Road Trip Day Two - Arches National Park

Day two of this two-week long road trip began early around 7 A.M. Dropped off the room key at the office, took a few pics of the surrounding area at ponderosa lodge, then we were on our way to Arches National Park in Utah. From google maps, the drive is around seven hours to get there.  It was a pretty drive, but being from the east coast still haven’t adjusted to the faster speed limits of 80 M.P.H. compared to a usual 55 M.P.H. on the highway in Philly is pretty scary.

In between the many miles that were ahead, we made a stop in Boulder to feed the howling wolves inside ourselves making all sorts of racket. Filled up on Starbucks, and a rare Einstein Bagels was a total surprise, because I haven’t seen one in like 15 years back home. A little nostalgia was going on and I had some stories from High School with friends from that joint. After we loaded up, there was a homeless person sitting outside the building in the parking lot. To be honest, the frequent begging back home desensitized me, but this was different. He looked like he really needed a hand, and Charlotte said to me help him out. I got out of the car, reached into the cooler and gave him a bottle of water, protein bar, and a fresh sesame bagel to hold him over. He was more than appreciative and then began to eat. The man said, “Thank you so much, I really needed this, and I appreciate that you helped a stranger.” I then said, “You’re welcome man, its nothing, and be careful out here.” I then made my way back to the car, and set off. Four hours of fast going traffic, the sun was getting to me and I was feeling a bit tired. Stopped at a (I shit you not) a Kum-and-Go. The endless raunchy jokes followed! Fueled up on gas, checked the map, and then made our way to Arches without stopping.

Riding on the last stretch of highway in Utah was purely amazing. I cannot express how cool it was to see this landscape for the first time with the snowcapped Manti-La Sal National Forest to the left.

Once passing the mountains with about 30 more miles to go, the scenery was spectacular!

Without having cellphone service for most of the day, we wanted to find out more information about Arches NP, and curious to know when the visitor center closes. There was still around fifteen, or so miles to go and we were cutting it super close. Within fifteen minutes of arrival, the visitor center closed at 5 P.M.  It wasn't the most important thing to do and see, but having the official national park Passport book, (right) I wanted to have the official stamp marked in there, but this will allow a future visit to the park with more time to explore. Also, more stories to share with family, and friends later. As we got to the gate, The park ranger informed us that the park will be closing in a couple hours, so we had to see the main attractions, but there was one road in particular that was closed.  The Devils Garden area was closed due to flooding, and with a very short time frame deciding that the Windows Section of the park was a good amount of things to see and do.

 Driving up the mountain

Driving up the mountain

Walking towards the Windows section of Arches National Park, crowds started to diminish with a storm brewing above. I took the gamble of sticking it out with little rain drops falling and the cold wind followed it. This moment seen here was epic. Silently standing before the second window here, all I can think of how amazing this place is, and how many millions of times the earth had to spin for this to naturally form. Time and erosion will happen, but remember the moment you had, before it’s lost forever. 

Looking past the ancient petrified sand dunes with snow capped mountains to the east, the Manti-La Sal National Forest literally took my breath away. The sheer silent winds brewing storms miles away during the sunset made this scene here one of my favorite moments of this trip.

With the park closing at 7P.M. and only 30 minutes to go, we hopped back into the car, taking a few pics from a few overlooks, and made our way with another 3-4 hours to get to Richfield, Utah. Finally arriving to the motel, it was a little too quiet in this town. Suspicions running amuck inside our heads like a dog chasing a rabbit in circles for hours, the Motel 6 sign above us was brightly lit up, but weirdly enough below it was an inverted restaurant sign. Weird right?! After the brief dirty looks to each other, we were greeted by a super friendly Indian couple you runs the place. They made us feel comfortable, while getting squared away. The room was really clean, affordable, and relaxing to charge up our batteries before making way to Red Rock Canyon State Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park in the morning. Apparently the inverted backward letters were only visible during the night time, and not the Day time. (see below)