Saturday, April 4, 2009

just one more day in Utah

Hello from Moab, Utah!

We arrived here after spending a day exploring Capitol Reef National Park earlier this week. Funny name, great park! It's not visited nearly as much as the other parks in Utah, it's kind of remote and out-of-the-way. But worth it!

It's a hidden gem, with a geology all its own. Kind of a combination of what we saw at Zion, Bryce Canyon and at The Painted Desert in Arizona (when we visited back in 1997) all in one. One of the most distinctive geologic features at CRNP was green sand ... yes, green! The iron in some of the sand that has eroded from the giant rock formations has undergone various stages of oxidation, and one of those stages imparts a unique green color to the soil, check it out:

When I asked about a Ranger geology talk at CRNP, I was disappointed to hear that they didn't have one scheduled for that day. But, it was my lucky day after all because one of the Rangers overheard me inquiring about it, and he just happened to be a geologist! So, I got my own personal Ranger talk, we chatted one-on-one for a while about the geology of the park, WOW! He was so enthusiastic about the subject ... I think he was as excited to chat as I was! A great memory for me.
As we continued east on our way to Moab, we took the long route so that we could visit Natural Bridges National Monument. Like CRNP, it's off the beaten path, so it doesn't get tons of visitors, but it was worth the effort. It literally has "natural bridges", that is, spans of rock that have been carved out by streams flowing underneath over geologic time. They're some of the world's largest natural land bridges, and are pretty spectacular! We took a hike to stand directly underneath Owachomo Bridge, the oldest one in the Monument:

And now we're here in the quaint town of Moab, our home base while visiting Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park. We spent Saturday exploring Canyonlands which, as the name implies, is a land of canyons! The weather wasn't the best, it had snowed about 4 inches overnight (the park is at a high elevation, ~ 7000 feet), and it was overcast and COLD (yes, I'm wearing a parka!, and check out the cute snowman that the park employees built, complete with a Ranger's hat!). But I'm glad that we went despite the weather, because we saw some unique canyon views (it was like a winter wonderland):
I also stopped at Moab's post office today to mail some of my scrapbooking "loot" home! Some of the delicate papers that I bought (you may recall that I visited NINE stores in SLC & Provo!) won't fit in my carry-on bag, nor do I want them (possibly) lost in our luggage. So, I'll have a package of goodies arriving at my doorstep after I get back! :-)

And I just HAD to stop at a rock shop that I saw down the road from our hotel. I found 3 specimens to add to my collection; one of them is Bixbyite, a unique black metallic cubic mineral found here in Utah. A great new treasure! Sal patiently waited while I browsed, thanks sweetheart!

We were too tired to begin exploring Arches today, plus the weather is supposed to be better (sunny and in the 50s) on Sunday, so instead we went back to our hotel room and took a nap! Ahh, we needed it! Although we've been pacing ourselves, it was a welcome break after doing lots of driving and hiking all week.

We'll spend all of Sunday exploring Arches NP before taking an overnight (red-eye) flight back to Florida out of SLC on Sunday night, and we'll arrive Monday morning. Hopefully, we'll be able to catch some zzz's on the plane! I'll post the details and pics of our time in Arches NP after we get home, I promise!

Thanks again for joining me for our journey around Utah. It has been so much fun to share it with you, and to hear that you've enjoyed it! As you can tell, we've really loved our visit to Utah. It was a whirlwind 2.5 weeks here in Utah, and it was great ... spending some time in Salt Lake City, learning more about the Mormon culture here, visiting one scrapbook store after another {picture me grinning}, trying snow skiing for the first time, being surrounded by magnificent geology in 5 national parks, finally visiting Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and taking in all of the natural and pristine beauty of this place.

Hope you'll stop by again soon to see Where In The World? I'm going next. (OK, I can't wait to tell you ... it's Orlando in May!)

Now, time for bed. We have a LONG (but great) day ahead tomorrow! :-) Can't wait to see Buddy & Aruba soon!

1 comment:

Momofboys said...

Wow another awesome journey!! And it must be so neat to go to these remote places where the scenes around you are just breath taking! I'm glad you and Sal had the opportunity to take this journey and I hope you had a great trip back home...I'm sure the dogs were very happy to see you!!