After a full day’s drive over the Rocky Mountains we arrived on September 3rd at Bureau of Land Management 378 off Willow Springs Road near Moab, Utah. Tons of wide open camping spaces for free! The next day we planned to visit Arches National Park.
The cost for the park and other parks we were planning to visit would have been more than the annual park pass cost, so we got one for $80. We decided to start the day with the most famous arch that Natalie remembers visiting as a child – Delicate Arch. It was a three mile roundtrip hike.
What we didn’t expect was to run in to some people we know at one of the arches. We had just visited Delicate Arch and were walking down the trail. We saw two ladies and Natalie was like, “Is that?” and I was like, “Yeah, it is!” So I said, “Hey! Jasmine?!” Our hunch was right, it was one of Natalie’s sister Nicole’s friends. Jasmine came down to San Diego to visit when Nicole came to see us after Sully was born, and she sailed aboard Astraea with us. It was cool to meet up at the arches. We spent the rest of the day hiking together.
The next day we decided to visit Dead Horse Point State Park on our way to Bryce Canyon. We stopped to see the views of the canyon since we were bypassing Canyonlands National Park.
The drive from Dead Horse Point to Tropic, UT was beautiful. We’d have traveled more slowly, but had hiking plans with Natalie’s Dad and his wife, Pam for Labor Day weekend. The landscape changed from red rock desert to white and grey rock desert, then it looked like we were on the moon. As we climbed in elevation trees began to appear. Our route took us up and down through the mountains of Dixie National Forest overlooking Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It was a beautifully scenic drive and we’re glad we went the slow route instead of more highway driving.