On Thursday (May 7) I left for Moab, Utah with my housemate, Lisa, and her ward.
I thought this trip would satisfy my craving for the Southwest, but it just made me want more.
Thursday night we went to Dead Horse Point State Park to watch the sunset.
Friday was the day I had been waiting for.
I left camp with Lisa, Allison, Spencer, and Carrie and headed into Arches National Park. We had one day, one whole day, to see the entire park, and that's exactly what we did.
Stop One: Balanced Rock (Indiana Jones anyone?)
“There are several ways of looking at Delicate Arch. Depending on your preconceptions you may see the eroded remnant of a sandstone fin, a giant engagement ring cemented in rock, a bow-legged pair of petrified cowboy chaps, a triumphal arch for a procession of angels, an illogical geologic freak, a happening—a something that happened and will never happen quite that way again, a frame more significant than its picture, a simple monolith eaten away by weather and time and soon to disintegrate into a chaos of falling rock. …
“Much of the same could be said of the tamarisk down in the canyon, or of the blue-black raven croaking on the cliff, or your own body. The beauty of Delicate Arch explains nothing, for each thing in its way, when true to its own character, is equally beautiful. … If Delicate Arch has any significance it lies, I will venture, in the power of the odd and unexpected to startle the senses and surprise the mind out of their ruts of habit, to compel us into a reawakened awareness of the wonderful—that which is full of wonder.
“A weird, lovely, fantastic object out of nature like Delicate Arch has the curious ability to remind us—like rock and sunlight and wind and wilderness—that out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper by far than ours, a world which surrounds and sustains the little world of men as sea and sky surround and sustain a ship. The shock of the real. For a little while we are again able to see, as the child sees, a world of marvels. For a few moments we discover that nothing can be taken for granted, for if this ring of stone is marvelous then all which shaped it is marvelous, and our journey here on earth, able to see and touch and hear in the midst of tangible and mysterious things-in-themselves, is the most strange and daring of all adventures.” [Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire, 36-7]