Utah, land of the arches and cliffs. I like Utah just as much as Colorado as far as the landscape and hiking goes. I hiked Arches National Park this morning, doing the 4 mile trip to the Delicate Arch, the staple of all that is Utah. I had a great conversation with a German guy about how sad it is that someday the Arches will be gone. This one especially, fitting the name “Delicate Arch,” could be gone any day…or it could last another 1000 years. The point is you should go visit it while you can. Along the hike to the arch…well, the wrong hike to the arch actually…I found a geocache. It was an old wipes container that said “OPEN ME” so of course I did. I was happy to find a deck of cards, not a human appendage, saying to post on Instagram a picture of you with the card you got. Pretty cool way to connect with random people that also found the cards. In the beginning of the hike are petroglyphs dating back to 1600AD and an old ranch from the late 1800s. I was in awe of the beauty and history of Arches.
Next I made my way over to Canyonland National Park. Oh, and I bought an annual National Parks Pass, so I’m legit now. This park is huuuuuge! Arches had about 20 miles of roads, which I thought was a lot. Canyonland has over 300 miles of park! I couldn’t remember why I wanted to go to this park, so I stopped at a visitor center and a gal gave me a map and recommended five different places. Naturally, I decided to go to all of them. The first place I went was right across the street, where there was a steep canyon with a beautiful panoramic view. I stuck my feet over the edge of it, because I’m scared of accidentally falling over the edge. It makes sense to me. Conquering fears!
Mesa Arch was my next stop. It’s a much, much smaller arch than any of those at Arches, but it has a beautiful backdrop. I extended the 1 mile hike by a ways with some extra exploring, then headed over to the Aztec Butte. That’s right, I TOUCHED THE BUTT(E). Climbed it actually. The Butte was used by the Pueblo people centuries ago for storing their food and supplies. It has a view of miles and miles around it, so I imagine it was also a great lookout area as well. On top of the giant butte was an archeological site, the remains of a shelter that was used by the Pueblo for food storage.
My next stop was a place I don’t remember the name of, but it’s a giant crater. I didn’t read the informational signs because of time (sunset was soon), so I’m not sure why it’s there. I kept watch for aliens just in case though. After checking it out I raced over to a lookout spot that’s high on top the canyon. I wasn’t satisfied with the designated lookout area, so I climbed to the tallest rocks nearby. I hung my feet over the edge again and watched as the sun went down. I cannot put into words how amazing it was. The world was still and beautiful.
Today I felt very thankful. The beauty of this world amazes me, and the fact that I can enjoy it like I am now is amazing. It’s awesome to take a step back and look at your life and realize that every choice, mistake, and accomplishment got you to where you are now. Life couldn’t get much better.
Here are some photos from today. I have a few hiking stops tomorrow. Today was pretty difficult with my calves still screaming for rest, so I don’t plan on any long hikes tomorrow. Write to you tomorrow from…..the GRAND CANYON!