Much of our second day in Arches was spent getting lost in the Fiery Furnace (what an incredible place! I encourage you to read all about that adventure here), but we had more park to explore! Besides, we were excited to share some of the park’s wonders with Mum. And our second day in the park was just as rewarding as the first.
We began with Sand Dune Arch, one reasonably accessible from the road. I was surprised to find so much sand there; it was difficult to walk in being beach-thick. I suppose the name made sense, but considering all of the packed dirt and rock everywhere else, I had to wonder why there was so much sand in this small isolated pocket.
The arch itself was smaller than some of the ones we had seen the previous day, but it was aesthetic in its own, unique way. Aaron beat me to the arch, and he was delighted to show me what he dubbed the “photo-bombing waiting area” tucked behind the arch. Sure enough, any who posed beneath the arch were subject to an unexpected photobomb from a chuckling Aaron should he have felt so inclined. And we know bad behavior is contagious, so Dad, harking back to his troublemaker days, was quick to join him. Boys will be boys – no matter how old!
Next, we hit Skyline Arch. Different, still, from all the others before, I was struck by how constructed this one appeared – as though someone had deliberately carved it out of the lone ridge. Also, while there’s a path that gets you rather close to it, the view is actually better from a small distance.
The clouds that had thus far been a mere dull blanket to the sky – providing absolutely no texture for skyward photos of arches overhead – had been gradually growing darker. By this point, they were downright threatening, so we accepted our day was likely drawing to a close. But that didn’t stop us from squeezing in two more arches before calling it!
At the very end of the road on the north end of the park, we saw two arches within skipping distance of the parking lot, so off we went!
It had begun to sprinkle by this time, but what resulted was something truly boggling.
The rocks around us suddenly shined. I assure you there is no snow on these rocks, though they look frosted. This was September – summer. The shorts are proof! (No, Dad isn’t typically one of those weirdos who wears shorts in the dead of winter.) We were in swimsuits only a few days prior.
Yet the landscape took on the illusion of a lingering frosty dusting. Who knew wet rock could look like snow?
Carefully tucking my camera beneath my jacket and whipping it out only for a few quick shots, we made it next to Pine Tree Arch, espying Tunnel Arch on our way out.
Four more arches to check off our list, we called it a day.
I never expected our next and last day in Arches National Park to be even more amazing. You’ll want to check out that post next week; I still get jolts of that natural high just remembering that incredible day!
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