Westbound Day 21 – 63 miles – Moab & Arches National Park

Friday, 8 July 1994

Arches National Park is only five miles south of Moab and what a park it is. Everywhere you look is another view to make you reach for a camera, most of them otherworldly, how else can you describe them? The park is a pretty simple one to understand. There’s basically one road running through the park with a number of short sidetrips and walks off that central spine. Even though the park is comparatively small there’s a lot to see and one day doesn’t really scratch the surface. We’re left with the feeling, a familiar one from this trip, that it would be nice to have at least another day to explore. This time of year it’s also a rather hot park, the warnings to make sure you’ve got plenty of water are definitely worth heeding. Even a walk of a couple of miles works up a real thirst.

Maureen in Arches National ParkAt the end of the park we take the walk to Landscape Arch, one of the park’s major attractions, and on from that to Pavilion Arch. A crowd of Italian visitors are busy clearing up the debris from a watermelon but as soon as they’re gone the park’s sprightly chipmunks appear to see if there’s anything left.

We reckon they’ll be on the lookout for bits of melon but it quickly becomes clear they’ve got no interest at all in melon, it’s melon seeds they’re after. One little animal cleans up around our feet like a computer controlled vacuum cleaner, not missing a single seed.

Back in Moab we negotiate the intricacies of Utah licensing laws. Yes, you can buy a drink, but only if there is also food on the table. Any food, and one order of any food will do for as many people as there are at the table. Is this ridiculous or what? Furthermore you can’t order another drink until you finish its predecessor, and you won’t be offered a drinks list unless you ask for it.