Saturday, September 26, 2009

This is What They Call Natural Beauty

When Mel had decided to come out on this trip I asked her if she was interested in visiting Arches National Park. She was all for it. I told her we’d spend the morning there and then head out around 11-ish to meet my dad. We had initially thought of waking up to see the sun rise in the park but when we didn’t arrive at our hotel until 2, we scrapped that plan. On Saturday morning we woke up and I threw on some jeans, a t-shirt, a zip up sweatshirt, and some tennis shoes. Mel comes out of the bathroom ready to leave in a dress and fancy sandals. Do you have any other shoes I ask? She laughed and said she had some flip flops, and added, “We’re not hiking are we?” That made me laugh out loud. While I like to look at natural beauty, I do like to keep it at a distance and didn’t realize that Mel did too. I was all ready this particular morning to do some hiking, but that plan was quickly changed. I did climb up some of the rocks to get a better view of the arches while she took pictures for other tourists.

As you can see from the pictures, beauty is around every corner in Moab. We saw lots of foreign tourists. At one of our stops in the park, I asked a couple to take our picture and we got to talking and found out they were from Florence, Alabama. I told them that I had lived in Huntsville for a number of years. They asked us to take their picture and then we ran into them at every stop along the way continuing the picture taking ritual. I had several conversations with others, all by coincidence from the South. It made me homesick. I know we get made fun of by other cultures for that very over-chatty thing we do, but I interacted with more people in the space of three hours than I did our whole vacation this year.

When we drove out to visit my father, we drove a stretch of interstate 70 that announces at one of the exits that there will be “no services for the next 110 miles”. When we got to the hotel where my dad was staying Mel and I chatted with the hotel clerk for some time and she said she has had several tourists almost run out of gas because they don’t seem to understand what that means. Maybe they need to change the sign to say you will run out of gas if you don’t stop now!

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