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R2R2R... The Journey Down to the Grand Canyon

Driving through Colorado, Moab, Arches NP

Time to do some hiking! We got a few friends together and convinced them that hiking the Grand Canyon would be a great idea. So we decided to do it around Thanksgiving, when the holiday gave everyone an extra day of holiday.

We left just after 8pm on Thanksgiving evening. I managed to convince everyone that this was the way to go so we would actually get time to see things during the day... and I succeeded! We piled all 7 of us in Luke and Maggie's surburban... and we were off!

I ended up in the co-pilot seat for the majority of the overnight. Luke was driving at first, and I chatted with him for a few hours before Nick took over driving for the rest of the night. Everyone else watched movies and slept in the back... and those that were in the way back were of course, super uncomfortable.

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The sun has risen!
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And there are still smiling faces!

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The sun rose right as we started going through the mountains in Colorado.
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It's always nice going through the mountains and seeing different scenery. The roads were a bit yucky though.
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We left Minnesota and there was no snow. We found some!
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Hold your breath!

Our first stop was Arches National Park, which we got to at about 10:45am on Friday. As we pulled off the exit, we saw some out of this world jerky! We had to stop and check it out...
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I like the Mystery Machine
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This was definitely not cheap jerky. I think it was 3 packages for $50. Yikes.
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Nick found some fancy shades in the back of the suburban...

Our first stop was at our hotel for the night to see if we could check in early. Nope. Not at all. So we decided it was time to get some real food and check out Moab Brewery for lunch.
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I stopped here a few years ago when I was at Arches, but I don't think I actually sat down.

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Yum! Just what I wanted!

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All smiles after food and beers.

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National Park number one of the trip! We've arrived!
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Waiting in the parking lot for everyone to change into their hiking stuff
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Our first views of Arches NP
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Balanced rock
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Don't worry, Emily will hold it up!
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Turns out it's a beautiful place
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We started out going to Turret Arch. We had to drive around the parking area for ages to try to find a place. We finally succeeded. We did some walking on the trail, but then also went off road a bit and we walked on the sandstone as well.
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There's a baby arch as well!

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Looking out through Turret Arch. This is a super cool view I think.

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Time to head to the windows. We didn't climb up there because of time... but some people did. You can see how huge the windows are!

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The whole group at the Windows. It's hard to get both of them in the photo. We found a trail marking sign on the ground (that says "this is not a trail") and decided we needed to hold it. Haha no idea what we were thinking!
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The windows all in one photo
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Double arch. This one is pretty awesome too.

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Luke and I walking back. A little later he was less enthused about this trip hahah!

We decided to hike to Delicate Arch for sunset. It's about 3 miles round trip. and we decided we should stretch our legs and go right to the arch instead of just looking from the viewpoint.
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The colors are great at sunset!
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Photo time! We managed to mostly get all the tourists out of the photos, which was awesome.
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Sam and I walking back. Luke was much less enthused about what he had gotten himself into after hiking to Delicate Arch. It wasn't a super long hike, but we had sat in a car for hours, and there was some uphill climbing, so it made you breathe a bit!

When we left, we ended up sitting in traffic for ages to get back to the hotel. They are working on the main road through town so it was down to one lane, and everyone left the park after sunset just like we did! We got to the hotel, checked in, and then put in an order for pizza to pick up. We also stopped at the 7-11 to grab some beers. We were introduced to Brad, the crackhead seeming guy that worked there! He was waaaaay too excited that we were visiting and told us that we have seen nothing around Moab unless we drive down road 128 and stop at the Red Cliffs Lodge and then drive the rest of the road to see the sights. I had actually read that this road was a really scenic drive, but we didn't have time to check it out in the end.

After eating some pizza, having a few beers and getting a shower, we all passed out pretty early. Sleeping in a car isn't great sleep, so we all needed to catch up! Day 1 was a success :D

Posted by rhwanderlust 14:39 Archived in USA

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