We went to Moab, Utah in the spring of 2008 and spent our days hiking in the high plains/desert as well as the deep canyons. We went from cold barren areas where hail and snow fell on us to the hot desert sun warming us.
The two National Parks, Arches and Canyonlands are parks worthy of your life list of places to see. The parks are different yet so close to each other. Walk among the rocks and you will feel as small as an ant and realize your lifetime is nothing compared to the massive mesas, buttes, fins and spires that soar above you. You are walking through history – from the petroglyph’s to ancient ocean fossils to the pieces of red rock the size of a house clinging on only by gravity.
Yet that snow that fell on us was bringing forth the early flowers of a desert spring. The colors would grab your eyes. The thing that played upon my eyes is how hard it is to judge distance in the high desert. What looks to be a mile across is maybe a 1/4 mile – the colors of the rocks and shrubs/flowers toy with your eyes.
And there is little like slickrock. You feel superhuman as you walk on it. It really is enjoyable to not slide on algae encrusted rocks for once. At home here in the PNW I don’t ever trust walking on rock – it shifts, moves or you slide on it. An awesome hike is Delicate Arch in Arches – the slickrock section of the trail would be a scramble at home, yet there you walk right down the rock like you are on a sidewalk. It is an incredibly harsh yet awe inspiring area.
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