Wednesday, September 28, 2011

western wanderings: part ii

Our first day in Utah was pretty unprogrammed, so Kurt, Erik, Christian, and I decided to go to Arches National Park. Christian wanted to get going early to beat the midday desert heat but instead we slept in, took a run (the altitude made it tough!), and had a leisurely brunch at the coffee shop in town. Sorry, Christian!

Eventually we hit the road to Arches. The drive to Moab was shorter than we had anticipated and the admission was dirt cheap. $10 for our entire car! We decided that our best plan of action was to drive to the other side of the park and hike to Delicate Arch, one of the more well known landmarks in Utah. Along our drive we saw Balanced Rock (above) and a far away glimpse of the North and South Window arches.

Once we embarked on our hike we spotted some wildlife! Look closely for our lizard friend.

My valiant hiking companions

Trail marker

Christian dubbed this formation Amtrak Rock.

More animals! Look really we approached Delicate Arch there were tons of chipmunks running around. I guess they have discovered messy tourists leaving crumbs (or micro-trash?) at the base of the arch.

Ta da! Pretty impressive, huh?

This picture of Christian cracks me up. Have you heard he moonlights for National Geographic? He's quite the photographer. And believe me, we all took quite a few photos at the arch.

First, a nice group shot.

(Ick. No, I am not pregnant. I am either going to have to burn that shirt or give it away. Let me know if you want it. I suggest not wearing it on a breezy day.)

And of course I assisted the Martigs in an O-H-I-O with the arch standing in as our first "O" (we even made the website!). Aren't I a fabulous caboose "O"? Thanks for all those ballet lessons, Mom and Dad. They're really paying off.

In the midst of our O-H-I-O, we caught the attention of some other arch admirers. Turns out they were fellow Buckeyes and one used to be an Ohio State football player alongside two time Heisman winner Archie Griffin. Needless to say, Kurt was beside himself excited with this information.

Not to be outdone, Christian and I got 2 separate War Eagles during the hike from Auburn fans. Granted, we didn't have a heart to heart chat with our fellow Tigers, but I there is more meaning in that War Eagle than meets the eye.

The photographing maybe got out of hand.

But thankfully Kurt and I finally have some pictures together.

Petroglyphs from the Ute Indians chipped into the stone.

After our eventful hike, we headed back to the car to leave. The drive through Arches is beautiful in its own right.

We took a quick drive through Moab before heading back to Green River. We grabbed some coffee and smoothies at one of the many downtown cafes and wondered why our friends did not decide to settle here. It is still a small town but much more happening than Green River.

Rain clouds started rolling in as we drove back. The land is so flat and lacking trees that you can see the rain from miles away.

Luckily we fit a thrift store visit in before the rain started and acquired some great items.

Back at the Epicenter, we did some lightning watching and pre-gamed for a highlight of the Melon Days weekend and Green River culture...

The Melon Queen Pageant at Green River High School! I really can't describe our experience too much. I am still scarred from the trauma. The girls exhibited their talents, evening gowns, and brilliance through a question and answer session which was moderated by a generally intolerable MC (he was mildly entertaining during a couple dance numbers on stage). The girls were pretty dumb and the judges must have been even dumber. We all picked our favorite contender and she didn't even place! Instead, the girl who did a strip tease for her "talent" took the crown. I'm glad we are sending the right message to America's youth. Thanks for setting us back a few years, Green River.

Despite our frustration with the pageant, we all went back to the Epicenter for a few film screenings. We sat in salvaged church pews and projected the movies on the side of a building. I love it. These are the kinds of things I don't get enough of in NYC. Sigh.

Speaking of things I don't get enough of, the evening finally evolved into a dance party (as per usual with this group). 

There was a strobe light and tons of Lady Gaga played on full blast. (Luckily your neighbors are too far away in Utah to care.) Verdict: these kids love to dance. My skills are a bit rusty, or as Christian likes to say, nonexistent. Thanks, pal. I'll be sure to work on that :)


  1. SOOOO jealous of this trip! Looks like you guys were allowed to use Real cameras this time. Miss everyone.

  2. I'd like to take this opportunity to pat myself on the back for snapping that pic of a lightning bolt, my trigger finger has BIG TEN SPEED! ;-)

    Great recap of part ii.


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