Since Arches National Park is literally in Moab’s back yard t back yard National Park is literally in Moab'________________________________________________________________________________hat was the obvious place to start the day. The rock formations were, again, spectacular and completely accessible to the public if you wanted to walk a bit. And lots of people took advantage, crawling all over and through the famous arches posing for photos and just enjoying the beauty of the location. This is also where the best advice of the day, indeed the trip, was found. The sign said “If you hear loud cracking noises, move away from the rock.” Seriously? People need to be told this?
At the north end of the park we encountered the rain and hail we’d seen from a distance which then stayed with us for the next half-hour or so until we left the park.
The skies cleared as we took the scenic route 128 north to I-70. This road, also known as the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway, runs through a narrow canyon alongside the Colorado River. At times you are literally riding 3’ from a vertical wall rising hundreds of feet overhead. Watch for falling rocks signs are everywhere but if any of those rock faces separate (which they do on occasion) a sign won’t do you much good. But it's a great ride and if you are ever in the area well worth the trip.
One other curiosity. Heading into the canyon from Moab you might experience an interesting optical illusion. It feels like you are actually going down into the canyon, but then you realize the Colorado River is meandering peacefully alongside the road. Where you expect to see rapids there’s nothing but smooth waters. At first I thought it was just me, but my brother also had the same experience.
All of the rain in the area caused numerous flash floods across the highways. They all left a residue of fine red sand on the roads which, when mixed with water (from yet another rain shower perhaps) turned to grease. We had a few scary moments crossing these flood areas as front wheels tended to go wherever they wanted and not necessarily where they were being aimed. Fortunately in every case we were across the slippery parts before any disasters occurred.
Almost the same time we hit I-70 the rain (and hail!) started again with major lightning storms following us all the way into Torrey where we would stay the night.
Dinner that night was one of the best pizzas I’ve had in a very long time, washed down with a couple of glasses of Polygamy Porter (“Why have just one?”). Then it was back to the hotel as day 7 would need an early start.