Arches and Monument Valley

When I’m on a road trip I usually don’t drive at night, because you don’t see so much and it’s a bit harder. Driving at night in America is also more challenging, because you have to watch out for deer crossing the roads. Today I break the rule and start driving after I wake up around 4.30AM. I drive so early, because I want to arrive at Arches National Park in the morning, before it gets too warm to hike.

Me seven years ago and now at the same place.

Because I don’t dive at night so often, it’s something special for me. I remember the one night driving in New Zealand last year very clearly. Also dring this early morning is very nice. I turn on some music by Enya and drive out of Ouray. It’s full moon this night, so it’s not so dark at all. There are almost no cars on the road and I enjoy the moment. After about an hour driving it slowly gets lighter outside and when I’m at a large valley I stop to wait for the sun to rise above the horizon to take some pictures. I love sunrises, they give me an appreciation for life. I think that every morning you see the sun rise, it’s a miracle. I think that Einstein said that you can live as if everything is a miracle or like if nothing is a miracle. I’ll choose the first option.

Driving at night
Watching the sunrise
Hiking to Delecate Arch
Waiting for the sunrise
Driving into Utah
A lot of people at Arches National Park
Good morning
Driving into Utah (2)
Arches National Park (2)

After watching the sunrise I continue driving and I arrive at Arches National Park just before 8AM. To my surprise it’s already quite crowded here at this time. The road in the park is surrounded by beautiful red standing rocks. I park the car and have breakfast before I start the short hike to Delicate Arch, the famous arch you see a lot on pictures. It’s great to finally see this place with my own eyes. I skipped Arches National Park on my first trip in America and I’m glad I’m seeing it this time. After a few hours I leave the park again and see a huge line of hundreds of cars in front of the entrance now. Again, if you want to visit a National Park, it’s recommended to go early in the morning.

The rest of the day is driving with a few stops. I drive via the famous Monument Valley, a real western movie landscape. The drive is beautiful but long. At the end of the afternoon I stop at another iconic view, horseshoe bend. It’s a river through a canyon that formed its way in the shape of a horseshoe, alas its name. On my way there I visit another arch where I was seven years ago during my first trip in America. It’s nice to see a familiar place again and I think about how much has happened since then.

Another Arch
Arches National Park (3)
Monument Valley
Arches National Park
Long line for Arches National Park
Monument Valley (2)
Arches National Park (4)
Me at an Arch
Horseshoe bend

I haven’t published my blog of yesterday yet and somehow that makes me feel a bit alone. Writing the blog is a nice way for me to stay connected while traveling alone. I look at the map for the nearest town to find a coffee place with Wifi. I don’t find a coffee place, but a McDonalds. Comfort food and internet, perfect combination after a long day. I drove about 500 miles today, that’s a lot. Tomorrow I don’t need to drive so far, I’m about half an hour away from Zion National Park and Bryce National Park is also nearby. So the plan for tomorrow is less driving and more hiking.

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