Thursday, on the way
We heard Moab was the place for mountain biking. So just before heading there we stopped in a bike shop called Kokopelli in Cortez, CO to have some repairs done on our mountain bikes.
We were excited to again see the landscape change!
Moab seemed great for so many activities but at the end of June it is HOT! So I guess we didn’t need all of those bike upgrades; just a place to stay cool.
We first went to the library in town. AC! Free internet! Why haven’t we done this before?
We saw there was a swimming hole with a small waterfall called Mill Creek. The short walk there was really nice, but the swimming area was crowded with pre-teens jumping from rocks (oh yeah, school’s out).
We redeemed our day at Arches National Park, next to Moab. The park’s big thing is its several large sandstone arches and other formations sculpted by erosion.
We did two baby hikes just before the sun set: “Double Arch”, “The Windows”. Then we walked to a viewpoint of “Park Avenue”.
We camped on state land off of Willow Springs Road. The views were pretty nice there. And…
We we woke up to this!
Although sunrise is supposed to be the best time to go see the large sandstone arches, we couldn’t pull ourselves out of bed at 5am.
We probably should have started our hike to Delicate Arch earlier. This arch is so iconic it’s on the Utah license plate. This could explain why the trail was crowded with tourists from the US and beyond. Plus it was a Saturday. As people lined up to take pictures under the arch, it seemed like a theme park attraction.
To avoid the crowds and cool off, we heeded expert advice and went to Ken’s Lake, a reservoir that the guy at the Moab visitor center had recommended.
It was pretty relaxing. There were a few SUPpers and kids and dogs. In fact, one scruffy dog wanted to hang out with us the whole day. We read our Kindles in between innumerable rounds of fetch.
At the Moab visitor center we had seen this mysterious poster about a stargazing event:
Can you blame us for not knowing what time to be there? We even thought it was going to be held at a bar, until we realized that the venue name was that of a trailhead.
But we’re happy we made the effort to attend. At about 10:30 we parked at a pitch-black parking lot and followed a line of faint, glow-in-the-dark cones towards clusters of faceless figures mingling in the darkness. It felt like a secret society.
It turns out we should have gotten there right at 9:30. Edd and I had to eavesdrop to figure out what we were supposed to be doing. There were six high-powered telescopes of different kinds, each pointing at a different celestial body. A queue of people waited at each one to take a look.
A ranger was at each station to remind us gently (and a tad show-offily) of the astrological phenomenon that we should’ve learned in grade school. And to make sure we didn’t knock over their scope, which probably cost more than our van.
Edds favorite was a banded Jupiter with three bright moons around it. My favorite was the Hercules Nebula, which looked like a bullet shattering glass in slow motion.
Even without mountain biking, there was a surprisingly huge assortment of things to try out in Moab.
New moon, Goodbye Ramadan! Time to party, time to eat.
Summer noon? Goodbye Moab! Gotta get out of the heat!