Sunday, November 30, 2008

How we spent turkey day

This year, we shirked the shackles of normalcy and chose to go away from home for celebrating Thanksgiving.  Having recently visited Moab, and unable to get the taste out of our souls, we decided a return trip was in order.  This time, we were able to find a place to stay within Moab, thus alleviating us of the need to travel back and forth from Green River, like we did last time. 

We planned on visiting a few different parks while there, but ended up only visiting Arches.  My parents came along with us for this trip.  They came down to our home on Tuesday and we all took off on Wednesday mid afternoon.  We ran by Walmart on the way out of town and had our oil changed while waiting.  Well, actually afterwards, and sinceAdd Image they delayed too long.  But they got to suffer the wrath of Christy when it wasn't done in time.  

We headed south and it got dark as we went thru the canyon from Spanish Fork to Price.  As we approached Price, it was rather dark, and the weather started getting worse.  A little rain, then more rain, then snow.  As it was dark, i noticed that my lights didn't seem to be working on low-beam.  So i shifted it to high-beam.  Before switching it, people kept flashing me with their lights, to let me know mine were not on.  As i switched to high-beams, of course people let me know my high-beams were on now.  After stopping at the local k-mart, and getting some light bulbs, i weathered he storm to install them, as the rain had turned to snow and covered us with its icy coldness.

Once again able to see well in the deepening dark, we took off to get to Grog's for dinner.  After 
waiting a half hour for the food ti arrive, we ate a scrumptious meal.  I had been regaling my family with tales of Grog's for some time now, and they were not disappointed.  A trip was planned to get back to this establishment and eat again.  Sometime in the spring, maybe, we'll attempt a return visit.  Yummy food.

Luckily, while in the eatery, the weather ran itself out and we had an uneventful trip from Green River to Moab, as far as the weather is concerned.  Once there, we located the Lazy Lizard Hostel and retrieved directions and keys to our home away from home for the next 3 nights.  The office was connected to a living room area that was full of hippie types singing and playing instruments.  All seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely.  We went a few blocks away and found Gramma's house.  It was a cute little manufactured home and looked like a grandma lived there.  Walls were thin, but heat was sufficient.  Rooms had beds in them, and each room was connected to its own bathroom.  We had 3 rooms for us all to spread out in.  We unpacked, collected our stuff and went to bed.  

The next day we awoke and the weather had not gone away, but was fully enveloping the valley with a constant drizzle. The valley's roof seemed to hover just above the level of the walls surrounding us.  As we approached Arches, we realized that we'd be in the clouds most of the day, and in the rain.  We tried to dress the part and go outside and still see some of the park, but the low lying clouds and rain prevented us from seeing much of anything that wasn't close up.  We spent a few hours anyway driving and attempting to see as much as possible.  This was thanksgiving day, and we were amazed at the quantity of people out in the weather anyway.  We wanted to goto Zax for yummy  pizza, but they were not opened on Thanksgiving day.  We called a bunch of other places, and found quite a few closed.  We did see a place opened up, and excitedly went in to get fed, but were rebuffed, being told that we needed reservations.  So, we headed to Denny's instead, and had a great meal with the family.  After the meal, we found the local theater and watched the new Bond film and Bolt, splitting the family in two to see both.

The next day, Friday, we were able to get back to Arches, with only the memory of the former day's rain littered about the ground, and soaked into the rocks.  Everything remained a bit wet, but the sky was fairly clear and totally different than the previous day.  We were able to see the park in a completely different light than the day prior.  We visited  the Devil's Garden area and hiked up to a few of the arches in the area.  Some great rock climbing was had by myself and Alyssa as we found another escape route from Navajo Arch.  Being up there in the arches, seeing so many different arches was incredible.  The trail was fairly easy, and lead us up past Landscape arch.  This arch was incredible, with its football length size, and 6 feet in the narrowest point height.  Amazing that it has not succumbed to gravity or erosion yet.

The next day (Saturday), we found the park even more dry and still different than the prior day.  The sky was clear of clouds for the most part.  The temperature was a it cold, enough to force sweaters on us, but not enough to be truly cold.  We went out to the windows area of Arches and walked out to north and south windows, along with turret arch.  All of these gave us great chances to climb rocks and see incredible views.  The canyons beyond and to the north of us still clung to the mists of the morning, and provided an incredible views.  At turret arch, we were able to climb up an enormous pillar nearby.  Alyssa made it all the way to the top with me.
After visiting turret arch, we headed down to another arch just south of there.  Kylie and I went around to another area nearby and climbed up into it.  Its an arch in its infancy.  Incredible to see the layers of rock, the scattered clumps of dirt and rocks.  We went over to the actual arch and climbed in and around it, getting great views and incredible memories.  

After this last arch we retreated back to the beginning of Arches and took some pics at the main sign.  Then, it was on the road again, all the way back to Green River, where we stopped for a lunch at the infamous Ray's i have always heard about.  Having never eaten there, and having talked it up to my family, i was nervous that it would suck.  Far from it.  Some of the best fries I've ever had, along with an incredible juicy burger.  My fears were laid to rest, and we had a great meal again.  When we ate, we ate out well.  After eating and filling our bellies, we took off, and went back home to Pleasant Grove.  The sun descended as we travelled, giving us some incredibly vibrant colors across the mountains and mesa's. The sun made its final descent, leaving us once again in the dark as we traversed the mountains and valleys to reach our home.  Once home, the journey ended, we were sad at is end, yet happy to be home once again.

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