Edit – I’m adding in this picture, which was made for the subsequent day, here because I think it does more than my descriptions to show where we were, especially to anyone looking to visit.
We got up early, and yes, we actually got up early, to go to Delicate arch which was supposedly one to see at Sunrise. It was raining slightly, and that developed into a full on thunderstorm by the time we were at the trail head for Delicate arch. We waited that out for an hour or so until it seemed the rain had mostly died and then hiked up to the arch.
The hike was very different than the previous mountain paths. This one was more sandstone sheets that we were walking across and up. This was the first time for me following the karns which are little rock piles serving as trail markers. They end up being quite critical, because with the sandstone, there’s not much of a trail, especially when going over peaks which impede the view of the rest of the trail.
Right as we got toward the end of the trail, it did start to rain. We kind of snugged up to a wall which blocked some of the rain and waited it out. Afterward we walked the final 100 yards along a ledge to see Delicate Arch. This was my first time seeing an arch like this, or like any really. It was pretty neat, and a good candidate for lots of pictures. We didn’t really get the classic sunrise, but I tried to capture some of the more interesting cloud patterns behind it.
We stopped again on the way down and took a little detour to the road less traveled – over to the base of the bowl on the side opposing the arch. This offered a different view, kind of looking up at the arch more. Again, partially due to the lighting here, I don’t think the pictures really capture the scene as well as I’d like. This is the shot with the two little guys in it.
We had to head back to Moab to pack up our stuff. Between leaving that morning and our return at about 11:00 the room had been rented to someone else, so we did have to fully pack up and relocate. This really is not ideal, but in this case it worked out pretty well. Right as we got done packing up and huge (by my standards at least) hail storm hit. We drove down the main street of Moab until we found a brewery serving the finest local three-two beer and stopped there for lunch.
The hail was relatively short lived and after lunch we headed back to the park, stopping on the way to secure a room at the Motel 6 (nicest Motel 6 I’ve ever seen) on the other end of Moab. We headed back into the park stopping at Balancing Rock, the Windows and Double Arch (at least at the time of writing this, I think those were the names and I think this is when we went to see them). We were kind of keeping an eye out for the weather and hopping in the car when the rain and lesser hail hit on occasion.
The Windows are a pair of arches which, at least now, are rather free standing (stick up out of relatively flat ground). Double arch shares the same parking lot and is two arches sharing what used to be a single roof. I decided here to play a fund game of taking enough pictures so that I could overlay them all and remove all the people. The only problem is that I wasn’t really careful with the settings and may have ended up with the exposure not fixed or the stabilizer still on, which when on a tripod causes a shift in the images. These arches also lend themselves very well to hiking up into and around, which isn’t so much relayed in pictures, but was fun to do.