Tales of a 21st Century Gypsy

September 22, 2005 The National Parks.

Of course I didnít go to Moab to read the newspaper, I went to visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. But what can I say about them that does justice to how amazing they are? Nothing much. So Iíll just show you some pictures, with a caption or two.

Contrary to what you might expect, this isnít in Arches National Park. Itís in Canyonlands. But it is a rather splen-did arch, I thought.

I wasnít the only person taking pictures of that arch. Actually, there were a lot of people there, all of us with cameras in hand, waiting for each other to get out of the way. For some improbable reason, most of them were French. You go figure!

Thereís not much wildlife at Canyonlands. The crow seemed really happy to pose, though. The lizard, on the other hand, was scared. He froze when I came near him, and scampered the moment I snapped the shutter.

There really are canyons in Canyon-lands. From above, they just look like cracks in the earth, with a snaking stream at the bottom. Thatís actually a major river down there, but it doesnít look like it from up above.

At the end of the day it was a bit hazy and the sky washed out, but the landscape in Canyonlands was still rather dramatic.

This fine wall is in the area they call Park Avenue, in Arches National Park. If this is a row of buildings, I think that rounded part on top to-wards the right must be the pent-house. It must have a splendid view, though the elevator service probably isnít too good.

From close up, the rocks are quite amazing. I suppose a geologist could tell you all about how they were put down by the sea, in layers and waves that left them looking like this. I'm not a geologist, though, so I wonít tell you anything about it.

There aren't many trees in Arches and Canyonlands, and they have trouble thriving in this crazy landscape.

They do have arches at Arches National Park. This one is in an area called the Fiery Furnace. They only let you go there in a group - it's a maze of crevices and arches and walls, and way too easy to get lost if you just explored on your own. I met a woman who told me it was amazing, so I signed up for the walk. She was right.

See, I really was there. I didnít find these photos on the web somewhere and just pretend!

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All text and photos on this site ©Joy E. Hecht, except the one of me, which was taken by a friendly stranger.