After an amazing night of
camping… I mean glamping, we got up early… I do mean early, not just “early”, loaded up and headed to Arches National Park. We got up early for several reasons. One… we had been advised that Arches National Park can get crowded and that the earlier you can get out, the better. Two… It was going to be a hot one. 98 degrees, desert hot.
We hit the road and were in the park within 45-ish minutes of leaving the camp ground and were in complete awe of the scenery.
The fins and balancing rocks were spectacular.
Arches National Park is in Moab, Utah… which reminded me of the story of Ruth in the Bible. (Her and her mother in-law traveled back from Moab, where Ruth was from, to start over in Israel after losing everything…)
So, upon entering the park we started UP the road… literally up and curved. I didn’t get a pic of it but I snagged this one off alamy.com…
Yes, for real. This wasn’t our first switchback experience, nor was it our last… and my nerves got a little shorter every time we hit a new set of them…
Anyways, we hiked several different trails including one that went around both the north and the south windows… we drove up a bit further and did a hike to the Delicate Arch Viewpoint. We opted to not do the hike to the Delicate Arch because the trail takes about 2.5 hrs based on the official guides but we had a 4 year old who’s legs multiple that time by a bit… and by this time it was a smokin’ mid 90 degrees.
Here’s some of the views that we took in…
Fun fact… the little tower of rocks by Addison in the picture above is actually what they used to mark the trail. Arches, as well as all of the national parks are incredibly accessible for all limitations. All of the parks have well maintained paved sidewalks that allow access to a lot of the sites. The particular trail that we hiked do the windows… well we kind of lost the trail at some point so we’re not sure we were on an official one but… we made it.
We ended our hiking for the day right around noon and found a spot for lunch. (We boycotted the PB&Js since it was so hot and wanted air conditioning…) So… we found a local place to eat called Moab Diner.
After that we jumped in the car, drove two hours to our landing spot for the night… Cortez, Colorado. We stayed in another Best Western which we got another great priceline deal on however, their pools were closed for maintenance and refurbishment. Not cool at all when it’s hovering near 100 and you were longing for a swim.
But, the front desk came to the rescue and we found the Cortez Municipal Pool. It was minutes from the hotel, not crowded at all and not expensive…
After a swim we headed back to the hotel, did laundry and got ready for another early start for the day ahead.
[ T R I P T R I C K S ]
- Arches National Park is hot. Bring plenty of water. We went through more water here than any other stop.
- Moab Diner: Here’s their link. Great food. Modest pricing. http://www.moabdiner.com Worth a stop.
- Cortez Municipal Outdoor Pool. I never would have thought to check on a city pool while on vacation. However, it was a great idea. The kids were only $2.50 to get in and adults were $5. We will definitely keep this trick in mind if a hotel pool ends up being out of commission.
- ***MAJOR TIP ALERT*** Suitcase Packing Tip… Okay, so I’m a planner and prior to the trip I had plotted and planned our suitcases. For our family of six we took 3 large suitcases plus carry ons. We were paired up by size so Stephen shared with Addison, I shared with Charlie and then Maddie and Sophia shared. This meant each night we were having to carry in three large suitcases along with toiletries. However, three hotels into our trip and realizing that we would be staying in five different hotels over the next five nights, I realized I needed to pack differently. So… in Cortez I laid out everyone’s clothing and made sure it was in daily pairs (including socks, etc.) Then in Suitcase One I put three outfits for each person into it along with bathing suits. In Suitcase two I put three outfits per person. Suitcase Three contained an outfit, church outfits and any leftover clothing. Packing this way allowed us to take ONE big suitcase in to the hotel per night. Once the two/three outfits were gone from suitcase one, we simply brought in suitcase two. We kept in mind that we needed suitcase three for Saturday night for church so we made sure to save that one. This SOOO simplified the process of packing, unpacking and loading and unloading. So next time you travel with your family, consider packing by days, not by people!