Arches National Park!

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When Mike and I spent a month in Spain in 2003, we planned an itinerary not dissimilar to our current road trip, meaning a few single-night stays in between more substantial visits to larger venues. In every case we wished that we had been able to spend more time in each of the single-night venues. Sos del Rey Catolico, Fuente de, Lekeitio, Bordeaux (I know, that’s in France): all places where we stayed only 1 night. Each of those places were worth more than a glance.

That’s how we felt about our one-night stay at Red Cliffs Lodge just outside of Arches National Park in Moab, UT. We stayed in a cabin on the Colorado River, and we enjoyed a lovely dinner, a beautiful sunset, a walk on the grounds, and time to plan our one hike the next day.

Mike and I are early risers, thank goodness, and we managed to get our tired butts out of bed, get showered and dressed, get the car packed, and make it on the road by 6:00 AM. I was a little apprehensive about the hike up the Delicate Arch trail; it was double the distance of Cathedral Rock in Sedona. And that hike kicked my butt. Turns out this one was a piece of cake, although we were grateful that we decided to start early given the 100+ degree weather in the forecast.

Our photos don’t do the majesty of this park justice. There was ridiculous beauty at every turn. We did follow our friends’ advice to bring plenty of water. I typically use trekking poles, more for the downhill than the ascension. I definitely didn’t need them. Next time ~ because there will be a next time ~ we plan to spend at least 5 nights at Red Cliffs Lodge, and we’ll start the Delicate Arch trail before dawn, with headlamps if necessary. We’ll do more of the hikes in Arches and in Canyonlands, probably in the morning, and do water activities (white water rafting, boat trips) on the river and maybe even horseback riding in the afternoons and evenings.

Back on the road, we arrived in Park City, UT in time for lunch at 501 Main (NOT a Mexican restaurant!), and we’re happily relaxing in a wonderful condo at Empire Pass in Deer Valley. Mike picked up soups, salads and sandwiches for dinner at a cute take-out café down the street so that we could just chill for the first time in a week. Looking forward to a few days of downtime!

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