Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Arches, Dead Horse Point, and Newspaper Rock

We arrived in Moab on Friday afternoon and immediately drove to Arches National Park where we spent a couple of hours exploring the Devils Garden Area, the location of eight amazing arches.

This one is Landscape Arch, which is more than a football field in length.  

I had hoped to hike the "Primitive Loop" trail out to the Dark Angel, which is not an arch but a giant pillar.  I have a photograph of me at the base of this pillar taken when I hiked it with Ben in 1990.  

 I thought it would be cool to take a photo in a similar pose, but alas, it was not to be.  While I had the stamina for the hike, I no longer had the nerve required to navigate the "narrow ledges" and "rock scrambling" found on the hike.  

 Oh, well.  I told Ben to go on and finish the climb while I turned back to take a closer look at the other features of the area and take more photographs.

We spent the next morning at Dead Horse Point State Park.  This park is located across from Canyonlands and basically you stand at the edge of the canyon and look down on a point where the  Colorado River makes a turn at the bottom of the canyon.  The canyon walls are quite beautiful, as are the LaSal Mountains in the distance.  

There are ten miles of trails around the rim and we did about half of it, hiking over slick rock which was fun.  Several plants were flowering and the Juniper bushes were especially full of berries.

In the afternoon we made a three-hour round trip drive south to Newspaper Rock, petroglyph which features rock art "from cultures dealing 1500 years ago to this century."

The ride was beautiful, a nonstop feast for the eyes of gorgeous Southwestern scenery.

The rock was huge and the art was fascinating.  Apparently not much is known about who made which images and what they symbolize, but it was intriguing to try and read meaning into the pictures.  

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