Tim's Travel Blog: Part 2
July 10, 2012
As I came into the Utah dessert and started my trek toward the tourist town of Moab, I saw a lot of people on the highway. A lot. Turns out there was some kind of 5K race that morning. Great! Now, I'm going to be searching for a campground while having to watch out for runners on the narrow roads. But all turned out okay, as I found a beautiful place to set up camp right on the banks of the Colorado River. I pitched my little tent, blew up my air mattress, made sure I had enough water and healthy snacks in the car, and took off for Canyonlands National Park.
This is a giant national park that is actually divided into sections. I went to the "Island in the Sky" section first. I parked my car at the trailhead of an easy hiking trail that lead to what they call Mesa Arch. There's a beautiful view up here on a gorgeous Saturday. I then drove to the trailhead for what they call the Upheaval Dome. This is a fantastic formation that some claim was caused either by a meteor crash or an underground salt eruption. The verdict is still out on what caused this natural wonder, but I sat near the edge and had the opportunity to meditate for a few brief minutes. The only sounds I heard were the breeze through the rock formations and trees, and the occasional crow caw or buzzing flies. Until the excitable teenagers came along! Oh well.
Next, I drove to Arches National Park. I have visited here before, and the red rock landscape was still as gorgeous as I had recalled. There is a surreal quality to the natural formations that were created by millions of years of different water flows and mineral deposits. In a way, I feel so insignificant. Yet, its good to know that these arches and formations that have been around since long before I was born, and will be there for hundreds of generations after I am gone. It is also amazing to note that despite their age, the landscape here is constantly changing, even today.
After taking many photos and hiking a bit, I took a break with a light lunch and a frosty cold beer. Ah, bliss.Then, I made my short drive back to my campsite where I grilled a steak and made friends with the neighboring campers and their big dog, who evidently is very fond of steak.
For more information on hiking the national parks, we have some great books and videos right within the MCPL system. I found these to be an invaluable resource before I left for my trip, and they saved me a lot of time and frustration. I even checked out a current road atlas to help me on the road! Check back later for more of my exciting travel adventures.