Arches National Park, Utah | Fri 1st to Sat 2nd May 2015 — Ned Martin’s Dot Org

Friday 1st May – Monument Valley

We drove from Tucumcari in New Mexico, to Moab in Utah, via Colorado


We got up and left our inn early. We’d changed into Mountain Time without changing our clocks so we got a free hour.

We spent the rest of the day driving through New Mexico, along Historic Route 66 a few times, through Albuquerque, stopping for Hungry Jack’s in Gallup, past the edges of Monument Valley, and through the corner of Colorado, to Moab in Utah.

Lots of signs beside the roadThe highway rolled through the countrysideOne of the many pieces of “Historic Route 66”Another part of “Historic Route 66”More, seemingly endless, highwayNed at some Indian shops by the side of the road. The poverty was obvious.My smaller-than-Australia Hungry Jack’s veggie burgerOne of the rock formations in Monument ValleyRock formations in Monument ValleyEntering Colorful (sic) ColoradoMonument Valley rock formationsMore rock formations. This is all about rocks.Snow on the Colorado mountain rangeWelcome to Utah. Life elevated!Driving down the highway…Some more rock formations as we drive alongBronwen and our first (of many) archBronwen on the first arch we saw, on our way into MoabThe road into MoabBronwen, our hire car, and the first arch on the way into Moab


We got to Moab just on dark and found that the first two campsites we checked were full. Considering one of them could hold 120 RVs, we decided they were probably all full and decided to camp in the car.

The visitor information centre, which was shut, has toilets and free Wi-Fi, and a nice lady who we asked directions to a shop from gave us a lighter, meaning we didn’t need to go to a shop anymore, so we went and set up our stove at a nearby recreation area and made hot water for Bronwen and hot soup for dinner, before driving back into town and parking for the night, near an RV which had obviously done the same thing.

Sleeping in the car, while not as comfortable as the hotel, didn’t seem too bad.

Saturday 2nd May – Arches National Park

We drove from Moab, through Arches National Park, to Goose Island Campground, stopping frequently to walkWe walked to Devil’s Garden and back again


Bronwen and I woke up after an average sleep in the car and went to the information centre.

After getting some maps from the information centre, we rushed to some campsites to look for place to set up tent. The first one had a full sign out the front, as did the second one, but we drove into the second one anyway wondering if the full signs hadn’t yet been updated. It was fortunate we did because we met the camp host there, who told us that there was a tent spot in the first camp (Goose Island Camp) becoming free today, where we set up camp.

Cars queued up for entry into Arches National ParkThe road snakes through colourful cliffsNotice all the cars queuing to get into the national parkOne of many rock formations in Arches National ParkNed in the desert, with snow-capped mountains in the background

We spent the rest of the day driving and hiking around Arches National Park. We probably went too hard and should have rested more. Both Bronwen and I got partially dehydrated. We only had corn chips for lunch and the worst pretend orange juice to distract us from drinking our water.

Ned taking a “little planet” in the desert in Arches National ParkOne of thousands of crazy rock formationsThe road through Arches National ParkBronwen and a balancing rockSnow-capped mountains make a stark contrast to the hot desertHundreds of tonnes of balancing rockThere are balancing rocks everywhere in Arches National ParkAn immense balancing rockRocks and tortured landscape everywhereSome of the spectacular arches in Arches National ParkArches, rock formations and desert…The road winds its way through the desertRock formations everywhereStanding under one of the larger archesAnother view under the archTwin arches in the distanceBronwen, atop a spike of rock, takes a “little planet” of Ned standing in front of several archesBronwen in front of an archSo-called “penis rock”All the children were hiding in a sandy playground surrounded by rock walls, entered through a tunnelThe desert in Arches National ParkYet another immense archwayNed walks through the desertA snake makes a hasty escapeAnother interesting rock formation in Arches National ParkA collapsed archBronwen stares through an archway, out into the desertRocks, rocks everywhere…Collapsed arch from afarLandscape Arch in Devil’s Garden, closed since parts of it fellLandscape arch againLooking through Devil’s GardenParts of Devil’s GardenA double archBronwen atop a rock in the Devil’s GardenA large, solid looking archRocks with holes in themA “little planet” in the Devil’s Garden areaBronwen walks through a canyon

We kept walking until dark, trying to fit in the last few walks. We rushed to Delicate Arch just after sunset, which was quite impressive and had a small crowd of dedicated people sitting around sipping wine and watching the moon rise, but on the way back I slipped and stubbed my toe, and now (though I’m not sure if it’s related as I think it might have started to hurt earlier) my right knee hurts, which is really unfortunate timing as we had lots more walks planned.

Ned at Delicate Arch just on duskThe view from Delicate ArchDelicate Arch from the sideThe moon rises over Delicate Arch.


We stopped at the campsite on the way into town to pump up our air bed which doesn’t fit through the tent door so we have to carry the tent to the car, pump it up, and then carry it back to the tent site. Fortunately, as it’s a cheap tent, it’s quite a simple and logical design. I find that cheap tents are far better designed than expensive ones—just built cheaply.

After setting up the tent we drove to a shop and bought some hydrogen peroxide and band-aids for my toe, then sat outside the information centre using their Wi-Fi to plan tomorrow and book a room for tomorrow night, before heading to a recreation area where Bronwen made hot water for her finger and a quick mostly beans and celery on flatbread dinner. We had a quick, and very cold, bucket wash and I cleaned my toe before driving to the campsite and going to sleep.

Bronwen cooking dinner