Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Canyonlands and Arches National Parks

We bid a fond farewell to Bryce Canyon and traveled east across Utah. We would be in the Moab area for a couple of days, starting with a visit to Canyonlands National Park. It was hotter here than it was at Bryce, where temperatures never got above the low 80s. At Canyonlands, it was in the 90s.

The first sight we went to see at Canyonlands was Mesa Arch. The heat may have contributed to Kai being irritable about having to take a relatively short walk to the arch.

Canyonlands has canyons formed from both the Green River and Colorado River. This is the view on the Green River side.

We also saw the view on the Colorado River side.

At one place where we stopped, Kai dropped a meat stick snack. He blamed me because I had wanted to take pictures and he lashed out. It wasn't the first time and I was not in the mood to take the brunt of his anger.

Later, when things had calmed, we had dinner at Sultan Mediterranean restaurant.

My wife and Kai had kababs, while I had gyros. I was surprised how great everything tasted. At many restaurants, the gyros meat is dry while here it was moist and tender. The tzatziki appetizer was also tasty and I had a taste of the kababs which were also great. It's one of the best places we've eaten on this trip.

The next day we went to Arches National Park.

The most famous arch in the park is the iconic Delicate Arch. I had read that it is a strenuous hike to see the arch up close. It is just over 3 miles round trip, with a 480 foot climb to the arch. But we couldn't come here and not see this arch.

The plan was to go early in the morning before the day really heated up. We didn't get out quite as early as we ideally would have liked - it's hard to hurry up Kai - but the temperature was still not too bad in the low 80s when we started to walk just past 9 AM.

But the walk up was very difficult. No, not from the heat, and only partially from the climb. It was that Kai the happy hiker we were with at Bryce had disappeared. In his place was the angry boy who couldn't walk for more than a minute or two without wanting to stop and take a break.

I wanted to be patient knowing that pushing him to go faster would likely have the opposite effect.

But when his breaks became more frequent and longer, I started to wear down.

I suggested to him that longer breaks caused the legs to stiffen and would make the walk more difficult. I also reminded Kai that the longer this took, the hotter it would get.

As I figured, Kai only got angrier.

When I suggested to him that he could move over to get more of the shade, his angry response was "I know!"

The trail continued up and up with no end in sight.

But eventually we did reach our destination. It was as much a relief as it was a triumph.

Kai yelled out a few expletives about coming all this way just to see this #$%&*# arch. But I got him to go with his mom to stand underneath it for this photo.

The walk back was downhill and much easier. Kai did not complain and even stopped to take pictures.

We drove back into Moab to have lunch and take a break.

And then we went back into the park to see a few more sights. I had planned to go to see the sights that would not require as much climbing and walking as it would be much hotter now in the afternoon.

The first place we went to was Double Arch.

I wanted to get a picture up at the center of one of the arches but with temps now hitting 100, no one else was in the mood to climb up so I went and had another tourist snap this photo of me.

We also had someone take a group photo of us as we walked back out.

We saw a few more arches. I liked the view of North and South Windows from Turret Arch. (My wife and Kai did not walk over to Turret, waiting for me in the shade of South Window).

Besides the arches, there are other interesting formations throughout the park. A famous one is Balanced Rock.

And the following is part of the Courthouse Towers.

We stopped at the visitor center at end of our day. Kai loved the poster that showed the hike to Delicate Arch was considered "Difficult". I think he felt some vindication.

And so our time is Utah has come to an end. Next we will be traveling eastward to Colorado.


  1. We had skipped any sort of hikes at Arches. I felt Kai's pain in your description of your hike. You are a go getter, as is your wife. My wife would not have wanted to do any hiking there, and, neither would have I. It is one of the reasons I had gotten a super telephoto lens camera :)

    1. Haha, that reminds me of what Kai said when he saw Delicate Arch after that hike... he said he could have Googled it to see the picture and not had to walk all that way.


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