52 States in 8 Months

The Arches National Park

Posted in Las Vegas to El Paso by Ulf on May 21, 2009

On March 27 we woke up in Moab, Utah. The origin of the city’s name is disputed, it might be the Moab from the bible or the mosquitoes (Moapa) from some Native American language. Anyway, we didn’t want to see Moab, we wanted to see the Arches National Park. It was an amazing place. We took more than 150 pictures, in little more than three hours, so that should give you an impression.

On our ride from Moab to the National park we discovered the Swiss alps. Don’t the mountains on the third picture remind you of the Toblerone advertisement? You wouldn’t have expected something like that in Utah, right?

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(We have to admit that Toblerone uses the Matterhorn and not these Utah mountains, but they still looked very Swiss to us!)

In the park we soon found our first arches, and we started taking pictures. That wouldn’t have had been necessary, since the arches got more and more enormous with every mile we went deeper into the park.

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The two first really impressive arches were the North Window and the South Window. We were almost the only tourists at that place, and we didn’t know why:
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I believe that Andi got really bored when I walked away from him to take this shot. I mean, I always went a bit further, checked how much I could capture with my lens, decided that I had to go a bit further away and so on ;-).

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The “masses” of tourists were at the Double Arches, another set of arches which were close to each other:
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It was astonishing. Both the arches itself, and the view which they offered after climbing up a little bit. Still, the most impressive arch was further in the center of the National Park… which required walking a mile or two through an — of course — impressive landscape:

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To shorten the story: We were about to see Utah’s state monument, the freestanding Delicate Arch. Geologists wonder why the bloody thing doesn’t fall apart. We however were happy that we could walk through it without going six feet under :-).

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I have to admit that the “we” was a rather non-constant number on this day. Andi didn’t join us at all (I’ll tell you about his shenanigans later on), and Paul got lost and only found his way to the Delicate Arch after a detour. In fact, he was coming from a direction where no other tourist was. I saw him for the first time after about half an hour when I took a picture of Matthias. Do you notice Paul on the left-hand side picture? I’m asking myself if he had already noticed us (and the Delicate Arch) at that time ;-).

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