Arches National Park
After spending a night in a motel in Salt Lake City, Utah, Kelly Bou and I woke up on 30 September 2009 to some fairly miserable weather in the area.  Unsure about where to go next on our road trip, we went downtown to do a little shopping before heading south on the highway to the town of Spanish Fork.  We finally decided to head southeast to Moab to visit Arches National Park and to hopefully find better weather.  The drive was long but interesting, and we eventually ended up at a campground along the Colorado River just outside Moab.  Although the weather was sunny, a strong breeze funneling through the canyon kept temperatures rather cool.  Still, Kelly and I were happy to be back among the red rocks of southern Utah after having visited Bryce Canyon and Zion on our honeymoon in 2007.
If you camp around here, bring plenty of extra water.  The Colorado River is very silty and only useful for washing. The late day sun casts a brilliant glow on the canyon walls near the campground.
The following day, 1 October 2007, Kelly and I had a nice breakfast in camp before driving into Arches National Park and hiking the very popular Devils Garden Loop trail.  Although most of the various arches along this trail were teeming with people, Kelly and I actually found some solitude along the less-traveled northern half of the loop.  It took us 5 hours to complete the loop (approximately 12 kilometres including all side trips and points of interest), arguably the most satisfying hike in the park.  Afterward, we had a nice dinner in Moab before returning to our camp late in the evening.
Only a few moments before this photo was taken, there was a HORDE of people walking up the trail. This is the trailhead for Devils Garden Loop.
I think Tunnel Arch actually refers to the obscure arch at far left which 'tunnels' through to the other side of the wall. Tunnel Arch is the first side trip on the hike.
It is strictly forbidden to climb on any of the named arches in the park. This is Pine Tree Arch.
This is apparently the longest natural arch in the world. Landscape Arch is possibly the most spectacular arch in the park.
A trail that goes under the arch is now closed due to some rockfall in the 1990's. Here is another look at Landscape Arch from below.
Looks like a giant shark fin! Kelly hikes alongside one of the many rock fins in the area.
Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough to snap this photo before the guy at far right entered into the picture to climb into the small hole. Partition Arch is aptly named.
Some of the little holes had little cairns inside them. Kelly horses around on a rock wall.
Actually, it wasn't that hot out. Kelly finds some shade on the way to Navajo Arch.
Meh. Here is Navajo Arch.
You get some great views of the surrounding area from here. Kelly walks atop a rock fin on the way to Double O Arch.
My favourite arch in the Devils Garden Loop. Double O Arch consists of a big hole and a little hole.
No wonder I have back problems! Sonny uses his extraordinary strength to hold up a collapsing wall.
Kinda appropriate in a park full of "holes"! Dark Angel is the only point of interest that is not an arch.
Too bad they're not really edible. Here is a close-up of some juniper berries.
Most people don't bother completing the loop. Kelly continues along the northern half of the Devils Garden Loop.
This is the lone official side trip on the northern half of Devils Garden Loop. Sonny stands under Private Arch.
As close as I was, even my camera had trouble focusing on the lizard. This small lizard (perhaps an anole) is well-camouflaged.
How do these junipers get so big?? Kelly stretches out in front of a juniper tree.
The trail is more challenging than you might think with some mild exposure and a little route-finding in places. The Devils Garden Loop trail is well-marked with cairns.
A lot of the park's main attractions like this one look best in the late afternoon or early evening. Balanced Rock is beside the main road about halfway between Devils Garden and the park entrance.
Under Kelly's elbow, there used to be a similar-looking pinnacle called "Chip Off The Old Block" which collapsed in the winter of 1975/1976. Kelly tries to push the Balanced Rock over.
On 2 October 2009, Kelly and I packed up our camp and returned to Arches National Park to visit a few more points of interest.  We then drove into Moab hoping to find some place to stay, but virtually every hotel in town was booked solid.  I was growing a little weary of the crowds by this point anyway and decided that we should head elsewhere.  We grabbed a bite to eat and poked around a rock souvenir shop before commencing yet another long but scenic drive.  Heading west, we ultimately ended up in the town of Richfield and had no problems finding a motel for the night.
I wonder how early you have to get here to NOT see people... Kelly approaches Double Arch in the Windows Section of the park.
It was fun scrambling up here. Sonny stands on a ledge under Double Arch.
While Kelly took this photo for me, some tourist remarked to her that I should be careful not to fall. This is looking at Sonny and Double Arch from below.
They're like a couple of eyes staring back! These are the South (left) and North Windows.
The crowds of people here were really starting to get on my nerves... Kelly heads for Turret Arch which is also in the Windows Section.
And this was supposedly less primitive than the previous cabin... Before hiking to Delicate Arch, Kelly goes to check out the 'newer' cabin of Wolfe Ranch.
A picture is worth a thousand words... A short distance from the Wolfe Ranch are some Ute petroglyphs.
Apparently it depicts a bighorn sheep hunt by some really whacky-looking dudes on horses. Here is a closer look at the petroglyphs.  Note the little "dog" at lower left.
It reminded me of Jacob's Ladder. There is a constant stream of people coming up and going down the route to Delicate Arch.
This was a real bottleneck, but I got lucky and got this shot when everyone else momentarily disappeared around the corner. Kelly stops on a wide but exposed ledge near the end of the hike.
Parents really need to watch their kids closely in this area--lotsa steep drop-offs! Kelly arrives at the iconic Delicate Arch.
Would've been nice to have the La Sal Mountains in the background, but who's being picky? When the weather is nice, it is a rare moment when nobody is standing under or near Delicate Arch.
The terrain drops off steeply from where I took this photo. Kelly gets up and close to Delicate Arch.