Before we left Moab we looked at the nice sunset restaurant on top of the hill overlooking the area. It was wholly out of our travelers budget with the entrees being priced at 20-35 dollars, but they looked great! : ) We were both just excited to be able to see the neat dinner spot though.
Downtown was fun too with a lot of different unique places.
The hostel we stayed at was kinda camp like with small cabins as private rooms with a separate shower and bath house. The dorm type rooms were VERY cheap though at 13 dollars a night at the Lazy Lizard.
The first time we went to Arches National Park we didn’t have that much time before the park closed at 7 with the road construction they were doing. AND a lot of the park was actually closed including Devils garden. The delicate arch was still open out of the other stuff we had already seen and I convinced Brian we haaad to do it. It was getting late in the day and when we arrived there was a Park Ranger standing at the entrance telling everyone walking in that it usually is over an hour hike there and back and you will get a ticket if you aren’t out of the park in time. I smiled at the Ranger, personally being up for a challenge. I walked around the side of him and he looked at us saying how you will need to jog and reminded me once more how tickets ARE given out if you aren’t back in time.
With some good motivation, Brian and I set off at a good pace. The road there wove around a good bit and we could see people still walking up quite a ways up the hill. The route was really quite beautiful. Keeping a close eye on time, we made it to the delicate arch and looked around happy to see that others were still here.
We scampered/jogged back down with our increasingly cumbersome, heavy, and hot riding jackets that we didn’t feel safe leaving on our bikes. Nearing the parking lot, Brian took a minute to cool down. While we were quickly making our way up I thought about a cool short movie of a someone like us racing against time and the cynical park rangers to the arch and back every night before the park closes. Everyday he would come 5 minutes later to start, with the Ranger increasingly shouting warnings and doubts at him. A few close calls happen with tripping, breaking his shoes, really severe weather, and more. And you see him get in the best shape of his life. Near the end of the short film, the ranger who was always the “bad guy” tosses a smile to the runner and shouts good luck as the time is 30 minutes there and back, a seemingly impossible task! I can hear the beautiful music in the background now. Lots of people gather at the start of the trail waiting expectantly for his return and start cheering when they catch a glimpse of him returning drenched in sweat and struggling as the seconds keep counting down.
My shirt was quite soaked as we both walked up to the Ranger at the entrance with time to spare. I struck up a conversation about how many people were normally late, and he turned out to be a really amazing guy; being glad we were back in enough time, and mentioned how he never signed up with the Park to be the guy warning people about tickets.
The drive back and out of the park was lovely. They have signs at the parking lots saying you have to be in your vehicle and drive non-stop to the exit at 6:15 P.M. (on Sunday through Thursday with the construction.)
One of our fine readers had sent me some Pay-pal money with a special request for it’s use. I want to give a HUGE shout-out to our ice cream sponsor Elizabeth Couse. : )
That night we were hungry after eating a late lunch, and looked for some place to eat that was still open. Moab shops and restaurants seemed to close super early with a lot being shut at 9 and others at 10. It was 10:30 when we checked with a pizza shop. Brian thought it was closed but I saw workers inside and opened the unlocked door walking in. The guy behind the counter said that he was very sorry but they are closed, and I asked where we could grab a bite to eat this late. He thought for one second and asked his manager something before handing us a HUGEE Pepperoni pizza that a customer had placed but never picked up! FREE PIZZA!! So cool and such a huge pizza. I drove with the box between the tank and my legs back to the hostel for some left over breakfast pizza the next day.
The next morning we awoke, ate some leftover pizza and instant oatmeal before hitting the road for St. George. Between the very dry stretches, the mountains reminded us how lovely, rich, and real the color green is.
It was exceptionally windy driving and when we finally arrived Brian had some nice tan lines where the jacket and gloves didn’t meet. After the exhausting ride fighting the wind, we had trouble hearing back with couch surfing, hostel finding, and friend connections in St. George and ended up getting a motel for 30 dollars a piece. Zion National Park was the destination in the morning.
Zion was lush and stunning with an amusement park undertone. The main road with the hiking routes didn’t allow for private passenger vehicles. You had to park and get in line for buses that would drop you off. It could be completely our fault for going on the weekend but there were a ton of people.
It was great watching the excited kids playing with a frog they had found, but wasn’t quite as fun waiting in line on the hiking trail. Large school groups were here and it was very difficult to really enjoy the quite and peaceful sounds of the birds with everyone making noise around us. In typical amusement park style there were signs telling everyone to stay on the path to preserve the park; in strong disapproval of finding your own quite unique and special spot. The small animals were used to grabbing left over food from the hikers and you can see a squirrel very close to Brian in the picture above.
Stay tuned for our afternoon ride to Las Vegas.