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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Adventures By Disney--Day 6--Arches National Park

Day 6 of our Adventures By Disney tour and we had made it to Moab, Utah. After a great night's sleep in our accommodations at Red Cliffs Lodge and a hearty breakfast at the restaurant at Red Cliffs Lodge, we headed to Arches National Park. On our way, we picked up a naturalist from the park who joined us on the bus for the remaining part of our drive into the park.

The naturalist explained how the sodium in the soil had worn away to reveal the slick rock and the arches. He told us that many movies had been filmed in the area including an opening scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark movie. We rode by a part of the park called the fiery furnace, and he made a joke that the guides charge one price to guide you in and another price to guide you out. . . get it?

Once the bus stopped, we had to make a choice. Hike up to delicate arch, or take the bus tour through the park. We chose to hike!
The first part of the trail was pretty mild and had some greenery. As the trail got steeper, our group started to spread apart. Diana was in the lead and Tiffany bringing up the rear. . . with me!
Here's Tiffany, our guide with the sign, me, and Becky, one of the other kids. The boy and husband were far out in front at this point, so we were taking a breather. Notice how the terrain is getting more barren.

Here's the boy on slick rock. No grooves or step holds, just a smooth surface. It was this way for about the last half of the way up to the arch.
Just before the arch, there is a narrow ledge that you have to go on to make it around the last part of the mountain blocking your view. When you turn the corner, there's delicate arch! I cried when I saw it as it had been a difficult physical journey to reach the top. But I did it! Also, a thunderstorm was nearby so it is dangerous to be up there in the lightening. Some of our group had already started back down before I had even gotten up there and I was worried I wouldn't make it in time before the storm and before everyone came back down the mountain.
Once you get around the corner and see the arch, it is about another quarter mile or so to go out to the arch . . . and again over slick rock. The husband and boy did go out under the arch as you can see in the photo below. What is behind them in the photo is the left part of delicate arch, just to give you an idea of scale. Notice the drop on both sides!

We made it! The boy's hair is on end due to the electricity in the air because of the thunderstorm. Whew!
Delicate arch is one of many arch formations in Arches National Park. The particular trail we took was the same one taken by people running the torch for the Olympics and there were still metal post holes in the rock from that run. Also, we discovered trail markers or small piles/stacks of stones that mark the trail so that you do not wander off in the wrong direction on the slick rock, which would be easy to do!
One thing we discovered on our Adventures By Disney tour is that almost every person on our tour had already taken a Disney Cruise. Some people were Disney Vacation Club members and others were not, but the majority of the guests on our tour were members of the Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club, just like us. It is almost as if once you have tried a Disney Cruise and enjoy the level of service, you want that same level of service when you travel to other destinations. And, Disney does that!
Click here to read about Day 1 of our tour.
Click here and here to read about Day 2 of our tour.
Click here to read about Day 3 of our tour.
Click here to read about Day 4 of our tour.
Click here to read about Day 5 of our tour.

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