It was still dark but I could see a soft glow to the east as I raced up into the park. My plan was to get as far into the park as I could before the sun and crowds came. I stopped for a couple shots of the bright moon behind rocks.
I made it to the windows before deciding the sun would be up any minute. I jumped out and took a few pictures and ran around as a few folks with camera headed up the trail to get sunrise pics.
Heath woke up and we watched the sunrise a bit then decided to head deeper into the park.
Our plan was to drive way in as far from the entrance as we could and then make our way out slowly all day stopping for hikes, overlooks and food. Once the kids waked, breakfast became a priority and we got out. It was all too new and exciting to immediately get the oatmeal cooking so we grabbed the breakfast bag and started exploring around the picknic area at Devil’s garden.
It was just below freezing out and the adventure was pretty short as cold fingers and hungry tummies took over. So we got breakfast cooking and warmed up in the van.
I got kids oatmeal cooked first and then Heath and mine and big mugs of coffee. This was my first cup of coffee since deciding to go on a road trip and drive all night and it really hit the spot.
After breakfast we started with a short hike to Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch. Pumpkin was not a happy camper, she didn’t want to ride in the backpack, she didn’t want to walk she just wanted to go to the cabin.
It was an easy hike but gave us a rough time. Luckily it was short.
We drove the van south a bit to the next longer hike. We got Pumpkin in the backpack and got plenty of snacks.
This hike went much better for some reason.
The sun was up, it was warmer, a little more challenging hike and we got lost on a small loop just after seeing the sand dune arch.
We thought we were on our way to broken arch but we hiked far longer then the trail was supposed to be and never headed back toward the van.
We really liked this hike though because there were like no other people and some great views.
We gave up on the broken arch and headed back. We looked at the map and decided we must have switched to another trail not on the map.
We drove through a few overlooks and took some pictures and then headed to the Delicate Arch, this is probably the most famous arch and the crowds were there to prove it.
It was a 3 mile hike round trip and the kids were hungry and not interested. We decided to look at it from afar and then go have a picknick at Balanced Rock.
For lunch we cooked the best shells and cheese I think I’ve ever had.
It was cheap box mix, with a can of western beans and a can of roasted red tomato chicken. We had no problem killing the whole pot.
After lunch the park was getting pretty crowded. We checked out several more overlooks and then hiked around the North and South Windows and the double arch.
After those hikes we didn’t have much left but some amazing driving on the way out along the great wall and several other cool spots.
On the drive the kids worked on their Jr Ranger badges and just before the entrance/exit was the visitor center. We went in to have a ranger look over their books. They both passed and got badges and certificates.
We took a few more pictures and headed into Moab and our cabin. The cabin was surprisingly perfect.
It was cheep, had 3 beds, a tv, fridge, microwave and heat. Bean was sleeping in the car and somehow stayed asleep while we unloaded. The van seriously needed an unloading our gear had ended up all over as we hiked, ate and entertained ourselves. Once unpacked we made a grouchy Pumpkin lay down, she fought us but fell asleep right away. Heath and I had a beer and started a fire and played GO Fish with Peanut.
Eventually the girls woke up and we loaded the grill with chicken and warmed up some prebaked potatoes.
We had a great deck and hung out and ate out there. We were hungry and devoured everything.
Near the end of dinner the sun started to set and it got cold fast. It had gotten up to about 50 and supper sunny during the day and felt great in a light jacket. It dropped below freezing fast at dusk. The kids did dishes and cleaned up trash in the van and then we all got on pajamas and got ready for bed.
There was a little grumbling from the kids about not being ready for bed but moments later we were all out cold. I doubt anyone moved for roughly the next 10 hours.