This is part of a three or four part series from the weekend where we went to the UTAG event. This is the second part of that weekend.
I had a good time visiting with all the people at the event. Any event that is bigger and I have the regret that I do not get around to everyone. So I am sorry if anyone feels like I was stand offish. People will come and say hi, and at that point I will start talking and get trapped.
I brought three coins to the event. An old Cito coin that I had never been activated and had been sitting in a corner, an BSA 100th anniversary coin, and a simple coin that I had made for myself about five years ago. I was hoping that maybe they would get $25 our of the three. You never know with auctions. I think in the end that got about that much for each one of them.
Whats next? We might move forward with a UTAG coin now. We have about that much. So we may start the look.
And it begins - Earthcache #2 & #3
So we headed up and out of Moab, and into Arches National Park. I had already found one Earthcache Early that day. I was not aware that the entrance to arches was so close. Well, after 45+ years of living in Utah I finally made it into the park. We stopped driving up to find The Moab Fault. It was a quick stop.
The second stop and Earthcache #3 was higher on the hill, and it was really impressive. Arches National Park - Park Avenue. My kids did not want to get out of the car, at least my teenager, who was listening to music and sleeping. I was admiring the view. It is actually the upper part of a hike that goes down to another stop. I should have taken the walk, and let my wife drive down. This was a really cool cache that talked about the different stone that is in the park, and was great as an entrance to the park to get an idea of how the park was formed
Earthcache #4 and some overloooks and other arches
The next was mixed into a few other stops. We stopped to look over Salt Valley - Arches National Park and drove over to a few other trails as well. There were some really cool trails.
We drove by a pothole arch that was high on a hill. Then we went and hiked up the a trail to the coolest arch that we visited during the trip. Sand Dune Arch.
Sand Dune Arch is just off the trail. It is up between a few of the large fins that are sticking up. so you walk through the fins. Rather than the soil that could be found outside of the arch is a lot of sand between. My daughter kicked off her shoes and walked the entire route. Tucked back between the rocks is a little arch that you can walk inside. A hole made in a fin. It was much cooler that outside the fins. They were blocked at one end and very narrow. So no wind moved through the shaded channel. I am not sure it would ever get more sun for more than a few minutes.
On the way out we saw a small rattlesnake. Rolled up and sitting on a hole in a log. I pointed it out to a family with a lot of kids. I thought I was doing the responsible thing so that no kids ran over into the shade near where it was. I thought the lady was going to have a seizure. I told her long before she got there. Her panic almost made her freeze. I wondered if I had been irresponsible. I think of my terror of spiders was at that level, I don't think so. We showed the kids the snake, kept them away, and told them to keep walking about.
I had decided to do an Earthcache here. It is one of the locations that I sent a email about. So I will cross my fingers and wait to hear from the park.
Earthcache #5 and Pine Tree Arch
This one was very cool for me. Landscape arch is another impressive arch. However I expected to see cool when I went to Landscape arch. The hike was a ways over, but the arch that was cooler in my mind was Pine Tree arch. Mostly because it was one that I was not expecting to be as cool. You walk over, past some cottontail rabbits that were running off through the bushes. We walked by another arch, and it was nice.
You then walk over between two fins, and when you come upon the arch it has a great view through it. It was fantastic. The sun was going down and things were just getting quiet. There were not many people in arches today so we could walk to different places without fighting crowds.
And the run goes on. I really did not have a desire to go after Delicate Arch one for a lot of reasons. However, the biggest reason was the fact that it is on everything Utah. Where some may want to see the cache because it was a Utah icon, I did not want to go because of that. Plus a long hike with loud kids would not be pleasant.
Well in looking at the map there was a shorter hike that would not require the long long hike, but went to a spot where you could see something.
Well, the hike was nice and the kids were good, and we made it to the overlook and the view of the arch was really impressive. Once again there were not many people. Actually there appeared to be far more people up the hill at the arch than there was down by us.
EarthCache #7 and Virtual #2
We headed are way quickly to the next cache. We headed to the windows section at arches. I did not think much of this location. For some reason it was an afterthought. We headed this way when we realized that there was enough light.
This was a cool location, there were a lot of people here, and the regular parking lot was very tricky to find a parking spot. The view of the sunset was great. We did not make any hikes here, it was getting that late. The picture above does not really do it justice. The sunset was awesome. The two caches here. The Earthcache Windows Section: Arches National Park and the virtual Arches National Park - The Arches
I think we would have stayed a lot longer at this location and hiked to a few points but we decided that it was time to move on with the sun going down.
Earthcache #8 and Virtual #3
So now we are heading back. This was another that needed a quick stop as the sun was going down. Two final caches the EarthCache Balanced Rock: Arches National Park, and the virtual Arches National Park - Balanced Rock.
It was dark or almost dark. My pictures may be a bit grainy but it was just after dark. I was balancing the camera, posts, and anything else I could find to get a picture. It did turn out, but not as good as I had hoped
Then darkness fell, and we took an hour drive back to hotel for the night. All in all it was an amazing day. Thanks for people that made me come down here and experience this first hand.