Monday 3rd. ( problems with internet in Navajo lands. pictures may be iffy)
We manage to meet our lovely host Sam. He is literally a giant of a man standing at over 6’10 and in possession of a booming voice and an infectious laugh. It transpires that the first folk we stayed with in Boulder Nevada were literally his neighbours. In fact he bought the house that they wanted. They had not seen each other for several years and I hope we might have put them back in touch as they had been quite close neighbours.There has been a strong wind overnight and the morning is forecast rain so we do a few catching up chores and chill for most of the morning before setting off to the Arches National Park as the day brightens.
A short tour of Moab and a visit to the library to book our train tickets for Durango leaves us impressed. A relatively small town of just over 5,000 people has a remarkably resourced library. Currently it is running a ‘ Freedom to Read ‘ campaign and has a display of the many books that have been banned over the years. They allow us free use of the phone to make our reservation and are most helpful as we have found all Americans to be thus far.
Our tour of Arches National Park only scratches the surface of this remarkable place. It has thousands of natural stone Arches within its boundaries and we will only have the time to see a few.
The road rises from the entrance and suddenly the nature of the Park becomes evident in the first rock formations at Park Avenue. The redness of the rocks strikes home. The shapes of the rocks make the imagination work overtime and it is easy to see why the original people revered them as the incarnation of animals and people. It is as though a giant has been playing with clay and sliced and moulded it.
The rock is constantly moving and eroding. In places huge rocks the size of a block of flats seem to defy gravity as they balance on an eroding sub soil. It can only be a short time before they tumble. Marilyn tries to do her bit to keep one such huge rock in place for a few more minutes at least.
We visit the Double Arch and have a picnic lunch beneath it.
Some of the massive rocks keeping it suspended look ready to fall upon the folk eating obliviously underneath. Thankfully they stay intact while we nosh our peanut butter sandwiches and move off to the North and South Windows and the Turret Arch, returning via a trail that takes us away from the main drag and behind some of the rock formations.
A slight disappointment is our choice to see the famous Delicate Arch from a distance rather than make the four mile walk to get up close. After a relatively short walk but a fairly steep climb we get to see the phenomenon as a tiny form on a distant horizon.
We travel the road to its end at Devils Garden via Fiery Furnace, a labyrinth of narrow canyons and rock fins that can only be entered with a parlk ranger such are the dangers of getting lost.
We return to our Airbnb where we are able to cook a simple meal and spend time chatting with our lovely host.
Tomorrow we hit the road for Colorado and the hill town of Durango.