We stayed in a nice old-school motel called Adventure Inn. You can’t book online, you’ll have to call in, but the rooms were in good condition and the proprietors were quite friendly. After breakfast we headed to Arches first because we were told it get’s much more crowded as the day goes on. I put some Seafoam in the gas because it seemed the fuel system could use some cleaning out. Not only was there a night and day difference in power, I filled up twice in the area…the MPGs for the fillups were 69 and 61 respectively!
The day was beautiful…warm enough with lots of sun and not too much wind. We road up through arches and hiked out to the landscape arch. You can no longer climb up to the arch because part of it collapsed some years ago nearly killing people who were chilling underneath of it.
We also hiked out near Delicate arch (the one on a lot of the Utah license plates…see the random picture of poor souls license plate in the parking lot that we took as proof).
After exploring Arches we road back to Moab for lunch then rode about 30 miles over to Canyonlands. Arches has a real “cool” factor, but Canyonlands has more of a breathtaking aura. We rode through the Island in the Sky area which is a section of raised plateau above the canyons. Just like with the badlands, I loved riding through the highlands above the dramatic landscape. We stopped at several points and looked around.
In addition we hiked up to the Mesa arch which you might recognize as the arch used in Windows 7 in the landscape background set.
Canyonlands while not as deep as the Grand Canyon has it’s own allure not the least of which is being less crowded. We also stopped at the Wolfe Ranch (a small one room cabin from a family who used to live there) and climbed up behind it to see some Ute rock art. I have a bit of a fascination with ancient communication so it was really cool to me.
After riding through Canyonlands (the ride back out was the best…we had already hit the overlooks so I could simply focus on hitting all the hairpins just right and flying through beautiful land) we headed back to arches to watch the sunset. We hiked out to the window arches and then went over to a set that looked more like a turret or castle. We climbed through them (not 100% sure we were supposed to, but hey, other people were doing it!). After looking around we found a comfortable seat and just sat there and watched the sun set behind some of the other arches. According to the literature there are over 2000 arches in the National Park!
After a fun and beautiful day we went back to Moab and ate dinner at the Moab Brewery (we had eaten there the night before and loved it so much we went back). It is a brewery but it’s not like a bar. It’s more like Applebees (actually maybe even less of a bar atmosphere than Applebees) with a separate bar area. They had amazing food, great service (our first waitress spent time getting to know us and what we were doing), and good prices. A burger meal was only $7.99! For $0.35 they’ll add a jalapeno dusting to your fries that is awesome too. Basically I can’t say enough good about the place…if you are in Moab you definitely want to eat there.
We are now at the Grand Canyon (just finished week three) and so far the two best places we’ve stayed are Wall, SD and Moab, UT. Of these, Moab is the most spectacular and with the beautiful ride the day before, it is probably our favorite spot. Moab should be a must see if you are traveling cross-country. If only we could put the Frontier Log Cabins from Wall in Moab then it might be perfect!
(The internet is really slow here in Williams, AZ and I can’t get photobucket links to work…I’ll add the very needed pictures to this post when I get a chance and good internet). Pictures finally added 6/12/2012 in Galveston, TX