Arches National Park, Beyond Words ~

As you’re mapping out your 2017 travel plans, keep in mind our national treasures; our national parks.  I’ve often said I would love to pack the car, plot a map course and just take off to explore each and every national park.  We have definitely visited our share but we still lag woefully behind.  And, I don’t remember a more relevant time than right now to pay attention to our parks.

It’s been 3 years since our visit to Arches National Park in March of 2014.  It was by far one of our most memorable road trip experiences.  And, because we were there in the off season and it was cold and snowing, we nearly had the park to ourselves, making it all the more spectacular.

I decided it was time to dust off this 2014 post and share it once again.

March 2014

There is an area of this country that is like no other.  I should preface that statement by saying that I have – of course – not seen every single speck of this country, but I do feel pretty safe in saying that the area in northern Arizona, southern Utah and western Colorado, is like no other.

Raise your hand if you agree!  That one big spot on the map offers the road warrior the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley and Arches National Park – oh and the Canyonlands and the Grand Staircase and the Canyons of the Ancients and the list goes on – and on.  If you add in the northwest corner of New Mexico, well than you can experience what is known as the Grand Circle.  It is by far some of the most incredible examples of Mother Nature you can ever hope to experience.  We are slowly, but surely, visiting them all.

Not Enough Adjectives

Sometimes, there just aren’t enough adjectives.  Amazing, awe-inspiring, beautiful, spectacular, magnificent, they’re all good words, good describing words and yet they become tiresome when over-used.  But what other words will suffice?  I mean, come on, take a look at this and I dare you to find the appropriate adjective.

What's the perfect word to describe such a scene?

What’s the perfect word to describe such a scene?

But before reading further, please take a short drive with us through Arches National Park while listening to the hauntingly beautiful music of Mary YoungbloodBeneath the Raven Moon – the first Native American woman to have won a Grammy.  I think by riding along with us for a few minutes, you’ll get a sense of how special Arches truly is despite our bouncy video.

At times, you don’t even realize you’re driving along the top of a high plateau until suddenly the earth opens up and sets before you another spectacular canyon.  Talk about going out for a Sunday drive!  I wonder if the people who live scattered along the plateaus realize what a back yard they have?

Hiking in the Snow

We pretty much had the park to ourselves, the day we visited Arches.  You can see from our photos we didn’t see much of the sun though and at the higher elevations we hiked in snow flurries, but we decided it just added to the overall experience.  And the fact that we enjoyed spans of up to an hour without seeing another car or human being, made it well-worth bundling up for.  Because after all, how many people can say they went hiking – in Arches National Park – in the snow?!

see what we found!

…see what we found!

There are moments in our lives – if we’re paying attention – when just for a moment, something very special happens.  There’s no happy dancing about or shouting out, it’s just a peaceful quiet epiphany if you will.  While I stood on top of a mountain in Arches, it turns out I was paying attention and had myself quite the moment, which you can read about here.  Besides being amazing, awe-inspiring, spectacular – and all of those other words – there is something beyond words when you stand in the overwhelming silence of a place such as Arches or Monument Valley.  It’s something bigger than you and you find yourself grateful just to be in the moment.




Pin a Spot

So as you plot your road trip course for 2017, definitely pin a spot on your map for Arches because there isn’t a better time than right now to pay attention to our national treasures; our national parks. And, I hope you find your mountain top and I hope you stop to embrace the moment.

To learn more:  Arches National Park

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37 Responses to Arches National Park, Beyond Words ~

  • This is a total coincidence, but I just (and I do mean “just”) posted on my Facebook page that Monument Valley is somewhere in the United States I’ve never been and want to visit. I think I know what you were saying. I’ve had moments and been places that just seemed quintessentially perfect at that very moment — even if it’s a very cold moment. (For my “comment luv”, I’ve pulled out an old post that represented one of those moments.
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…Our Peruvian Honeymoon — 1982My Profile

  • I made that trip with my parents decades ago. Now I want to go back!! Beautiful!!

  • I love visiting places like this — the natural rock formations are just gorgeous! Haven’t been to this one, but like Suzanne Fluhr, it’s on my bucket list.
    Patti Morrow recently posted…On the Road for the Donuts in South DakotaMy Profile

    • Yes, the formations in both parks are wonderful, but the arches are mind blowing! To see Mother Nature at work like that – it’s just amazing!

  • You have captured the awesomeness perfectly. I’ve never been to this part of the US, but would love to experience all of this. That could happen one of these days if I decide to return to North America.
    Nancie recently posted…Travel Photo Thursday — Mar.6/14– Halifax’s Old Burial GroundMy Profile

  • What fantastic scenery. Certainly a place to visit, then…

    • Thank you, Andrew, for stopping by. I took a look at some of your photos and the colors are so vibrant. We haven’t been to South America but you certainly bring the people to life!

  • The feeling of being at one with nature is biophilia.
    Put me in a landscape Patti, and I’m in heaven – I can’t wait to visit this area 🙂
    Linda ~ Journey Jottings recently posted…A Stairway to Heaven – leading to the Garden of Eden in Kings CanyonMy Profile

    • I didn’t know that Linda, thanks for teaching me a new word. And I agree completely with your sentiment of being in a landscape, I like the way you state that.

  • I haven’t been thru that part of the US since the 1980’s, but it definitely left its mark on me. So breathtaking at every turn. But I much prefer it during the summer months when you get the intense colours and the occasional flower blooming. Thx for the flashback.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Moana Surfrider: the 1st Lady of WaikikiMy Profile

    • Yes, I’m certain it is beautiful in the warmer months as well, but I have to admit it was magical to be there in the snow. I do love wild flowers though, maybe one day we’ll go back.

  • You hit it spot on with special moments and paying attention, Patti. I suggest that to people all of the time, “stop talking, listen, look around…and you can be amazed.” Even in our day to day lives. I’m so enjoying that more of my blogger friends are putting videos into their post. I sitll haven’t figured out how to do with my camera but I will. My fav part of your’s was right around 3:05 minute mark going forward. WOW!! Really enjoyed this! 🙂
    Mike recently posted…The Morning My Hot English Lover And I Had Our Party CrashedMy Profile

    • Thanks for watching the video, Mike. I love that we captured the snow flurries too. And we’re very much in the learning stages of videos and YouTube and music and editing and. and. and…

  • I loved how you captured the snowflakes on your video with the haunting flute melody. I’m so glad our kids talked us into moving from Wisconsin to Utah to be closer to watch the grand kids grow. We try to visit these areas at least every other year and never stop being amazed by the sights.
    Neva @ Retire for the Fun of it recently posted…First Anniversary Princess Dress Give AwayMy Profile

    • Thank you, Neva. We’re learning more and more about making videos and enjoy the process. It was definitely fun to catch the snow flurries and I’m envious of you proximity to these amazing places.

  • Seeing you guys amongst the rocks and canyons really gives a sense of scale – they’re huge. I’m constantly amazed at how diverse the landscape is in America, I can’t wait to explore some of it myself!
    Amy recently posted…Six Weeks in Laos VideoMy Profile

    • The USA is so huge, it often feels as if there are multiple countries in one and there are definitely areas that are vastly different than others. This was our first visit to Arches and hopefully, one day, we’ll visit again. And I hope when you do make it to the USA, you’ll see it as well.

  • Wow Patti! Beyond words indeed. Thanks for taking us along on your drive:) Your video was awesome. I know those special moments, so rare and special because if you are lucky enough to recognize them you realize how rare they truly are in our busy lives. Someday we want to take that drive, thanks for the inspiration;)
    Tracey recently posted…The Road Less Traveled: OahuMy Profile

    • You’re welcome and thanks for the kind words about the video. Abi is the maker of videos and it’s a learning process is progress.

  • Patti,
    I have been through this portion of the country many, many years ago and when our three sons were small. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience. Reading your post and seeing your photos brought back a great deal of wonderful memories. Thank you kindly for stirring my emotions!
    Mike (Nomadic Texan) recently posted…My Amazing Life-Chapter 8, Jadi BatekMy Profile

    • You’re welcome, and thanks for stopping by Mike. It’s hard not to get emotional about such wonderful places.

  • Gorgeous. This might be the year we get there. From your pictures, I’m thinking off-season might be the best time to go.
    Kristin Henning recently posted…New in Las Vegas: The LinqMy Profile

    • I’m sure the park is stunning year-round, but I definitely enjoyed being there in the off-season and not having to dodge the crowds of people.

  • Beautiful place, amazing nature and you captured it so well. My son was due to go on a field trip to Utah as part with his Geology Masters at Imperial College in London, but sadly because of the recent visa ban on Muslin countries the University had to cancel the trip. Many of his colleagues could not get a visa for the USA and so they decided that it would not be fair to go. They will do a field trip to the Pyrenees instead. Such a shame since my son was so looking forward and it was to be the highlight of his year at University. I would like to visit the USA National Parks one day 🙂
    Gilda Baxter recently posted…A little dose of Dorset – with a dash of Stonehenge.My Profile

    • Gilda, the current situation is so unfortunate on so many levels. Thank you for sharing your story, I hope one day you and your family will travel to the US and experience the National Parks, they are treasures.

  • Loved the video, the haunting flute music of Mary Youngblood and your idea to dust off a favorite post. It’s been years (decades?) since I’ve visited this part of the US and I sadly have the feeling that my appreciation was inadequate. Visiting and revisiting some of the National Parks will be one of our priorities when we next return to the US. They are treasures and I am saddened as well as outraged that the program is in peril because of a short-sighted government …
    Anita @ No Particular Place To Go recently posted…New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina: When the Levees FailedMy Profile

    • The National Parks are really exceptional, aren’t they? And, I really think traveling to them in the shoulder or off season is by far the best experience. Hopefully, on your return trips to the US, you’ll be able to visit a park each time. Definitely, worth the effort.

  • I have never been there, but would love to go. Stunning landscape and particularly so in the snow. I do not think I have ever seen pictures of this region under snow. Fabulous video, thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, Peta, I’m glad you enjoyed the video. There is something about a blanket of snow that just completely changes our perspective of what we’re seeing, don’t you think? I hope you do make it to Arches one day, it is truly special.

  • Beautiful Patti! If there is one region of the US I’ve always wanted to visit it was this. Have yet to see the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce or Arches National Park. One day…

    Frank (bbqboy)
    Frank recently posted…Why you should visit Klis Fortress. And the easy way to get there from SplitMy Profile

    • Zion and Bryce are spectacular and actually quite near each other. While staying near Zion we took a day trip to Bryce and it worked out really well. The Grand Canyon is, well… to be seen!

  • Wow! This national park seems spectacular, Patti! I would love to visit it one day!
    Agness of eTramping recently posted…The Sensational Sydney Cruise: Exploring the Sydney Harbour by BoatMy Profile

    • Arches is truly spectacular, Agness, and I think visiting the park in winter is the best because it is so quiet and under a blanket of snow, it becomes magical!

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We are Patti and Abi. We retired early to live a simpler life, travel the world and hopefully, inspire others to redefine retirement.


3 years, 107 days ago!





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