Driving around Arches NP

Monday, October 4, we awakened to bright sunshine and very few clouds. Unprepared for doing anything because of expected bad weather, it took me a while to warm up to getting out, but by 10am we were on our way up to Arches in our hiking clothes, lunch in the cooler. We had decided to drive and do only short walks to the various sites of interest, and at the end of the day we had only done walks we skipped on our first visit to the park. We started with the walk down through Park Avenue, but only did about 2/3 of the walk through the canyon before turning back. The formations in Park Avenue are uplifts that do resemble skyscrapers and the walk through them is really a unique experience. After Park Avenue we drove out and hiked around the Windows, taking the primitive loop back to the parking lot that takes off at the South Window access. By doing the more primitive, but well established trail, we left many of the crowds of people behind, and got some unique views of the park. Following the Windows, we walked to the Delicate Arch upper viewpoint, a pretty good short climb that led up on a rock ridge facing the arch.

By then it was past lunchtime, so we found ourselves a picnic table with an awesome view, including dark blue storm clouds building over the mountains and enjoyed our lunch. With the clouds rapidly moving in our direction, after lunch we chose only to venture up to the Fiery Furnace viewpoint before heading out of the park for the day. That also left me some late afternoon pool time before a leisurely shower in the really nice bathhouse, just ahead of a nasty line of storms.

By then, we were noticing a pattern, it seemed the mornings would be fine, and the storms would come in the afternoon, like monsoons, only with a vengeance.

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