of the US (and hockey games, following our beloved Devils, too *g*). Still wish we could have made last year's trip to Nashville and Memphis.

Totally looking forward to our trip to Australia later this summer!

TerriOsburn said...

Thanks, AC! For the sight-seeing in San Fran and for the tips on Europe. Kiddo and I talk about it all the time. I can't decide which will be better, seeing all the places I've dreamed about, or watching her face as she takes it all in.

Anna Sugden said...

Meant to say that we use the trips following our Devils to see parts of the US and Canada - Toronto, Ottawa and Denver, so far. We had planned to do a trip to Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, but our move home interfered. Maybe we'll combine ur trip to Nashville with some hockey too *g*.

Suzanne Ferrell said...

What great pics, AC!

I've never been to that park, but love your arches!! Amazing how small thinks like wind and water can have such an effect on such large hard objects, isn't it?

Thanks for sharing with us!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous photos!

I'm a beach girl myself so give me some sun, a nice beach and my Kindle and I'm all set.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Thanx VA!

The Four Corners and Monument Valley are on my Must Be See list. Loved Zion and Lake Powell. They used to let you tour INSIDE Hoover Dam (don't think they have since 9-11) and that was truly fascinating.

I know you are gonna LOVE your trip to Oz later this year.


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

You will both LURVE IT! No matter where you end up in Europe, you'll have a fantastic time!


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

It is truly amazing! At one point in geologic time, the area was a large sea. And the wind is still changing the appearance of the place. Who knows what it will look like in a couple thousand more years! ;-)


Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi d7,

As I told BJ, I must have been a sea creature in another life, because I love the beach too.

Thanks for stopping by today,


hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Congrats on the GR Helen, he was fairly well behaved at my house yesterday but that might have something to do with 3 cats in residence.

I am not a big traveler, the most I do is for fishing spots and a lot of the time it is the same place. Hoping to get further abroad to some fishing spots this year.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hey Dianna,
Good for you and your cats! Glad to hear you kept the GR in line yesterday.

Nothing wrong with finding lovely spots close to home. There are plenty here in NorCal, but ya know Aunty has those itchy feet and I just gotta wander...


Tracey Devlyn said...

Amazing pictures, Aunty! Arches is on my bucket list. There are so many places in the southwest that I want to visit.

I love visiting natural wonders--anything that dazzles the eye. However, when we went to England a few years ago, my husband and I spent quite a bit of time roaming ancient manmade structures.

I suppose I'm not much of a city girl, but I do like to head into Chicago a couple times a year to enjoy the museums and theaters. Such a treat to have so close to home.

Anonymous said...

We love to travel. National Parks are often our destination. We focus on history and nature on most of our trips. Tourist destinations like Myrtle Beach and Daytona Beach don't really appeal. If I am going to spend time out, I want to learn something and go to a place a bit different from home.
We visited many of the western parks and monuments when we lived out West and have traveled back several times since. Arches is still on our list to see.
We leave for New Orleans the end of this week. It is a city full of history and I have wanted to go there for years. The city has such a rich history. We will enjoy a little of the jazz scene, but the plantations, the historic district, museums, cemeteries, ghost tours are all calling to me.
Banff and Glacier are calling for next year. Scotland, Ireland and England are high on our wish list, but don't know when we'll be able to manage them. When we do go, we want to spend as long as possible, at least a month.

Kim in Hawaii said...

Aloha, Aunty Cindy! My first choice would be foreign castles (preferably in the British Isles) but there is so much see in the world! My family is not that outdoorsy, either, but we live in Hawaii. No castles to be found. The Big Island offers some ancient monuments but most of Hawaii is its spirit with the land and sea (i.e., hiking, swimming, surfing, etc).

I extend the welcome mat to the Bandits, Cabana Boys, and readers to visit us in Hawaii!

jo robertson said...

Great post, Aunty Cindy.


I want to go back soooooo much.

Yay, Helen, WTG!