I started my trip to Arches with an early morning hike to Delicate Arch, glad I went early to avoid the crowds. For some reason I had thought the iconic arch would be much smaller, but it was an odd combination of familiar and surprisingly awe-inspiring.
I went straight from that hike to a toodling mountain bike ride (I am not a good biker) starting out at balanced rock. I followed some lizard tracks and discovered that I hate sand. Unfortunately when I got back to the parking lot I dropped my phone and smashed the screen. Very embarrassing; I wasn’t doing anything remotely cool, I was standing next to my car and I just missed the pocket of my pack. It fell completely flat, no bouncing or rolling, and I knew before I even picked it up what the damage would be.
I spent the afternoon in a coffeeshop (with free wifi!) in Moab, found some packing tape to “repair” my poor sad phone, and in the evening headed out for a hike to Double O Arch, which had a very cool portion of trail along a rock ridge, and at the time I was hiking, was practically deserted.
If you need a good reason for hiking early and late and avoiding the middle of the day in the popular National Parks, besides the heat, here it is:
Through the windshield of my car because there wasn’t even a parking space available. that’s not an ant swarm, they’re people. And if I thought this was crowded, boy was I in for a surprise when I got to Zion. I’m now shocked and amazed that when I did a road trip with my mom when I was 13, we were able to get a campsite in Yellowstone, and I completely understand why we slept in the car at the Grand Canyon.