After leaving Four Corners, we stayed the night at a fairly rundown Travel Lodge in Cortez, CO. and set out in a blizzard on Christmas morning en route to Utah. While Ashlyn drove (carefully), I texted with @rinaflies who informed us that we were clearly on the wrong side of the mountains because Denver was sunny and beautiful.
The view from the car window - this was during a calm period. I also spent time desperately searching for any place that might serve us coffee on Christmas. The answer to that question is: No places.
We finally found a quik-mart in Dove Creek, CO that had cans of Starbucks espresso. And also, this popcorn cake. We did not buy it, only documented for posterity.
Driving past Church Rock.
Driving past Wilson Arch, which turned into me yelling and Ashlyn swerving off into the snow so I could take this photo. Thank you for not killing us, Cakes.
Our initial plan had been to visit Canyonlands, but finding a place to stay anywhere in the vicinity proved exceedingly difficult. Whether it was because we were going to be in this area specifically on Christmas Day or whether it's always like that, I'm not sure, but we wound up deciding to drive up to Moab and visit Arches instead, spending the night in (what turned out to be) an adorable Best Western Plus.
Also found in Moab: A place that was actually open and serving coffee on Christmas. Moab Coffee Roasters serves excellent blends of coffees and teas, and their iced coffees come with ice cubes MADE OF COFFEE. #blessed #ChanukahMiracle We visited twice and the staff (and owner!) were super friendly and helpful. I highly recommend this spot if you're in Moab.
On our way to Arches!
First stop after the park entrance - there's an easily scaled rock slope to get nice shots of the fault line. I'm standing standing on it in a few of these shots.
Arches Scenic Drive
There's one main road in and out of the park. It veers out onto many offshoots and overlooks, and it's hard not to stop and get out pretty much constantly. Scenic Drive is putting it mildly.
At Park Avenue
Entrance to the Park Avenue trailhead.
Not gonna lie: I probably could have spent a full day just photographing this dead Juniper tree.
La Sal Mountain Overlook
I Facetimed my friend Sarah, my mom, and @rinaflies from here to show them the view, because just look at it.
Although it looks like a precarious perch from this angle, a walk about shows a far less skimpy connection. Probably still pretty precarious, though.
True Facts: I spent 20 minutes taking this photo while Ashlyn went to find a hole in the ground toilet.
Just like the name says, this panoramic overlook provides a spanning view of La Sal Mountain and the Salt Valley, as well as some of the park's landmarks.
That other angle, from Panorama Point.
We didn't hike all the way out to the Arch itself, but did venture up to Upper Delicate Arch View Point just to see it.
Will have to go back some day to do the real thing.
We walked out to the Fiery Furnace viewpoint and had some pretty great light moving over the Sandstone canyons.
The fins outside Sandstone Arch are just as lovely as the walls lining the trail. It's an easy hike, though some ice patches outside were tricky.
We made it up to this Arch just in time for Golden Hour. There is no bad light in this park, but that gold light was a bonus.
Our last stop before exiting was a drive through the Windows section. We walked up to North and South Window, as well as Turret Arch.
Sometimes it's hard to understand the scale of these things in photographs. There's a man in yellow in the next shot. Kind of helps.
Double Arch and some other formations across the way.
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