Friday, June 4, 2010

Red Rocks: Moab Aeterno

Went down to the Moab area to check out Arches NP over the memorial day weekend and do all the usual tourist stuff. We set up camp on some BLM land just North of town and were serenaded all night by 4 wheelers and diesel pickup trucks. Apparently some people feel that enjoyable recreation is impossible below 100 decibels. We got up in the morning, cooked breakfast, peppered it with diesel exhaust ash, and headed down to the park.
Standing around camp


Camping under a full moon
We started the short hike to Delicate Arch, famous for being on the Utah license plate. Actually, as far as I can tell, it's famous because it's very photogenic. From the proper angle, the arch stands out from the rest of the landscape and nicely frames the La Sal mountains in the background. (See this Google Image Search. Most pictures of the arch are identical.)There have been millions of pictures taken of this arch. Seriously. Geologists are worried that photon bombardment from all the cameras is accelerating erosion of the arch.* (Fun fact: The La Sal mountains were named by a Spanish explorer who saw large patches of white stuff on the mountains and assumed it was salt, La Sal being Spanish for "The Salt." Turns out it was snow. Mexico then ceded the region to the USA in the 1840's  out of embarrassment and to avoid confusing its citizens.)
Posed photo in front of Delicate Arch, 
of license plate fame

It blows my mind that such a sign exists.

After Delicate Arch we hiked to Double O Arch, creatively named for the two O-shaped holes in the rock.It was a fun hike with lots of rock hopping and expansive views in all direction.
Me walking across the top of Double O Arch.

On Sunday, we went to the Tusher tunnel. It's a natural tunnel in a sandstone bluff that formed after water seeped through a crack. The tunnel goes all the way from one cliff face to the other. It's neat.
In the Tusher Tunnel

 *This is not true.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I'm really jealous - looks beautiful.