The drive to Moab was flat and boring most of the way, but we did see these really cool wind turbines. They were absolutely enormous, and somehow really beautiful!
We stayed the night in a hotel: Aaaaaaaah. Climate control, a hot shower, and 2 soft beds. PERFECT.
The next day we headed to Arches National Park. The last time I was at Arches I was about Jacob’s age! It looks the same, except a LOT more people. What’s up with all the crowds at the national parks these days?!!
We drove through most of the park and stopped at some of the formations, but several of the more popular spots (like Balanced Rock, which I remember from my childhood) were so packed with people that we couldn’t even get into the parking area. 🙁
I wanted to do the 2-mile hike to Delicate Arch because I remember doing that as a kid and thought it would be cool to do it with Jacob, but Jacob had zero interest in that hike. So we went on a shorter hike instead, one that ended with a view of the arch from across a ravine.
Pro tip: Never spend $200 on hiking shoes for a kid who hates hiking. 🙁
After Arches we headed to Dead Horse Point State Park. We stopped along the way to grab some drinks and make sandwiches from the back of the Jucy campervan. It was super convenient to have the flexibility to pull over and whip up a meal whenever we felt hungry – especially in places where there might not be a restaurant for hundreds of miles! Check out this cool farmhouse, this was our view while we at lunch.
Dead Horse Point State Park was just like the Grand Canyon PLUS Horseshoe Bend, but WITHOUT THE CROWDS!! The views were absolutely breathtaking; I could have spent an entire day just gazing at the land here. Pictures of course don’t do it justice – they don’t even come close. The vastness is really indescribable. You walk up to an overlook and literally *gasp*, there are just no words. It’s a very humbling experience, it makes you feel grateful to be a part (albeit suddenly insignificant part) of this beautiful planet. This was one of my favorite stops on our 15-day journey around the western U.S.
Next stop: Saddlehorn Campground at Colorado National Monument!
The big surprise at this location was the road leading up to it. It was extremely curvy and steep, and went along the very edge of the mountain. I was really having some major anxiety driving up there, but I made it! Heart racing, palms sweating, it was probably the longest 4 miles of my life, haha!
But once we arrived at our campsite and saw the amazing view, the torturous drive was instantly WORTH IT.