191101: Moab

I rolled into Moab with medium expectations. All prior reports were amazingly glowing and it seemed a bit overrated. The park we were staying at was at the edge of the small town of 7-8k and traveling through I was a bit shocked by the number of large hotels, ATVs and four wheel drive rental shops, restaurants, and tour operators. It seemed all there was to Moab was tourism from the storefronts. It turns out my expectations were not high enough.

Arch’s National Park was a 2 minute drive from our campground so we made a quick trip the afternoon arriving. The late afternoon drive up the cliff side was stunning. Since arriving in Utah the skies have been nothing short of spectacular with crisp blues and no clouds. We ventured out to the mid-point of the park to scout the next day’s plan with the help of the REI National Park’s app, which is amazing with several kid friendly hike recommendations.

The next day we got an early start and made our way directly to the double Arches/windows hike, the top rated not the REI app. It was the kids favorite and still the highlight of the trip so far by all. At 20 degrees it was definitely crisp and cool. No wind made it almost pleasant. There were maybe 12 other people there at 9:30, a rarity from what I’ve read about this hike.

Ever since Palo Duro Rance has preferred hike’s with movements because he is a “gymnastic climbing Ninja”, or at least this is his career goal upon which each day’s training activities are the primary focus. I’ve come to learn this means hikes steep enough to use the hands but not too steep to have to rely on foot or hand holds. Malosi has followed suite and now all hike participation is predicated that they involve climbing with “movements”. The Double Arches didn’t disappoint. They both scurried up to the top below the cathedral spans with a majestic portal between. Looking up through the golden brown ribs through to the azure blue sky was as close to natural spiritual moment between here and the grave that I’ve experienced this far. The weight of man’s insignificant footprint in the vapor trail of existence we currently amble through with naive hubris was heavy on me at the moment; a trend that would continue through the surreal landscape of Utah.

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