I could see the first hints of light beckoning me to get out of my comfortable bed to catch the sunrise.  It was very hard to not go back to sleep, but I knew it would be EPIC!

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I climbed up the rock overlooking our camp and looked to the La Sal Mountains to the Northeast.  I wasn’t the only one up for the sunrise!

Coffee squirrel

Squirrels and lizards were also ready to catch those first rays.

Needles sunrise 7

Needles sunrise 8 2017

After Terry had her coffee we figured it was safe to reenter civilization, so we headed for Moab.

We saw lots of beautiful landscapes along the way, you half expected to see a coyote constructing some kind of rocket on the roadside, but we didn’t even see a roadrunner, just a desert cottontail and some wild turkeys.

leaving needles 2 2017

leaving needles 7 2017

Needles Jack 1 2017

leaving needles 6 2017

leaving needles 4 2017

The colors in the rocks and clay were real interesting, it makes one wonder how there can be so many different shades of sediment.

We stopped in Moab and restocked on food, drinks and ice, then headed to Arches National Park.  The lineup of traffic waiting to get into the park was insane.  It was an incredible landscape, but the amount of people and the fact that the Devil’s Garden hiking area was closed was disappointing.

Arches landscape 1 2017

Arches 1 2017

Arches landscape 2 2017

We got to the parking lot where one hikes up to Delicate Arch and it was more crowded than a shopping mall.  there was a sign and a road saying 4wd area.  I didn’t see anybody that way and figured I’d take advantage of the fact we were driving a Jeep.  We escaped the crowds and drove back into this valley along the washes.  We only saw a couple other vehicles.  To pass one truck we had to climb the bank on the side of the road which put us and them at a ninety degree angle to each other.  His kid’s eyeballs just about popped out!  As we returned to the parking lot we noticed we could get a picture of Delicate Arch with the people hidden behind the ridge between us.

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Arches landscape 4 2017

We decided to head out and check out the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park.  While there were plenty of people there too, it was nowhere near as crowded as Arches.  We looked for a camping spot but all of them in the park were taken, not to mention the wind might blow us off the escarpment in the night!  When we got to the Grand View Point we met up with the local welcoming committee.

Island in the sky raven 1 2017

There seems to be ravens at every major parking area in Utah’s National Parks, begging for food.

Island view 2 2017

Island view 4 2017

Island view 5 2017

The views definitely didn’t disappoint.  We could see the area we had driven in the Needles District the day before.  What was nearly one hundred miles away by road, was thirty miles or less as the raven flies!

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We had planned on camping somewhere in the area that night but we decided to go ahead to Delta Colorado to visit and stay with my cousin Kit and her family.  I remembered that comfortable mattress she had!  Unfortunately I’d forgotten about her vociferous cats and rooster!

 

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