So, The Kid and I got back about a week ago from a trip to Utah. Originally when we moved from California to Missouri, our plan was for the two of us to take a week to make the trek. But at the last moment, it was deemed that I needed to be in Kansas City the next Monday (it was Thursday). If we did a lot of driving each day, we could make it in time.
So, recently, I decided we needed to see some more of America, I opted for those gorgeous lands that we passed through doing seventy miles an hour. On an almost whim, we packed some bags and a cooler and headed west. It was an early Saturday morning and as we punched the button to open the garage door, we were met with a heavy snowfall! As it was just a few days from spring (and just a few days before we had to kick on the A/C), this was surprising to say the least. A quick check of the weather of our destination (high 60’s / low 70’s) and we were off.
(I have to mention that I loved driving through Kansas, as much of the freeways had an 80 mph speed limit!)
Words cannot describe the sheer awe that this place inspires. When you think about the time and process that created this space. My words won’t help either. I think, rather, I will leave you with photos and videos that we took (although I might add some facts as you scroll through them).
The only downside for the park started the second day we were there. For the next nine months (or more) are going to be replacing all the roads in the park. Literature given to us, indicates that the original roads where built between 1958 and 1962 and was designed for about 100,000 to 150,000 visitors annually, where today’s count is closer to 1.5 million!
This means that the park closes each evening at 7:00 pm and stays closed until 7:00 am, although the park is open around the clock starting Friday evenings and remains that way until Monday evening. The other thing to consider is that the only in-park campground is completely closed for the time being – I think they expect at least through the remainder of 2017.
As we stayed through Thursday, the early closing (I think) resulted in less people in the park. We were able to take photos without strangers and spend a lot of time investigating areas that might have been much too crowded before.
The Kid was instrumental on persuading me to walk many of the trails, I think I did them all with the exception of any labeled “strenuous” or “difficult”. I expected my knees to be screaming each day, but really only felt pain on the final day of hiking. Icing my knees helped with that.
So, without further ado:Its difficult to judge the size of these stones… but this might help.
It was very green, due to the snow melt. Loads of cacti and scrub trees and brush.
This is my favorite “sculpture” called “The Three Gossips” as it resembles three women walking together.
I’m having some difficulty getting videos off my phone. I also have yet to receive The Kid’s photos and videos, so I may write another post with those.
This is absolutely worth visiting. The Kid and I have decided that we’re going to try and visit more of them. Gives me an excuse to spend quality time with him before he deigns to be ‘too cool’ to hang out with his Mom.