‘Are you awake?’
It’s 4am and the jet lag has hit my Mum and I hard. We’re in a small B&B in Moab, Utah and we’re sharing a bathroom – apparently it wouldn’t be very friendly to start using the power shower to wash my hair.
Instead, I log on to the wifi and do some work until we start to smell bacon…at 5am. It isn’t a dream, I send my Mum downstairs to investigate. Turns out the other B&B guests have requested an early brekkie before going off to watch the sunrise in one of the nearby National Parks. So not only is a pre-dawn shower now on the cards, but a delicious breakfast is going to be served imminently.
And what a breakfast it was – there were twelve TWELVE different flavours of cream cheese for our bagels, not to mention the variety of bagels. I opted for a cinnamon raisin with a schmear (apparently that’s what it’s called) of strawberry Philadelphia.
I was keen for us to get to Arches National Park for sunrise, I figured since we were up already it made sense. Luckily my Mum was easily persuaded and so we set off into the dark for Delicate Arch, the most famous of the arches and the one you’ll see on many Utah license plates.
Arriving to a nearly empty carpark, we couldn’t believe out luck and hopped out onto the trail… to say we were disappointed by the sunrise, or lack of, at the arch is an understatement. Apparently the best way to see the arch at first light is by hiking the 3 mile trail to get up close and personal with it, or, actually, to see it at sunset.
Undeterred we set off for the Visitor’s Centre to see if we could get a last minute slot on the Fiery Furnace Walk (the morning tickets had been sold out online for months). Sadly there was no availability until Saturday, and since we were only hanging around in Moab until the Thursday, this was a no go.
Since the Fiery Furnace was pretty much the only thing I’d researched in the park, and you have to gain a permit to hike (plus there is no map, or phone reception, or path…) we asked the ranger for an alternative hike. He suggested the Broken Arch Loop, but done backwards.
We made a quick pitstop back into town to buy sandwiches for lunch to eat on the trail (obviously using my Caxton Card – why would you want to pay a service fee on something that costs only $15), highly recommend Sweet Cravings for wraps and cookies. We then drove back to the park, stopping at the Fiery Furnace for some pics from the viewing point, then started our hike.
First up is Sand Dune Arch, only 0.15 miles from the carpark, and one that people were walking out of saying ‘it’s worth the effort’ – well how hard could it be? Not hard at all, despite the sand. Turns out the people that turn back at this arch are not the hardiest of hiker.
From there we took the trail left towards the Devil’s Garden campsite and immediately had the route to ourselves, we maybe saw 4 other people on the trail in total until reaching Tapestry arch, and even then it was a handful of other friendly hikers. We were able to enjoy the quietness of the park, the tranquility and above all, our delicious wraps with an incredible view.
And then my camera died… luckily my Mum’s camera didn’t but I forgot to download her pics so will update as soon as she lands from her international flight. There are some pretty snazzy pics of me jumping infront of Broken Arch, for now you’ll have to take my word for it!
From Broken Arch we walked back to the car and drove to Double Arch, where the heavens opened and we decided that we could see the Double Arch perfectly well from our current viewpoint and hotfooted it back to the car.
We’d booked to stay at Moab Under Canvas for our remaining two nights in Moab, which was all very well, but it seemed to pretty much rain solidly for our two nights camping. Including a HUGE storm that pelted and rattled our tent so vigorously that I was convinced it was going to blow away entirely. Happily it didn’t, but it did not make for a good night’s sleep. It made up for it with s’mores around the fire pit, gorgeous sunrises and the feeling of roughing it whilst actually glamping with hot showers and flushing loos. This is my sort of camping.
Question – glamping or camping? Or just stick to the B&B? Which ‘camp’ are you in?