Friday, June 29, 2012

Rock Voyeur: Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

A visit to Utah is, for a midwesterner, almost like visiting another planet. In fact, the first two times I was taken into the state I was, at twelve years old, suspicious that Uncle John had somehow found a way to get me out of the country or even out of this world.

Such is the adjustment from dense green forests, rolling corn and bean fields, and endless stretches of flat, pre-sewn dirt to mundane arid plateaus, deep and wide canyons, colorful jutting rock relicts, seemingly implausible rock formations, and gravity defying rock arches.

While making my journey from northern Wyoming to isolated Lake City in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, I was able to squeeze in a couple of agonizingly quick drive-throughs of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. I reached Arches just before a sunset and then followed up with a morning visit to Canyonlands.

Yes, I am getting my money's worth from that Annual National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass that I purchased at the Badlands. To date, I have visited five national parks and three national monuments. And, I have eleven more months to use the card!! More visits are on the horizon.

Here are a few of the photos I took while visiting Arches and Canyonlands. While I have spent sufficient time running, yes running, around Arches to consider myself quite familiar with the topography and features, I know that I will not be satisfied until I spend some quality time running and riding through the lower valleys and box canyons of Canyonlands. I already want to return there. Perhaps I can run one of the scenic and challenging road or trail runs near Moab someday.

Suset at Arches NP.










"Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an inner tube; there are some things one would rather have done than do." - Edward Abbey
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