Arches National Park & Portal RV Resort – Moab, Utah

Continuing our trek along Highway 50 (The Loneliest Road in America), we stayed just 2 nights in Moab, UT. Two nights was certainly not long enough to do it much justice. As my friend F.M. warned me, mid-July is not the best time of the year to visit Moab, UT. It’s hot! The high temperature was 104 on Friday and 103 on Saturday. We finished our short, 1.4 mile hike at Arches National Park by 10:00 am on Saturday. At that point, it was getting too hot for us to be hiking anymore. Luckily, there’s a pool at Portal RV Resort!

We had a wonderful time with Ranger Mariah on a private tour of “The Windows” at Arches National Park. By “private tour”, I mean that we were the only ones hiking with Ranger Mariah, there were hundreds of other tourists in the park. You’ll see many of these nice folks in the backgrounds of my photos. Want to know how I got a private Ranger-led tour? It was easy, I just looked on the park website and saw that there was a Ranger-led tour at 9:00 am, then we showed up at the stated day, location and time. We were the only people who showed up. Ranger Mariah said that most visitors don’t look at the website. The kiddos had so much fun, we all learned a lot, and Ranger Mariah got to hear our life story from the talkative kiddos. They are pretty social for homeschoolers 😉!

I’m going to show you the photos of our short hike, but I almost don’t want to. The reason that I almost don’t want to show you the photos, is that pictures alone just doesn’t have the right effect. I want to take you there, not post photos for you to look at. It’s the difference between seeing a photograph of the statue of David by Michelangelo in a art history textbook and standing at the feet of the statue of David in Florence, Italy. This first one looks neat and you can see what it looks like. But to stand there, at the base of something so huge. It’s indescribable. It’s the difference between listening to a CD of your favorite band and hearing your favorite band live in concert. At Arches National Park, you don’t just see the towering rocks, you can actually feel the rocks towering over you. You don’t just see the arches, you hear your voice echo in them. It’s the difference between using one of your 5 senses and using all of them at once. If you ever have the opportunity to see something in real life, go see it. These enormous rock formations speak of the glory of our Creator. The still and silent massiveness of the arches shake your soul awake to the power of the Almighty.

Sometimes the hand of God is easy to see and fairytales and history are the same thing. (Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas

National Parks are places where the hand of God is easy to see. It is awesome and awe inspiring. Hallelujah!

After a 20 minute drive from the Visitor’s Center, we began our hike with Ranger Mariah from “The Windows” parking lot. She told us that there are over 2,000 rock formations in the park. She said that she doesn’t know the names to all of them, and sometimes it’s more fun to make up your own names. What would you name the rocks in these photos?

Ahhh…. shade break!!!

B thinks he’s a big horn sheep. He says he wants to be a rock climber when he grows up.

Ranger Mariah taught the kids how to dismantle carins into “rock necklaces” by unstacking the rocks and lining them up in a row. A carin is a stack of stones used to mark a trail. The National Park Service encourages visitors to stay on the marked trails and paths to preserve the natural ecosystems as much as possible. Carins are typically made by visitors and lead off the designated pathways.

Here is my 4th of July outfit from Old Navy that I completely forgot to wear on the 4th of July.

We said goodbye to Ranger Mariah and thanked her for the awesome private tour of “The Windows”.

S took the photo above. The photo below shows the kiddos expressions when we asked if they wanted to do a short hike to see double arch. I guess we’re done hiking for the day! lol

We stopped at several look out spots on the drive back to the Visitor’s Center. The kiddos had fun posing with balanced rocks, pretending to grab them or knock them off.

E took the panoramic photo above.

E managed to squeeze in a mountain bike ride at “Slickrock” early this morning before we hit the road again.

We’ve been doing way too much driving lately! Everyone is exhausted! We plan to stay at our next destination for a whole week. Maybe I can catch up on laundry and grocery shopping. We are heading Northeast to meet up with some friends we met on the road about four months ago. This is definitely one of the pros to RV living. We can do stuff like that!

Post Script:

In other news, here is a great grass-roots opportunity for anyone wanting to help Camp Fire survivors, click, Paradise Adopt a Family, for more information. Our family has been blessed with generous friends and family and we don’t need any assistance at this time. There are other families who are suffering and they could use your help. Thank you for following our displacement adventure, and for sending your prayers and encouragement our way.

⛰ It’s been awhile since I’ve done a fun quiz. Here’s one from the Arches Junior Ranger workbook:

If you were made of rock, which formation would you be?

a.) Arch

b.) Butte

c.) Fin

d.) Spire

e.) Balanced Rock

Leave your answer in the comments below for your score!

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