RAINSTORMS, SUNSETS, AND A CANYONLANDS TRIP

After a beautiful sunrise at Arches, the day deteriorated into a rainstorm. Busily writing a blog in the Moab Library, we missed the fact that it was raining outside. Exiting the library, seeing the storm raging around Arches, another spontaneous decision was made to go and see the cloudburst in Arches,  (which normally gets very little rain). We were on the hunt for waterfalls on high….so up we went again. Just as we had chased the sunrise earlier that day, we now chased the cloudbursts.

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We waited for the sunset and were rewarded with some beautifully highlighted formations: rock and cloud formations.

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That night we had a very late supper ….in the rain….well, we were nice and dry inside. During the night, the wind came up so hard, it shook the camper.…think hurricane thoughts! Our thoughts?? We were supposed to be on the river kayaking at 9am….but….we are fair weather kayakers….the weather was not even close to fair. What to do? The only thing possible. Drive into Moab, have breakfast and wait to see what developed. The weather continued to be windy and rainy so we rescheduled our paddle for the next day. Searching for an alternative activity, we decided to go and investigate Canyonlands National Park. It was only a 37 km drive to the visitor center. It turned out to be a spectacular day…the sun came out and we were off exploring again…..what we love to do.

Our first stop: Monitor and Merrimac, two rock formations..

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Arriving at the Visitor Center, we spent some time watching a short video and chatting to one of the rangers there about hikes. Then headed out for a walk about and encountered another ranger giving a talk about the history and geology of the area, so we stopped to listen.

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We liked Canyonlands. Mike’s cousin Margaret and husband Dave had told us they wanted to investigate Canyonlands. They had spent a bit of time there and were interested in spending more. The same thing happened to us. The energy of the place was less frenetic than that of Arches. At Arches, there were cars everywhere, zooming here and there like bees on the hunt for nectar. At Canyonlands, there were fewer people and fewer cars. It was also much more open….lots of wide-open spaces amid the mesa tops…..a much more relaxed pace.

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We spent the day driving, stopping at overlooks, walking and finally, at Upheaval Dome, we did a hike of a few miles, walking up and down solid rock faces…..a good workout which we needed after all that sitting.

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We also discovered a 100 km road called “White Rim” which is a track for 4 wheel drives and bicycles which piqued our interest.

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Coming home late afternoon, we were dazzled by the new snow on the distant mountains.

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