Today we're in Moab. We have a much nicer hotel. We left Cortez this morning around 8. On our way here we stopped at Lowry Pueblo, about 20 miles North of Cortez. It is about nine miles off the highway and is part of the National Monument called Canyon of the Ancients. It is an unmonitored site - no rangers there watching you. It has a painted kiva that they have tried to preserve since it was excavated in the 1930's. However, there is basically nothing left of the paint - they preserved some of it in a museum, but it is still cool that you can walk in there for free, alone, no one bothering you, and get down in a covered kiva, etc.
Then we got back on the road (491) until just past Monticello, where we made the turn-off to Canyonlands National Park. It is a huge park, and dad decided we didn't really have time for it. On our way in, however, it was starting to look really beautiful. We did stop to see Newspaper Rock on the road into the park - now that was quite impressive. It is a rock just off the rock on the canyon wall that has that black patina on it and it is literally covered with petroglyphs - probably thousands of them. And they date from all different periods - some as old as 2000 B.C., and newer ones on top of those - including ones made by Utes after 1540 - because they show them hunting on horses. I did take a few pictures to show you later.
After seeing the Petroglyphs, we went on to Moab, got our hotel room and had lunch. We stopped for a cache that I found at the north end of Moab - a real one. I also managed to do a virtual cache this morning because I saw a barber pole and my parents were getting gas so I had time to get the coordinates for that locationless cache.
After lunch, we headed up to Arches National Park. It is literally just a few minutes out of Moab. We did the whole thing in a few hours, basically. If you want to spend more time, there are plenty more hikes to do, camping, and jeeping. Given the money and time and people who would do it with me, I'd be interested in doing some more challenging, longer hikes and even the jeeping. My dad just isn't up for that stuff so our hikes have been short. You can get the feel for Arches without hardly leaving your car. It was a $10 entry fee, more than all the other parks we've been to this trip. I thought it was nice, but my favorites still have to be back at Hovenweep and I liked Newspaper Rock. There are some hikes through the Canyon of the Ancients that I'd like to try some day, and I'd like to do Canyon de Chelly and Navajo National Monument some day, too - more stuff like that. It was REALLY hot today - right now it is about 100 degrees, it was up to 102 when were coming back from Arches. So it was a bit hot for hiking; we did just a little, and took some pictures. Today was a pretty good road trip day - three stops with interesting things to see and logged some miles. If I win Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, I think it would be cool to take like an 8-week roadtrip through wherever - mostly the southwest as I am partial to it - and do all that hiking and camping stuff.
Mom's swimming in the hotel pool now. If it weren't for the hijab thing I'd probably join her. Dad's drinking beer and watching TV. This trip would've been much more enjoyable if he didn't drink and smoke so much and was a little bit nicer of a person. But, it was still a good trip. He was upset today that, this being Utah, he had to buy his liquor for the evening from the state liquor store and they don't have domestic beer. So he bought 12 of these British beers and some other 24 ounce bottle of beer to get him through until tomorrow night. Yuck.
Tomorrow we're leaving Moab - which is a nice little town - a bit yuppyish but still nice, and heading on to Glenwood Springs. Apparently there are some caverns to see there. Then Friday we're supposed to come home.
Saw some rocky mountain sheep today and tried to get a picture of those, too.