I guess it’s predictable, but living abroad has totally made me appreciate travelling in the U.S.A. way more than I used to.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I’ve never met a road trip I didn’t like driving 10 hours for, and as a result, I’ve definitely seen my fair share of America’s crown jewels over the years. Mount Rushmore, the Rocky Mountains, the childhood homes of each and every American Idol winner, just to name a few. For the better part my adult life though, most of my daydreams have been of international places.
Nowadays, whenever I see a copy of the U.S.A. travel guide at our local newsstand, I just stand there thumbing through the pages pretending I’m thinking of buying it awestruck at all the U.S.A. truly has to offer. I guess it’s one of those absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder kind of things.
Therefore, I decided that every time I come home from now on out I am going to try and see bits and pieces of the United States that I have never seen before. This past Thanksgiving was the first test of this new mantra, as Julia and I flew to Arizona to spend it with my cousins and parents, which was totally fitting as we had spent last winter living among the cactus and cotton-candy sunsets of the Grand Canyon State.
We flew to Arizona, but we drove back to St. Louis with my parents. Now, we could have just driven the most direct route back to Missouri, but I insisted we should take the scenic route and check out Arches National Park in Utah. I had never stepped foot in Utah, and I thought Arches National Park would be the perfect place to see some scenery on a late November day and just take some time to appreciate the good ol’ U. S. of A.
We set out from Phoenix around a quarter after sunrise and slowly worked our way up the state to Flagstaff. I just love Flagstaff, everything from its name to its Route 66 history and its pine covered hills is awesome. Anyway, from there it was on to two lane roads all the way up through Arizona’s northern tier and straight on ’til Utah. I did all the driving that way my parents could enjoy the scenery, and what scenery it was, especially when we finally arrived at Arches National Park late in the afternoon.
We only spent around two hours at Arches National Park, and while I know that may be considered a criminally small amount of to time to some, it was still great to see it. I loved how you would see shade upon shade of desert orange landscapes but then in the next breath see snow-capped mountains off in the distance.
A baby blue sky brushed with only just the finest touch of wispy white clouds was above, and added something really special to the scene. And since we were there in such clear late afternoon light, the red rocks looked like they were almost glowing. Sadly, we didn’t have the time to get up close to the most famous formation at Arches National Park, Delicate Arch, but we did see it from a distance, and I’ve been told that still counts for something.
Oh, and if you are wondering, I guess all these arches were created through a process called wind erosion or something like that.