How can you not take more pictures of this?
Our main objective for the day was to hike up to Delicate Arch, but we stopped first at Balanced Rock, a fairly iconic sight in itself. And its nice and close to a parking lot, so we just hopped out and walked around it for a few minutes.
See? I was there.
We had saved Delicate Arch for the second day in case any of the bikers wanted to join us, and it was definitely worth the wait. There weren't as many smaller arches along the way, but it was definitely an interesting hike through some beautiful desert. The hike is mostly uphill, but only a mile and a half each way, so not quite as far as we had hiked the day before, distance-wise. The arch is kind of hidden until you get pretty close to it, but Tandy and Melissa showed us where there was a spot you could climb up to and look through a natural window and see it from the side.
From the sneak-preview spot
From there it's just a short walk up around the bend to where you can walk over to the arch. And it's definitely a scene worthy of immortalization on a license plate or something. :) We found a nice spot to sit and eat our lunch and people watch for a while before actually making our way over to the arch itself. And there were plenty of interesting people to watch, from the lunging mustache guy to the flautist, and I even found a guy who I've worked on some projects with at work there. Small world.
Nice scenery for lunch
When we finally made our way over to the arch, there was a line of people waiting to get their picture taken under the arch. It was nice to see most people behaving in a civilized manner. A few couldn't seen to understand the concept of not getting in the way of other people's photos, but for the most part it went very smoothly. Of course, to fit the whole arch in, the people underneath are so small that they aren't really all that recognizable. :)
We made it!
Someone made the comment that Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch ought to trade names, and I would agree. Landscape Arch looks much more "delicate", and Delicate Arch is set in a more picturesque "landscape". Even if it is more "portrait" orientation. How's that for a printer page setup joke? :)
Eventually we had our fill of photos and headed back down to the car.
For some reason I really liked this "spiderweb" rock and the one next to it.
On our way out of the park, I stopped near the Three Gossips to get out and look around. I'd been driving the whole time, and it was harder to appreciate all the beauty surrounding us while also keeping a vehicle moving down the road, so I figured I ought to at least stop for a few minutes and look around unencumbered with the responsibilities of driving. :)
I don't know if this one has a name, but I like the way this photo turned out
The Three Gossips
After finishing up at Arches, we headed south of town to what looked like a man-made reservoir called "Ken's Lake". Nothing too fancy, but it was nice and cool and wasn't full of weeds or mud or anything. We spent a couple hours there, playing around in the water until the bikers met up with us. They swam for a bit too and then we all had a great dinner at a place called Zax. I got the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet and definitely ate all that I could. :)
Then it was back on the road and back to Salt Lake, without too much incident. There was a brief moment when all the lanes of traffic had to merge into 2 at the point of the mountain and I had to do some quick
Even more photos available here.