We got up early today (0530) and after coffee, breakfast, and getting some Asian style short ribs started in the crockpot we headed off about 0730 for the park. Our destination for the day was the Windows Arches and the Double Arch with a total hike to the two sets of arches of about 1.5 miles. Entering the park there wasn’t much traffic…guess we were ahead of most of the people. After climbing up the side of the plateau onto the central area of the park our first stop was to take some photos of a group of female Mule Deer along the side of the road. There was a group of about 6 of these grazing on the side of the road and Neil got a nice photo of a group and a closeup of what appeared to be the alpha female.
He would have taken some more but these loud folks off a tour bus scared them off.
Continuing on we arrived at the parking lot for the North Window South Window, and Turret Arches and set off up the hill to get some views and photos. Before getting up to the arches we spotted this formation that looks eerily similar to one of those Easter Island Moai statues.
Off to the right side of the trail shortly after this shot we saw Turret Arch…no idea why it’s named that though.
We next came up on then west side of North Window Arch and got several angles and moods in the pictures we took there…including a couple from underneath the arch looking out the far side toward the valleys below. The lighting near dawn on the red sandstone is breath taking.
Continuing a bit south we spotted South Window Arch from the west side.
Then we hiked down what was marked as a primitive trail to the east side of the Windows Arches to get some front lit shots. This turned out to be a mostly level trail but it did have a couple spots where we had to climb up onto a fair sized rock to continue.
We then continued to the right around the Windows and back down to the parking lot, across the road, and off onto the Double Arch…getting some great photos of it as well as of a smaller arch on each side of the trail.
With that we headed back down to the parking lot…and since Neil’s foot was a bit more sore today than it was on our past several hikes we headed home after picking up a few groceries we need.
Neil tried to make some reservations down in Santa Fe today…but as it turns out this is Balloon Festival Week so there are no RV sites to be had. So we’re going to go to Albuquerque instead. We might drive over to Santa Fe…it’s only about 30 miles or so…to see the artsy stuff and/or the balloons…but then parking will probably be a zoo so maybe we’ll just stay in Albuquerque instead. Then it’s over to Amarillo and then Junction City for our scheduled work.
The Asian Short Ribs are smelling pretty good…we got some French bread to go with it and a piece of carrot cake to go with it.