Sep 09

Final Trip Report – Moab, Utah

Here’s the final leg of our summer vacation (already a month ago!).

We arrived in Moab after dark and got settled into our condo to rest up for a couple of busy days! I woke up on Tuesday morning and stepped out on our patio to be greeted with this beautiful scenery.

I’m mildly obsessed with red rocks (strange, I know). It was my idea to venture to Utah’s “red rock wonderland” so I could be surrounded by them. 🙂

Our rental condo was a little outside of the actual town of Moab, but still a great location. It was nice, clean, and huge! Although it had a second level with 2 bedrooms, a sitting area, and a bathroom, we only used the main level, which included a huge master suite, living room, dining room, kitchen, extra bathroom, and laundry room. We also enjoyed a nice fenced patio with a grill. A pool and hot tub and tennis/basketball courts were also on the property.

For lunch on our first day in Moab, we checked out Milt’s Stop & Eat for lunch. Milt’s is a classic diner that is kind of a hidden gem of Moab. We bellied up to the counter and devoured some delicious burgers and milk shakes. It was a fun little place.

Later that evening, we headed to Canyonlands National Park. We were able to catch about an hour of daylight before watching the sun set over Mesa Arch. The lighting during the hike back to the car was so beautiful, and the park was just about empty, so the silence was peaceful. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to visit other areas of the park because we just ran out of time. I guess we’ll have to go back some day!

The next day we got up early to take in some of the sights at Arches National Park. Certain arches are better lit in the morning, others in the evening. To get to most of the arches, a short hike is required. Ryle LOVED hanging out in the backpack carrier (carried by me because of Steve’s extreme sun burn). We got several comments about how happy she looked. 🙂

The first arch we hiked to was Double Arch, aptly named because there are two arches.

The next stop ended up being our favorite, Sand Dune Arch. It was here where we learned that Rylie could sit up on her own!

Then we quickly learned that she could only do this for a short time. Unfortunately, this was the last picture I took with my camera until it swallowed half the sand in the place. After about an hour of smacking the sand out of the lens (ouch!) and other crevices, it finally started working again, but it definitely needs a good cleaning.

I thought this was a neat example of a sort of modern-day hieroglyphics, even though I suppose it would technically be considered vandalism.

As we were climbing around the rocks, I lost Steve for a few minutes. Apparently he hadn’t lost me, however. Look closely!

More from Sand Dune Arch…

The next stop was nearby Broken Arch.

Our little safari queen. 🙂

On the way out of the park, we stopped for a quick look at Park Avenue (these tall, thin red rock “fins” are named for the resemblance to Manhattan’s Park Avenue).

Before heading back to Moab, we took a scenic drive down Potash Road at the suggestion of a local. This is a road that goes along the Colorado River and ends at the Moab Potash plant. Along the way we checked out some ancient petroglyphs (very cool!), Jug Handle Arch, and even some dinosaur tracks.

[Click to enlarge]

We had thought about biking the road, but decided we were perfectly comfortable in our air conditioned car instead of melting in the 100+ degree desert heat.

To beat the heat, we headed back to the condo to take a swim in the pool. As you can see, Rylie took full advantage of this lounging opportunity.

That evening, we headed back to Arches to see sunset at Delicate Arch (this is the iconic arch that is on many Utah travel literature and also on the Utah license plates). Unfortunately, the hike to the arch itself was categorized as difficult, and not for babies. 🙂 We were able to catch a nice view from a lookout point farther away.

Such a little trooper!

The only thing I regret about the Arches trip is that we didn’t get a chance to see Landscape Arch. This is one of the arches most in danger of collapsing. We’ll definitely have to go back when everyone in the family is able to take some of the more difficult hikes.

Overall, our entire vacation was fantastic! I loved being able to check a few more places of my travel list. I think people sometimes forget that the good old U.S. of A. has some amazing places to see!

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