Weather has been fabulous...we're so lucky. Went to Arches National Park and had a really hard time leaving. It's one of those magical places in the world, especially with so few tourists visiting during the late fall. Having stayed in nearby Moab, Utah, we were able to get there quite early. The sky was crystal clear, and we definitely need our toques, gloves and down jackets. We did several short hikes which added up since the elevation was between 3900 and 5800 feet. One of the hikes we took was led by a young volunteer and his theme was survival of the park. This is a place whose survival is in our hands. These parks are such a treasure. This is a place I want to go back to...
Down the road in another canyon cut by this lovely sedate river, we discovered some amazing petroglyphs. There were dozens of panels that stretched about 125 feet along a rock face. I'm including one of the panels.
We left these amazing petroglyphs just as the sun was setting and drove some long hours through two mountain passes that had me white knuckling the steering wheel so that we could be close to Zion National Park the next morning. It was worth the drive even though it was probably the most developed of the parks we'd been to, complete with shuttle busses. See for yourself.
The road out of Zion to Bryce is seriously scary with 1000 foot drops and no rail guards and a series of tunnels blasted through the sandstone during the depression. One of the tunnels was over a mile long.
We stayed just outside of Bryce National Park that night and it's a good thing we did. Although we woke up to sunny clear skies, by 2 pm, the first snow storm of the season hit. The altitude made for hard hiking. We started out at 6500 feet and topped out at 9100 feet. The last time I was there (30 years ago) I hiked the entire way up to Rainbow Ridge, but this time, we drove most of the way. Still, it was beautiful.
At least Bickleton is getting a new school out of the deal, although not much else seems to have changed there in the last fifty years.
We've only a few days left before crossing the border and taking the ferry home. It's been a wonderful adventure. Glad to have shared a little of it with you...