We were both beat from the long drive the day before, so we weren’t out at the crack of dawn. It didn’t really matter, because we wanted to get a better campsite, and no one leaves a campsite straight away in the morning. There is always cleaning and organizing before you cast off. We had run out water, so it was nothing fancy for breakfast.
The largest campsite promised to be Sand Creek with about 120 campsites, but the map and the location didn’t match up. I even stopped and asked for directions, but they were akin to ‘go a country mile and make a right at Jeb’s and then near the end of the canyon . . . ’, so I opted to go back to the campsites near the river and looked for one there, before there were none left. We hadn’t taken out tag off the campsite and, in theory, we had until noon to renew our site.
We stopped at Goose Island Campground, the first campground in a series of campgrounds, and the campground closest to the end of the Canyon and Moab, and looked around. Goose Island had been packed the night before, but there were a number of sites available that morning. We found one where the RV could be parked parallel to the river, giving us complete privacy and a great view of the river from the ‘dining room’ of the RV. We paid the fee, left some firewood and a tablecloth and were off to visit Arches.
We stopped at the visitor’s center to discover that the water promised was water to fill jugs and canteens and water bottles, and not water to fill your RV. We were provided with a piece of paper where, for a fee, you could dump at the necessary and get water. There was NO water at any of the campsites along the river, so people without a camper or RV would have to fill their water containers at a commercial location, or at the visitor’s center. For the price of a camping spot, the Bureau of Land Management should have provided water at the very least. What they did provide was a view of the Colorado River, a pit toilet, NO garbage disposal, period, for $15 a night. How do you spell fleece?
We took off straight away for a section of the park called Park Avenue. It was relatively cool at Arches when we got to Park Avenue, about 82 degrees, a nice breeze and dry. We walked the trail deep into the formations and had fun pointing out what different formations looked like. A locomotive, a funny face, an elephant, just silly stuff. After exploring Park Avenue we stopped near the Courthouse Towers Viewpoint and had lunch.
After lunch it was off to balanced rock where we walked half the loop trail, and then were off to the windows section of the park. We hiked to double arch and then to turret arch and north and south arch. It had gotten pretty darn hot at that point and we were out of all water, and it was getting late, so we took off for Devils Garden. I wanted to see the Landscape Arch again. It’s the longest natural arch in the world and has had stone flake off it, so it’s only a matter of time before it is no more.
We arrived in the area, and there was a hydrant to get water from, so we filled all the bottles and containers we had, drank our fill and went on to the parking lot for the area. As we were parking, a tour bus pulled up. The bus was numbered 777. I said to Louise that I’d wager her, (funny since the bus was numbered 777, very lucky number), that the bus was filled with Chinese tourists. I was wrong. It was filled with Korean tourists.
We started down the trail as the bus emptied, and by the time we were a hundred yards down the trail, we were surrounded by the tourists. It was a great opportunity to people watch. They were all very nice. People are the same all over, and it’s fun to see someone you think is completely different, act just like you. It’s a challenge to your assumptions, and gives you a much needed reality check.
Landscape Arch was still there, although I remember that when we were there last, with the girls, you could walk directly underneath the arch. There was a collapse in September 1991, so Louise and I will have to check the photos and determine when we were there. I’m thinking that it was during the summer of 1991, just before the collapse. We walked back with the throng, re-watered and headed off to Moab.
I’ve been having difficulty in scheduling must do’s with the fun to do’s. We needed gas, fresh water for the RV, a place to dump before we headed off to Colorado, a place to go to church, and a few items from the grocery store and necessary cleaning items. We found a great grocery store. What we remembered, we purchased. A church was located and a Mass time for the following morning was obtained. We filled up the RV in a very tight gas station. I scared away all the customers from the center fuel bay. There wasn’t enough room for me to properly work the payment pad for debit/credit and all the stuff they want to know before the sell you gas. We obtained a full tank of water.
Back to the campsite we went, positioned and leveled the RV and set to enjoying the evening. We had a drink; Louise took a long hot shower, and I set up for grilling and cooking outside as it was too hot to do inside the RV. We grilled some pork chops and had some fresh broccoli, and it was an outdoors feast. We were entertained by the boats zipping up and down the river, and the lights on the cliff face, both natural and man made We made a fire and sat there and stared at the flames until all the stars came out. What is it called when the stars come out? Star-rise? I had never thought of it before. The night cooled, and with our fan going it was a very pleasant night. A great day too.