Wednesday, October 8, 2014

We're still in the four-corners area, heading west with a stop at the Hovenweep National Monument along the Utah border. There are several different sites to visit. Take your time and don't rush them.

I like the US 491 drive, in part because after driving it the first time, I wrote a scene for one of my novels describing the Delores Valley. US 491 connects to US 191 and leads north to Moab, UT.

Moab is a charming get-out-walk-around-have-a-beer kind of town. We try to spend a week here--there's just too much to see. Nearby are Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Canyon Rim BLM Rec Area and rafting on the Colorado.

 Unfortunately this beautiful "Delicate Arch" in Arches NP collapsed in 2013. This pic is from 2011.  This arch was over 300 yards long. As I say in one of my novels, "and carved by God's great hands."  There are so many amazing rock formations in Arches that is difficult to pick out favorites.

These are the Arches that appear on the T-shirts and License plates, particularly the ones on the right.

This formation is called the elephants for obvious reasons.

These formations are called the beehives.

These few pictures do little justice to the beauty of this NP -- visit for yourself!

West of Arches NP is Canyonlands NP. Again pictures don't relate the grandeur of these vast areas.

These scenic loops were cut by the Green River before it joins the Colorado a few miles downstream.

Each turn in the road produces a new vista  with scenic wonder.

Moab, UT

This arch is in Canyonlands NP with the canyon vista behind. We try to visit late afternoon to get the sunset colors reflected in the red rock canyons.

If you want to try something unusual. Before you cross the Colorado River on US-191, turn east on State-128 (some folks use this as a cut-off to reach I-70-it's a scenic drive, but not always open). After you visit Castleton and Fisher towers, on the stretch of road between Castleton and Fisher, there is a small ranch on the north side of the road along the river that will take you on a mule-ride into the Arches or Canyonlands for 1-5 days. Mules are much easier to ride and the slow pace is ideal for taking lots of pics in area where most folks don't walk or hike.

I hope you can see why we schedule a week in Moab-- there's so much to see, you don't know where to look next.
Enjoy the American west.

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