April 27th --Drive along the Colorado River to the Rocky Mountain--


Again, I was in a hurry this morning. Last night, I found that both Aspen Ski Area and Vail Ski Area had already been closed. I searched an available ski area and found one about 50 miles away from Aspen. This means that I have to drive 50 miles more than expected after visiting Arches. I gave up the trail to the Delicate Arch, which is far deep in the park. The easier trail I picked up was the Windows Section. I drove to the trail head and started to walk. Soon, some arches appeared. Now I could feel that I was in Arches. If there were no arches in the Arches NP, it is almost the same as Monument Valley. The Windows Section was very good for those who had less time. You can see the South Window, the North Window, the Turret Arch, and the Double Arch. First, I walked along the trail for the Turret Arch and the Windows. They are all large and if you get too close, you can't take the whole structure in one picture.

After that, I took the trail for the Double Arch. This arch is called a pothole arch, the beginning of the arch formation was a vertical hole. It had a fine structure. I walked closer and closer until I got under the arch. Looking from the inside of the arch, it seemed like a cave without a ceiling. I climbed up a steep slope of rock to get under the second arch and found the other side of the arch was a cliff. When I looked back, I found that the slope I climbed was a little bit steep. I walked down slowly and carefully. I returned to a shade of the first arch and had a break. Then, a little girl and her mother came. They also started to climb the slope. The little girl was so pleased with the rock climbing. When they were getting to the top, I said, "Watch out, the other side is a cliff." The little girl stopped and the mother said, "Hoo!" It seemed that they had someone on the ground who would take a picture of them under the arch. They finished the ceremony and started to walk down. Now they also found that the slope was steep. "Do you need a help?" I said. "I am not sure yet." the mother replied. Actually it was so steep that they had to turn back and put their hand on the rock. The mother stepped down first and the daughter stepped under her mother. Then, they couldn't move. I went to them and held the girl. The mother stepped down again and she held her daughter again. At last they got to the ground. I asked her age and knew that she was four years old. I missed my daughter and hoped to come here with her someday.

I saw enough arches. So I decided to move on to next. I checked my watch and found that I still have time to drop by the Canyon Land NP. It is just next to the Arches NP. I drove and drove to the entrance of the Canyon Land NP. Taking the map of the park, I headed to the dead end called the Grand View Point Overlook. I hurried so much that I felt the road endless. The Canyon Land NP is located at the meeting point of two rivers, the Green River and the Colorado River. In the visitor center, I saw a postcard showing the green water and red water mix to be brown water. I really wanted to see it, but it was impossible from the Grand View Point. I asked a woman from Holland and knew that I needed to take one day trail to the meeting point called Confluence to see the mixing. We talked for some time about trips and I left. I took another road to see the Green River. Fortunately, I could take a picture of it. It was 14:30 when I came back to Moab. I fueled and got something for lunch.

As well as the Canyon Land NP, the Byway-128 is also a recommendation of my friend. It went along the Colorado River. I took a lunch break under a good shade of huge rock on the river. Then, I drove north and again, I saw the color of land changed from red to light tan with green. When green became dominant, the river looked very kind. The road took me to the Interstate-70. I turned east and kicked the gas. The I-70 was also a beautiful way. It went along the Colorado River, again, but everything was totally different. The river was flowing calmly in a green field. Later, the landscape turned to a canyon again. It is the Glenwood Canyon. The Colorado River, the I-70 and a railroad went all together in the narrow gap of gray rocks. After the Glenwood Canyon, I saw high mountains with white snow just ahead of me. I reached Dillon and prepared for skiing tomorrow.

The South Window (left) and the North Window (right)

The Turret Arch

The Double Arch

The Green River and the Stillwater Canyon

Drive the I-70 along the Colorado River

All are packed in the Glenwood Canyon


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Copyright (C) Tadao Hashimoto