The best national parks are those that seem naturally unnatural like Arches National Park in Utah. And because today’s drive was a manageable six hours in the car, there is some time to explore Arches on the way to Grand Junction, Colorado. Its sandstone arches and other fantastically unusual geographic formations that cover the Moab Desert are breathtaking. We start our park exploration in the comfort of the Prius and are therefore oblivious to the rising temperatures outside. At a temperature over 100 degrees, we step out of the car and quickly decide that the heat is not horrible, it being a dry heat. About five minutes later, we change our minds. It’s hot outside! We take a hike to have an upclose view of a famous arch, and while walking in sandals, we start to feel that we are not entirely prepared for this adventure. As we see others in their high-top hiking boots, we comment that the sand feels a little warm on our toes. Nonetheless, we make it to the arch and back, grabbing a couple photos in the process.
In Grand Junction, we crash with my Aunt- and Uncle-In-Law in their place that overlooks the Colorado National Monument, which in the morning provides a tranquil and beautiful start to the day.