Sunday, September 6, 2009

Summer Ramblings - Arches National Park and Vicinity Day 1

We left Vernal, headed for Arches National Park in Moab, UT. We drove through the middle of a large power plant, and shortly thereafter, when we were contemplating lunch, we saw a billboard advertising the Pinnacle Brewery/Grogg's Restaurant, located in Carbonville. By now you know that we knew that was where we wanted to eat lunch, so we set off on what turned out to be a bit of an adventure. Shortly after we took the turnoff road it turned into a major construction site, and it didn't look like there was even the slightest chance for a restaurant. We asked one of the flagmen, and he assured us that the restaurant was just past the bowling alley. It was, and we enjoyed a nice lunch with some decent beer and excellent, friendly service. We were already seeing interesting rock formations just before we got off the freeway for lunch.

We drove for another couple of hours to arrive at Arches National Park in mid afternoon. Even before you get to see any arches you see fantastic rock formations. Our first stop was at an overlook to view the Moab Fault, the valley in which the city sits. From there we went to Park Avenue, and walked down a short ways into the canyon. We stopped to see the three gossips and the courthouse, before going on to the balanced rock and the Windows area. We stopped at several other viewing areas and finally went on to the Delicate Arch area, where we walked both the lower and upper paths. Neither was the path to actually get to the arch, but the upper path was quite a hike, and well worth it. It would be fun when we are not so tired, to try the hike all the way to the arch.

Then it was time to head for our motel and find dinner. The Moab Brewery not only has great beer, but also great food and service. We enjoyed dinner, especially the beer, and were in the end glad that we had walked over from our motel..... It was a bit extravagant to have beer at both lunch and dinner, but we decided that we might as well take the opportunity to try microbreweries when the opportunity presents itself. We really didn't expect to find any brewpubs in Utah, but had three very pleasant surprises.

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