Monday, 2 February 2015

Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

North Arch, Arches National Park
By now we were getting quite accustomed to the Arizona/Utah landscape. Not in the sense of 'meh - seen it', we still stopped every time there was a decent butte on the side of the road, but just in a gentle acclimatisation sense. It was just there, every time we walked out the door. That's the thing. It's not just the national parks in Arizona and Utah - everywhere you go there's a canyon or butte or mesa (though honestly I'm not too sure on what makes something a butte as opposed to a mesa - could google it but I'm also not sure it matters too much in terms of my general enjoyment of life). So Arches and Canyonlands, whilst spectacularly beautiful in their own way, just didn't knock my socks off in the same way as the Grand Canyon or Monument Valley. They were different though. The former were all about the drama - the huge scale of everything is what makes it remarkable. Arches and Canyonlands were more subtle, their attraction was more subtle, softer, with rounded edges. There wasn't just one amazing feature to look at but many. It was like being in a room full of models rather than in a room with one supermodel (I know this because I have extensive experience being in rooms with supermodels... although in another life as a Melbourne Fashion Week dresser, I do have experience being in rooms full of models).

Not surprisingly, Arches National Park is famous for its rock arches, which are very nice, but it has other features, including Balancing Rock, which is where we decided to stay for sunset. The sky obliged by putting on quite a spectacular show as you will see in the photos. I spent my time there calculating which way the Balancing Rock would fall should it decide to do so and accordingly where I perhaps shouldn't stand, although surely if it were to go one would get enough warning to get out of the way (this is what it is like living in my brain). We were surrounded by petrified sand dunes and rock formations that reminded me of wet sand dribbled through your hand at the beach, only a prettier colour - though I suppose that depends on the beach. Are there red sand beaches anywhere in the world?  These places were all about the light and when the light was right they were flat out beautiful. Enjoy the photos!

North Window, Arches National Park
North Window (and Jackie), Arches National Park
South Window, Arches National Park
The Windows (and Jackie), Arches National Park
North and South Windows, Arches National Park
View from Turret Arch, Arches National Park
Turret Arch, Arches National Park
Sunset at Balance Rock, Arches National Park
Sunset at Balance Rock, Arches National Park
Sunset at Balance Rock, Arches National Park
Sunset at Balance Rock, Arches National Park
White-crowned Sparrow, Arches National Park
Broken Arch, Arches National Park
Arches National Park
Landscape Arch, Arches National Park
Sunset at Dead Horse Point
Sunset at Dead Horse Point
Sunset at Dead Horse Point
Sunset at Dead Horse Point
Mesa Arch
Mesa Arch

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