Better get this finished - we're going hiking tomorrow!
Tuesday, Oct. 20
Forecast for the day was a good chance of rain, especially in the afternoon. On the recommendation of our B&B hosts, Vic & Anna, we did a morning hike on the Fisher Towers Trail, off of Utah Scenic Byway 128. This is a Fantastic hike - just as great as anything in the National Parks! There are HUGE towers right next to the trail! Be sure to continue on the trail past the largest tower, The Titan, to the trail's end on a ridge with a panoramic view (4.4 miles RT). While on this trail, we were watching the dark clouds get closer and closer and the thunder get louder and louder. We skipped lunch on the trail and made it back to our car at 1:30 p.m. - perfect timing since that is when the sky opened up with a torrental rain. Ate our packed lunch in the car and then drove to the Movie Museum in the Red Cliff's Lodge. It's Free, and very interesting to find out about all the movie, commercials, and ads that have been made in the area. We had originally planned to do the La Sal Loop Road into the mountains, but since it was socked in with fog and rain we decided to go back to Moab. What a surprise we got when we started driving Highway 128 back to Moab. Due to the heavy rains there were waterfalls coming off all the high cliffs! What a sight! Lots of people were pulling off the road to take pictures, and so did we. Really a spectacular sight - what a treat!! Pasta Jay's in Moab for dinner that night - Veggie Cannelloni for me, Spaghetti with Italian Sausage for Hubby - very yummy and filling.
Wednesday, Oct. 21
Back to Arches National Park. First, hiked the Delicate Arch Trail (3 miles RT) from 10 a.m. to noon. Spectacular!! Such a beautiful setting!! Quite a difference compared to the Delicate Arch viewpoint - the Arch looks so small and insignificant from the viewpoint. We were so lucky on the timing for the start of this hike - on our way back a group of people from a tour bus were starting out. When we were at the Arch it was very uncrowded - but not for long. We ate our packed lunch in the car at the Fiery Furnace viewpoint, since we had to be there at 1:45 p.m. for our 2 p.m. ranger-led Fiery Furnace hike. This was a Great hike! I am so glad we signed up to go with the ranger. Earlier we met a couple that had gotten the permit and hiked the Fiery Furnace on their own. They said they kept hitting dead-ends while trying to get somewhere - 5 dead-ends in all! The hike with the ranger goes through some spots that you would never know continued on as part of the trail. The Surprise Arch near the end of the hike was a real surprise to the hikers! This hike takes 3 hours, with several stops for ranger-talks and covers about 2 miles (according to the ranger). It is well worth doing! Back to Moab for dinner at Fiesta Mexicana, Veggie Burrito for me, Super Burrito for Hubby (and the standard beans and rice). We enjoyed all our meals in Moab. That night we took advantage of the hot tub at the Desert Hills B&B and did some star-gazing. The Utah sky has soooooo many visible stars compared to our TN sky!!
Thursday, Oct. 22
Hiking near Moab. 10 a.m. to 1:35 p.m. (with stop for lunch) we hiked the Negro Bill Canyon Trail (4 miles RT) to Morning Glory Bridge, the sixth-longest natural rock span in the U.S. This trail reminded me of the Taylor Creek Trail in the Kolob section of Zion, although the Taylor Creek Trail definitely has more fantastic scenery. The Negro Bill Canyon Trail is very different from the slickrock trails. It has lots of vegetation and a beautiful sounding stream that is nearby most of the way. We enjoyed watching the novice rappelers coming down the cliff in back of the Bridge. This trail does get a bit more crowded in the afternoon with lots of dog walkers. Next we drove to the start of the Corona Arch Trail (3 miles RT) on Utah Scenic Byway 279. 2:50 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. we had the hike all to ourselves - not another person on the trail - what a treat! The Corona Arch (140 by 105 foot opening) is just as fantastic as any arch you would see in Arches National Park! And you get to see the smaller, adjacent Bow Tie Arch. The first part of the trail gives you some nice view of the Colorado River. Highly recommend this trail! Check out the petroglyphs right along Highway 279 and the Dinosaur Tracks, viewed by looking through a scope near the road. Back to Moab Diner for our last dinner - burgers for both of us (with choice of fries, salad, or soup) Hubby, of course, had to get the special green chile sauce again! Then a real splurge for dessert - Banana Split for Hubby and a 2-scoop Hot Fudge Sundae for me! A great meal to end our Utah vacation! Great Weather, Great Accommodations at the Desert Hills B&B, Great Food, and Great Hikes and Scenery!!! I never thought a vacation could compare to our Kauai and Hawaii vacation last year, but our Utah vacation was definitely just as Fantastic!! The end.