Utah and I - Arches (part 1)

Day 178 / Mile 21,875

Even though it was cold on those snowy mountain passes in Colorado, the little motor in the ol' van got way hot and almost blew up. Since she's underpowered and carrying my trucker bod it was nice to start descending down into Utah. 

 Though a lot lower than CO, UT is much higher than most of my eastern travels. I often was short of breath.

Though a lot lower than CO, UT is much higher than most of my eastern travels. I often was short of breath.

 I stumbled upon a row of abandoned buildings, and couldn't resist checking out this cool looking cafe.

I stumbled upon a row of abandoned buildings, and couldn't resist checking out this cool looking cafe.

  50 Cent will take you to the candy shop . Keep going 'til you hit the spot. ...woah. 

50 Cent will take you to the candy shop. Keep going 'til you hit the spot. ...woah. 

 First destination was Arches National Park near Moab. I was shocked by the geographic beauty of this land. I can't believe I never had come here until now.

First destination was Arches National Park near Moab. I was shocked by the geographic beauty of this land. I can't believe I never had come here until now.

 I photographed a hundred different scenes of Balanced Rock. I'll give you a slideshow someday if you ask.

I photographed a hundred different scenes of Balanced Rock. I'll give you a slideshow someday if you ask.

 I hiked what they call the 'primitive trail' through Devil's Garden. That basically means it wasn't paved and you have to scramble on rocky cliff sides without any trail at times, which is how I like it.

I hiked what they call the 'primitive trail' through Devil's Garden. That basically means it wasn't paved and you have to scramble on rocky cliff sides without any trail at times, which is how I like it.

 This heat got me like. The temps were brutal, even more so when carrying all my camera gear. Gotta capture the moment tho!

This heat got me like. The temps were brutal, even more so when carrying all my camera gear. Gotta capture the moment tho!

 I took the more challenging but dry route by clinging to the rocks on the side. They thought I was crazy, I thought the same of them.

I took the more challenging but dry route by clinging to the rocks on the side. They thought I was crazy, I thought the same of them.

 A few miles in on this hot hot day I finally found the Double Arch. I enjoyed double the shade.

A few miles in on this hot hot day I finally found the Double Arch. I enjoyed double the shade.

 Do not attempt this dangerous and illegal stunt, he's a trained amateur.  

Do not attempt this dangerous and illegal stunt, he's a trained amateur.  

 This thin bridge is the Landscape Arch. It's so amazing that Earth created this without human influence.

This thin bridge is the Landscape Arch. It's so amazing that Earth created this without human influence.

 He jumped over the crack in Broken Arch to be safe.

He jumped over the crack in Broken Arch to be safe.

 A fence stops you here. ...aren't petroglyphs just ancient graffiti? I suppose Banksy has collectors that would protect his art just the same.

A fence stops you here. ...aren't petroglyphs just ancient graffiti? I suppose Banksy has collectors that would protect his art just the same.

 Sunset of Delicate Arch from the other side of the valley.

Sunset of Delicate Arch from the other side of the valley.

 Minutes before sunrise right up under the Delicate Arch. I hiked up here in the dark to avoid the hundreds of tourists that would arrive later in the day.

Minutes before sunrise right up under the Delicate Arch. I hiked up here in the dark to avoid the hundreds of tourists that would arrive later in the day.

 Only a certain time of the year there's a short moment when the arch's leg casts a shadow on the other leg. NEATURE!

Only a certain time of the year there's a short moment when the arch's leg casts a shadow on the other leg. NEATURE!

 I found the smallest arch too. It's about 2 inches tall.

I found the smallest arch too. It's about 2 inches tall.

To avoid the busloads of tourists I went on an adventure away from the arches, more in the desolate wilderness to chill out.

 The van has a lift and knobby tires, but going into these zones without 4WD is dicey. Well, if I get stuck, I won't really be stranded because they say... "Home is where you park it".

The van has a lift and knobby tires, but going into these zones without 4WD is dicey. Well, if I get stuck, I won't really be stranded because they say... "Home is where you park it".

  Shafer Trail is no fvcking joke . My hands were white-knuckled on the steering wheel while driving down the switchbacks from here. Click that link to see some pics from others.

Shafer Trail is no fvcking joke. My hands were white-knuckled on the steering wheel while driving down the switchbacks from here. Click that link to see some pics from others.

 Many miles of bumpy roads had my bolts rattling loose.

Many miles of bumpy roads had my bolts rattling loose.

 Oops, somebody lost their house keys.

Oops, somebody lost their house keys.

 The scenic gooseneck bend of the Colorado River was worth the scary drive though. Since I already had my adrenaline pumping, standing on the edge of this 200' cliff didn't phase me.

The scenic gooseneck bend of the Colorado River was worth the scary drive though. Since I already had my adrenaline pumping, standing on the edge of this 200' cliff didn't phase me.

I was planning on driving West from here, but then a friend from Salt Lake City called me with an invitation to go camping for the weekend. I wasn't planning on heading that far North, but hanging with friends and also taking a little break to catch up on photo edits ultimately had me saying yes.