Moab and Arches by Moonlight

After a night at Chateau Walmart, we arrived in Moab at OK RV Park.  It was another lovely July day in the desert heat.  When we checked in, we shared our park visiting plans with the host and asked if she had any tips, or what order she would go in.  Her reply was that she wouldn’t go at all on a day like that, and she sent us up the road to the local watering hole (Mill Creek) with a waterfall in the rocks you can jump in from!  The hike out was hot and dry at first, but then was refreshing as the path became the river itself.  There were plenty locals and other visitors there.  I do regret that I didn’t jump in from the rock, but it was maybe six foot deep.  Andy was afraid he’d hurt himself, and I was wearing slip on sandals and I chickened out on the climb because of my footwear!

We got back to camp and lazed around a while, intending to hit Arches at night and hike to Delicate Arch.  Apparently, this is the best time for photos.  As you might guess if you know me, I will just say we did not make it.  We knew sunset was coming, but after getting to the park, there was still a long drive in the park to get to the head of the trail to hike up to the arch.  And it is a long hike.  And the sun was already setting.  I took off ahead of Andy & the kids, hoping to salvage a shot, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Half way up, I tried sending a text to Andy telling them to turn back but I wasn’t sure if it would even be sent with intermittent signal in the park.

When I got to the arch, it was beautiful.  And very nearly dark.  I had no tripod and no one to take photos of near the arch.  I was thirsty and nervous about the trek back down in the dark.  It was kind of a bust.  I took a few shots, and turned back.  I got just past the first bend when my family came walking up.  We went back up for a bit and had a rest before heading back down.  I thought maybe we should hang out with the crew of people that were prepared for a night hike with headlamps, but we got out in front of them and realized we could see just fine by the light of the nearly full moon.

It was serene and you could see every star in the sky.  We walked along together and found our way back to the path, and I stopped to try a few night shots (which I am aware I need more practice in taking).  I wouldn’t have planned for a night hike with the kids, but what I learned is that it is not always about getting the photo…the experiences will live much longer in your memory.

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