On the way is the US Department of Energy Umtra Project.... which appeared to consist of a bunch of dirt being moved around. I'd have to ask about it later.
Sam had told us that as a Senior Citizen, Vicki could get a lifetime pass to all the national parks for $10. That's crazy, we thought. Must be $10 over and above a 1 year all parks pass... which would mean about $90. As we pulled up to the booth, a sign seemed to confirm what Sam had told us, but we still couldn't believe it. And when we got to the window, Vicki asked the ranger about it, and she said "just need to see your id".
Vicki showed her ID.
We got a pass. That was it. Rest of her life. And if I'm with her, I get in, too. Awesome.
I always like to check the ranger stations and visitor centers at parks before I dive in full bore. There was a water station right outside for filling up bottles, camel backs, and other water containers for the trip. Everywhere we were warned "bring water". We didn't take that lightly. Have to fill up our collapsible 5 gallon container here.
We went inside, got the basic layout of the park and kind of where to expect what. It tured out that directly across the river from our campsite was technically Arches National Park. Huh. We hopped into the car and headed up the switchbacks on the east side of the Moab fault and up onto the park's plateau.
|La Salle Mountains|
|Old Fashioned Santa|
Going down the road from The Windows toward Firey Furnace and Wolfe Ranch, there was a long valley called the salt wash ... with what looked like poured piles of blue-green gravel piled up on an otherwise thinly vegetated red gravel valley. Like many things in the desert southwest, it looked stark, pretty, and uninviting all at the same time. Enter at your own risk.
|Me in front of part of the |
|Blue Collared Lizard|
On the way we saw a blue collared lizard on a rock right off the trail posing for pictures, and I and several other tourists obliged before heading off on the maybe half mile hike to the overlook.
By this point, it was pushing mid afternoon, getting kind of warm, and the park was crowded. Let's head back to the Visitor's Center, fill up our water, putz around and look at the displays and merchandise in the air conditioning, and maybe head back to the campsite. Cook some dinner.
We had the Buffalo Chicken rice meal with Three Bean Salad.
I love that little camp stove. Handy.