A Lazy Afternoon in Arches National Park
Double Arch is highly trafficked, to say the least. Most times I had visited, there must have been nearly 100 people clambering all over the sandstone. But this night was different. As I approached the colossal adjoining arches, there was only one family of three climbing down from the bowl the arches encompass. I scrambled about 25′ up the eastern side, cracked a cold beer, and waited for the sun sink to the horizon through the smaller, western arch. After a few minutes, two guys showed up, snapped their iPhone picture, and two minutes later, they were gone.
Leaning back against the rock and in staring up at the 148′ and 104′ arches with no sounds, but the birds chirping, I think I finally found my appreciation for Arches National Park.
I’ve actually lost track of how many times I’ve been to Arches; Maybe somewhere in the low-teens. And it’s probably the snob in me, but I had always been kind of “meh” on the place. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve always thought it was cool and the more renowned arches are amazing (Delicate Arch, Double Arch, and the Windows to name a few), but the park isn’t as in-you-face like others. It’s always been more of a “that’s really cool” kind of appreciation versus another park like the Grand Canyon where you walk to the edge for the first time and you can’t help but utter, “What the f*ck?!” in sheer bewilderment. Plus, many of the landscape features inside the park can also be seen in and around the rest of Moab and other parts of Utah.
I had gone back down to Moab for one night, with the goal of shooting Delicate Arch at sunrise, and then moving on to go skiing in Snowbird. Having no plans for the afternoon, I decided to just head in to the park and meander around to some stuff I hadn’t done before.
This particular afternoon didn’t necessarily change my stance on it not being a “What the f*ck?!” bewilderment park, but it significantly enhanced my appreciation for the more subtle beauty the park offers.