Arches in a Blizzard

Day 7 Soundtrack: 

Morning - Spiritualized, Sweet Heart, Sweet Light

Late Morning - David Bowie, Hunky Dory

Early Evening - Rufus Wainwright, Take All My Loves

Late Evening - Timber Timbre, Hot Dreams

After leaving Black Canyon we stopped at the local truck stop in Montrose and paid $7 for two showers (we got BOGO because we also filled up on gas). We filled up our water jugs from the hose and had a gigantic biscuit, egg and gravy breakfast at Starvin' Arvin's - $5 for a platter the size of a laptop, Jes had the second half of mine for dinner.  

Then we were on route to Utah! 

For many miles there was nothing but arid desert, with a coat of fresh snow sprinkled on the tops of sharp, gnarly bushes, and dried wildflowers. The occasional red cliff appeared as we got closer to Arches National Park, a short drive from Moab UT. 

Hiking to the North Window.

Hiking to the North Window.

It was a wintery day to try and spot the arches in the distance, but that almost added to mystique of them. At the start of our jaunt through the park, there was a thick fog hovering over the trails, with the odd flurry of snow. By the end it was coming down in waves - the wind whipping through the natural holes in the rocks with a fury. 

Snowey desert. 

Snowey desert. 

South Window. 

South Window. 

The bright red of the rock and clay formations were made more striking by the contrast with perfectly white freckles. The lack of full sized trees, and huge expanse of snow covered rock, reminded me of our trip to Iceland when we first started dating, back in February 2010. I had imagined that Iceland was what the moon looked like, and Utah in the winter is what I imagine Mars might look like. 

We managed to get a glimpse of "Delicate Arch" the most famous natural arch in the world. Not the biggest or thinnest or longest span, but the most photographed. We could just barely spot it through the blizzard between us and it.

Whiteout. Even Jes was taking pictures here!!

Whiteout. Even Jes was taking pictures here!!

Hiking back from Delicate Arch.  

Hiking back from Delicate Arch.  

That night, after several hours of driving in a knuckle-clenching storm "The Great Blizzard of Utah 2017" - we dubbed it, we decided to pull over into the town of Richfield and get a motel for the night. There was no use taking on more mountains, in the dark, in a blizzard. It was nice to sleep on a bed for the first time in a week, and get some reliable wifi (even if the "continental breakfast" they promised us consisted only of coffee with frozen milk, toast, and cheerios.) 

Red, red rock. 

Red, red rock. 

Colour palette. 

Colour palette. 

On Mars.

On Mars.