A full day of hiking Arches yielded an array of wonder and amazement; however, at some point the spirit was willing but the flesh was exhausted, cold, and tired of Cliff Bars. A hotel room, shower, and a visit to Moab Brew Pub were enough to realign our perspective. The next morning as the park ranger exited his heated kiosk, to open the gate, his breath and coffee left a trail of steam we quickly sped through. Numb fingers and burning cold skin are the price one pays for a late November Arches National Park sun rise, worth it!
Lauren and I diligently attempt to be visitors, and not tourist. Tourists are the people who in kind sincerity tell an elderly Italian wine maker his product would sell better if it taste like Boone’s-Farm. These are the people you pass on a 40 mile desert trail wearing a gift shop t-shirt, holding a novelty compass, a single bottle of water, and a cartooned map; completely unaware they will soon be meeting a professional rescue team. As we exited the rental car wearing high tech fabrics, there stood a foreign couple layered in souvenir t-shirts, shivering so badly they couldn’t photography through their 500mm lens. As to not be a bigot we won’t discuss what country these tourists were from, but I will tell you they were speaking Chinese. Watching these people reminded me of Bryce Canyon where oblivious global tourist can spend a small fortune to wear authentic spaghetti western attire. Imagine a four foot tall Asian business man dressed like a Mexican bandit next to a giant German man in chaps, spurs, and a cowboy hat walking around as if this were average American behavior. Tourist, you can’t escape them so why not enjoy the show.
Canyonland defied words; I hope the images help, we were left speechless. The scope and scale of these formations were impossible to photograph. A small arch acted as a window for a breath taking view, for below was a canyon so great it was filled with Hoodoos that from our perspective appeared to be dots. I would love to revisit Canyonland, the size and scope of the terrain offered a level of untouched wilderness rarely found in our ever shirking world. In a place so expansive and remote which displays such marvel and wonder perhaps we are all no more than tourist.