For most college students reading days include studying, reviewing information, preparing for tests, etc. etc. etc. This semester, we decided to do the exact opposite and go on an adventure. This adventure included driving down to visit Arches National Park. Though I have been multiple times, Kyle had never been and insisted on seeing Delicate Arch before leaving Utah as it is the unofficial state symbol. I happily obliged.
Our adventure began with high wind warnings and snow flurries as we drove down to the park, but we drove on, deciding that we could tough it out. Upon arrival, the sun was shining and bright, which we took as a good omen. After a quick stop at the visitors center, we drove up the curving road to enter the park.
First stop: Delicate Arch. The weather and temperature ended up being perfect on the way up to the top. However, we only enjoyed the view for a few minutes before the wind picked up and hail began to fall. Despite having to deal with an obnoxious tourist that insisted on standing under the arch for a good 10 minutes we got our picture and then took off to avoid the storm.
I should mention that our first day was also Kyle’s 25th birthday. He is now a quarter of a century old! And will proudly tell you that he can now rent cars. Though, we counted the whole weekend as his birthday. By the time we got to our campsite, it was too dark for pictures, but we celebrated with delicious tinfoil dinners and brownies.
Day two of the trip lead us to Landscape Arch, Partition Arch, Navajo Arch, Double O Arch, and Devil’s Garden. All of which were in the same hike. We thought that we were going to have a difficult morning because of the looming clouds above, but we were lucky enough to make it without a single drop of rain.
A few other events of the day included watching crazy kids at Sand Dune Arch, hiking to the gigantic Broken Arch, and viewing Balanced Rock. We also enjoyed lunch at Milt’s, a burger joint in Moab (which we highly recommend despite its rundown appearance).
Day three came with extra cold weather and lots of wind. Despite that, we visited the following arches:
North and South Windows (as a kid I called these the peeping giant)
Our last stop was into the Fiery Furnace. We were lucky enough to get the last two tickets for the tour upon arrival our first day. A couple had cancelled right before we got there. Most of the time, this hike is extremely hard to get into. It was an amazing hike with many different arches, formations, and challenges like climbing through small arches, navigating crevices, and balancing acts. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and loved getting to know the ranger guide and the people with us.
After stopping at church on day 4, we drove out to Dead Horse Point State Park to see the picturesque view. It was an amazing sight and was worth the drive. It is amazing to see how the water and wind have carved out the rocks and driven down the land 2,000 feet. After that last stop, we headed back to BYU to prepare for finals and get back to normal life. We were sad to leave this adventure but thankfully, we had another planned for two weeks later for our first anniversary.