Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Creed Takes a Roadtrip to Moab

Larry had the whole weekend off, yes people, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, in a row, and neither of had to teach in church so we had to take advantage of such a momentous occassion and get out of town!  Too bad we don't know anyone around here with a fabulous vacation home.  After a little debate, we opted to head to Moab, because, well, we'd never been there.

We drove down Friday evening and Creed quickly learned the joys of jumping on hotel beds.  

So what did we seen during our vacation?  Well, se saw some wildlife upclose and personal, like this raven (at least I think it's a raven, but it could just be a HUGE crow) (yep, just call me Naturegirl)

And this bluebird

And this deer
And we saw some petroglyphs
Oh, and did I mention some of the most amazing scenery in the world?

We spent our first day at Canyonlands National Park.  A lot of movies have been filmed there and it was easy to see why.  It was incredible.  We started out with a short hike to its most photographed point, The Mesa Arch.
Then it was on to hiking around the rim of the Grand Overlook.
And another hike up to view the Upheaval Dome
Where Creed found a little dome just his size.Before heading home, we stopped at Dead Horse Point State Park to admire the view.  Creed was sleeping so Larry and I took turns staying with him in the car so here's Larry's self portrait to prove he was there.
We watched the sun set and then we headed back to the hotel, and yes, the roads all over Arches and Canyonlands look like this.  In fact you should click on it to get a closer view of how twisty the road is and that still doesn't do it justice.

So on our second day, we went to Arches National Park.  If you're only in Moab for two days, I recommend viewing Arches second, and if you only have one day, Larry and I both would choose Arches over Canyonlands.  There are three sections of Canyonlands, The Island in The Sky (which was the part we visited), The Needles (which I still would like to see, but you have to leave the park and drive pretty far around to another entrance to get there and we just didn't have the time), and the Maze (which you need a special permit to hike through on a ranger guided tour.  It looked amazing, but it wasn't happening with Creed).  Arches is much smaller and doesn't have the grand views of huge canyons, but it was AMAZING!
Both days we consulted with Rangers to plan our hikes and they were all really helpful and full of information about which sites are the most popular and which hikes are the most family friendly.

We started our day with a short hike to see North Window, South Window, and Turret Arches.

When you see the two windows together, they are nicknamed the spectacles. Most of the time Creed preferred to walk instead of being carried so we were sort of slow hikers.  He walked so much and he learned to go up and down stairs without holding on to anything.  It was so cute to see him toddle around and explore.  Of course there was times when it was too dangerous and he had to be carried, which he did not like one bit.  Here he is climbing the stairs to the Turret Arch

Next we drove to the Sand Dune Arch.  We might have skipped this one if the rangers hadn't suggested it, but it was our favorite.  You hike up to these huge slabs or rock sticking out of the ground and slide between two fins.And inside, you find a sand dune.
and an arch.  It's pretty cold in there so it's probably a great place to take a break in the summer.  Creed brought about a pound of sand back to the car in every nook and cranny, but he had so much fun in the sand that it was worth it.
After that we hiked to the Landscape Arch.  The widest spanning arch in the park.  You used to be able to hike up under it, but in 1991 a huge slab fell down from it and they are not sure when the rest of it will collapse.
Of course we were a little tired after all of that hiking, but you can't come so far without seeing the Delicate Arch.  It's on the license plates here and it's what a lot of people think of when they think about Utah so I really wanted to see it in person.  We heard the hike was sort of scary and difficult, but after some reassurance from a ranger, we decided to attempt it at the end of the day.  They tell you to go in the late afternoon when the light it best, but it's also when we were already tired.  Creed began the journey asleep.
The hike is three miles roundtrip, but it goes up 500 ft in elevation.  Most of the hike is on slick rock like this and it can be a little steep, but there are spots where it levels off and you could rest of you needed to.
The last 200 ft are along a ledge with a really steep drop-off (which I didn't capture in this picture).  It's actually wide enough for two people to easily pass each other, but we still saw a few very scared people.

Then you turn the corner and see this!

The hike wasn't as hard as Larry and I thought it was going to be (and that was with the two of us trading off carrying Creed, who slept quite a bit of the way) so I've you've been wanting to try it, you should!

The best part of the trip was just being together as a family for two whole days with no work to do or errands to run.


Alissa said...

i'm kind of appalled that in all the time that I lived in Utah, I never did get to see any of this stuff.

Love that last picture.

malia said...

me too. i've lived here for nine years and haven't made it there yet. good for you. i am so inspired by you. thanks for the motivation!

hey, what's your email? i need it to add you to my blog.

and why aren't we friends in real life yet now that you've moved here?! :)

Krystal Trapnell said...

We just did that trip last month and it was fabulous! We had heard horror stories about the hike to Delicate Arch, too, but it wasn't nearly as bad as we expected. Damon did the whole thing by himself like a champ and we backpacked Allie and Kyla, which added quite a bit to the workout, but still doable. The view was amazing! It was so crowded when we were there, though, that Jeff had to photoshop about 40 people out of the pictures just to get the arch by itself. We should've come with you instead!

Oh, and Jeff took the coolest picture of Mesa Arch early one morning (along with about 15 other photographers). I'll post it on my blog so you can appreciate it!

Katherine said...

That looks like so much fun!! I bet you aren't missing the lovely grey nasty cold days here in the midwest!!! Yes, it has begun! Oh joy!

Reba said...

I love Moab! So glad you guys enjoyed Larry's rare time off.

Kelli Radmall said...

That looks like a fun trip. We love it down there! Creed is so big. I want to play in the sand dune with him.

Melinda said...

I'm so glad you got a break together and had such a good time!

Elisa said...

Did you stop in Price for gas and lunch?? ahhh my hometown! If you ever need a pit stop for Creed stop at the CEU dinosaur museum. It's usually COMPLETELY empty (people wise) but they have lots of things to see.

Fun weekend, you guys are movers!

amyh said...

Those are two of my favorite places! Looks like a fun weekend.

Meg said...

So much fun!! J.R. would be so jealous--there are some great places to go and hike around living in Utah. Hope you had a fun Thanksgiving with fam this year!

Dehner Family said...

How fun! I'm glad you took advantage of your time together. Steph, will you email me your new home address...

jaY said...

r u still in moab? what the slacking on blogs???