So — Day 4 was a really long day, as you might have guessed. But this is the final blog post to contain photos from Day 4, which (at least, photographically) ended on a high note.
- DAY 4 (Thursday, March 26) — cont’d.
After making it out of the 108-mile stretch of I-70 with no service stations, we turned off of I-70 onto US-191 toward Arches National Park and Moab, Utah. The sky was dreary, and the snowfall from the previous night’s blizzard was still dusted on the landscape.
We arrived at the park, where all the campsites were already full. So we set up camp along the Colorado River, at the Negro Bill Camping Area right outside the park. Then we headed back into the park, since the sky was finally clearing up and we were ready to take some sunset photos at the Delicate Arch.
The hike there was pretty tough. The first third of it is fairly easy, but then you get to a large, exposed rock surface where the trail is marked by small rock cairns. It’s also a bit steep. The last third of the hike is a series of ups and downs on more rock surface before you arrive at the Delicate Arch.
But, as over-photographed as it is, the Delicate Arch is completely worth the hike. Especially at sunset.
As I said in the previous post — as hot and sunny and dry as the park appears here, it was actually very cold and windy. Plus, when you’re up at the Delicate Arch, you are completely exposed to the wind. I could barely feel my hands enough to adjust my cameras’ settings and take photos. And it was so windy that, whenever I put my gear down to change lenses or filters, Jeff would become really paranoid that something would be blown away.
I was almost physically blown away, actually.
After the sun set beyond the horizon and the arch was no longer highlighted by its rays, we headed back down the trail.
That night was probably the coldest night we had on the trip. My hands were raw from the cold and wind, and it took forever for us to warm up as we drove out of the park and into Moab, where we ate at Burger King… where Jeff ate the Angry Whopper, Esten tweeted about burger shots and we followed MU’s victory in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen game against Memphis via Jeff’s phone.
After the Burger King closed and the game was over, we went to our campsite, where we spent the coldest, windiest and most extreme night of camping I’ve ever had. And that’s after three straight summers of backpacking and camping at Philmont!
And that is finally, finally, finally the end of Day 4.
- COMING NEXT: A morning in Arches National Park