For our 20th anniversary, my husband and I decided to take a long road trip and visit some places we’ve never seen. Our trip would last 8 days, travel through 5 states, drive more than 2,400 miles, visit 5 different national parks, pass by several more and I would take 3,499 photos. Whew!!!
Day 1 we left Albuquerque, NM, and headed north. The weather was perfect for a road trip.
We briefly passed through the southwest corner of Colorado. We drove through Cortez, CO. My grandparents used to live here, and we would visit them most Christmases. The scenery here really looks like backdrops on those old western movies.
We passed our first national park called Mesa Verde just outside Cortez, CO. But no time to stop! A couple years ago Valerie and I took a photo road trip, and we visited Mesa Verde. It’s a fabulous place to see. Here’s a photo I took on that trip.
We then turned northwest and headed into Utah. In the southwest, we have the funnest roadside stops. 🙂
We stopped in Moab for a bite to eat. This was a great small town and very outdoors oriented. After a great BBQ dinner, we drove to Arches National Park. I have always wanted to visit here.
We knew we were getting close to the park when we saw this arch off the side of the highway.
We arrived at the park very late in the day. The visitors center was going to close soon and the sun was going to set in just a couple hours. I collect the National Parks Passport Stickers. I was torn between stopping for a sticker and getting to the sights before sundown. Tim asked me, “Do you want a sticker or shutter time?” Of course I opted for shutter time!
We only had a short time before sunset to see the park. So we quickly drove to the furthest end of the park. The views from the road were amazing.
From there we had to hike about a mile to the arches. There were four arches on this trail but split down two different trail ends. The trail itself was very picturesque.
We finally made it to the arches. I couldn’t believe how delicate this arch looked. The sun was setting behind it, which made for challenging photography.
We then heard from other visitors that we needed to hurry and get to the Delicate Arch for sunset photos. So we quickly headed back down the trail. We briefly stopped at the arch near the road for a quick photo. Then back in the car to see Delicate Arch.
When we got to the trail head for Delicate Arch, we realized it was a 2-mile hike to the arch. We knew we didn’t have enough time to make it to the arch before sunset. So we hiked an alternate trail that gives you a distant view of the arch. We made it just before sunset! The trail was steep but well worth it for the view.
Daylight was quickly disappearing. We had just enough light to photograph Balanced Rock. The lighting was glorious for photography.
Tim took the camera to get some photos of me. This is what he took. I quickly realized we needed to talk about “mergers” in photos. LOL!!!
I only had enough daylight after this stop to get a couple more photos before dark.
After touring the park, we got back in the car to drive to Provo, UT. We went through a lot of road construction which really slowed us down. We didn’t get to the hotel until 11 pm. We were pooped!
Stay tuned for Day 2!