All the Arches

Well not really.  They say there are over two thousand arches in Arches National Park.  We saw about a dozen of them.  So this is about all the arches we saw.  They seem to come in all shapes and sizes.  But all of them are amazing.  Although they explain how they were made over millions of years, it doesn’t keep them from being amazing..

All of the kids liked Sandy Arch the best.  I think that is because you felt like you were in a scene from an Indiana Jones movie.  It had the added advantage that it had sand everywhere.  It almost felt like a playground with all of the sand and playful shaped rocks.

I think my favorite was Double Arch.  These were two huge arches connected at one point.  Some of the arches you could just view from a distance others you could actually go into.  Double Arch was one that you could go into.  It was a short walk but then you had to do some climbing if you wanted to get a close up look. So I and some of the kids did that.  We got up under the arches.  It was amazing.

There were other great arches.  There was football arch.  You could not get up to this one.  But even from a distance it was spectacular.  Some more than others seemed to defy gravity.  These huge arches suspended over such a large chasm.  Beyond the arches was the landscape.  Everywhere you looked it was amazing.  It seemed like you could see forever.  There were many points where you could see a maze of canyons and mesas.

In ways it makes you feel very small and insignificant.  These arches, canyons, and mesas have been millions of years in the making and will last for millions of years more, long past when we are all gone.  But as we drive home and I look over this unbelievable landscape I think about what someone once told me,  how astronomically unlikely it was for everything to come together for life to exist on earth.

The earth needed to be just the right distance from the sun.  Much closer and we would all burn up.  Much further and we would all freeze.  The earth had to be just the right size to produce and maintain an atmosphere that would sustain life.  The list goes on and on.  When you realize that God did all of this just so we could be, that puts it all back into perspective.  The arches are amazing, but they are just part of His creation and the life He gave us.

Staying in Moab

Moab is mostly a tourist town.  It is filled with lots of jeep rentals, adventure guides and other tourist things unique to this part of the world.  Of course there are countless hotels and restaurants as you drive through the town.  Our hotel was part of the same chain we have stayed at for years.  It was about what we expected.  The room was a nice size with two queen beds and a couch.  The included breakfast had a wide assortment of breads, cereals, drinks etc.; fairly standard for this chain.  But there was one aspect of staying in Moab that we were not sure what to expect.

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Arches Part Two -The Real Attraction

We got to Arches about 2pm and stopped at the visitor’s center.  We learned a bit more about the exciting wonders we would see in the park.   After about an hour at the visitor’s center we decided to move on.   Maybe I should say move up, up into the park.  From where the visitor’s center is you have to drive up a zig zag road along one of the red sandstone cliffs to get into the rest of the park.  After driving for about thirty minutes we got to the first trail head, “Park Avenue Trail”.  We had read about the many wonders we would see here.

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Arches Part One – Getting There

For the past few days I had been saying we were not in a rush.  I really needed a break.  Because of that I was really looking forward to this vacation.  One thing I have learn over the years is that a rush vacation is not refreshing, it is hectic.  I would rather see less and do less and enjoy it than have a rushed vacation.  So we took our time, but it worked out.

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The Inland Ocean

Moving to Utah was such a miraculous whirlwind of events there wasn’t much time to think about what I was leaving behind.  Of course there were the obvious things.  Leaving half our family in Seattle was a very hard decision to make.  I think the only way I was able to bear it was that I had such total confident that all of my older children were ready for this, even if they didn’t know it.  For sure there would be hard times for both groups, but I knew HaShem would see us through it.

Then there were all of our friends in Seattle.  The Seward Park Jewish community is a community like none I had ever experienced before.  So many groups say they want to be a family.  The Seward Park community truly is a family.  So leaving our extended Jewish family was also very difficult.

These I knew I would miss, but most everything else, the fun of going to Downtown Seattle, the beauty of the evergreens all around us and so much more; these things I didn’t have time to consider what I would be missing.

At some point, very early on, I realized an important thing I would be missing that I didn’t consider.   I don’t know if it was during our first drive down to Utah,  or some time after we got there, but looking at a map I had a very disheartening realization that the nearest ocean was over a dozen hours away.

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Sandals Not Enough

Today we decided to go on an easy, I double checked the altitude, hike.   It was less than a mile and at the base of the canyon.   It seemed like a simple hike.  As were getting ready to go Shimmy was trying to find his boots.  I told him this is just a simple hike he didn’t need his boots.  So he chose to just wear his sandals.  I was wrong.

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An Easy Hike

We wanted to go on a hike and see some of the fall colors.  Knowing I am not in the best of shape, I didn’t want to go on a hike that was too strenuous.  So I did what I have done for years, I used the AllTrails app to search for a good hike.

I have used this app many times for hikes in Seattle.  When you tell it you want an easy hike you end up with things like,  Kubota Gardens, Jefferson Park or our own beloved Seward Park.  Because of this I assumed my faithful app would guide me to a good hike.  But it didn’t quite work out as expected. Continue reading “An Easy Hike”

The Yellow Orb

You may have never heard of such a thing, unless of course you are a Seattleite.   You see Seattle is the land of endless rain.  Oh it does stop once in a while.  But it isn’t really stopping it is more like it is taking a break.  And we all know that.  People visiting will say ‘Look it stopped raining’.  But anyone that has lived there long will just smile.  That kind of smile you give someone when they are naively wrong.  For any true Seattleite knows Continue reading “The Yellow Orb”