And now for something completely different! We were glad to leave the craziness of Salt Lake City and arrive at the more peaceful rural KOA in Richfield, Utah for two nights. This campground is smaller and well appointed. They’ve built fencing to make the sites look more homey and you can see they are still working to improve the grounds even more. Not only did we have a deluxe patio site, Usher had his own fenced in “doggy play yard,” which of course he never used. The only issue we had was how not level our site was. We had a very hard time trying to raise the front and driver’s side and still keep the wheels on the ground. Our ratings: Kathryn 7, Paul 7, out of 10. However, they did leave us a post card on check out day, Thanks For Staying With Us. Nice touch.
Richfield was as close as we were going to get to Arches National Park with the coach. The idea was to stay here and use the car to visit Arches. We wanted to avoid driving on I-70 with the steep 6% grades, trucks check brakes, and truck run off areas, the same reasons Colorado is not on this itinerary. Our little Honda is going to be so happy to get back to flat Florida! When I say as close as we were going to get, I mean a three hour drive each way. Distance is a relative thing when you are out West. But the drive was stunning!
We had heard for weeks that you can’t even get into Arches because it is so crowded and they were turning people away at the gate. 1.5 million people visit each year, and this year attendance is way up everywhere. Thankfully, this was not what we found. We went right thru the entrance with no waiting, the roads were not crowded at all, and there was plenty of parking at each pull out. What a pleasant surprise.
Arches is a fantastic drive through your imagination. As you drive around each corner and discover a new arch, you decide what you think you are seeing. What shape does that arch take on in your mind? You find yourself saying, “I see a . . .” Of course there are the more famous defined arches like Balance Rock and Delicate Arch, but after those, each arch is so unique and so fun to discover. It’s one of those places you just have to stop to keep taking more pictures around every turn. Arches is very different from Yellowstone in several ways. The landscape of course. There are no trees and rivers, just desert and rock. And no wildlife walking in the road. In Yellowstone there is a lot of driving to see this or that and you have to walk to see many of the attractions. Also in Arches, it all just unfolds in front of you on a loop road. Arches has moved up to my second favorite National Park, just behind the Grand Tetons and now ahead of the Badlands.
After leaving Arches we drove the short distance to the town of Moab. It’s a funky little town, kind of the old west meets Woodstock. As you enter town there is a large painted post card on the side of a building that says, Welcome to Moab. That sets the tone! In the middle of town there is a food truck court, a large parking lot with a seating area in the center, covered with a tent, surrounded by whatever you could want to eat, as long as it can be cooked in a food truck. Kinda cool!
Before we left Moab for the drive back to Richfield, we decided we had better gas up the car. On the way over, there were signs warning “no services for 105 miles.” We couldn’t see anything off the exits, not a house, nothing, much less a gas station. Can you believe it? I put $45.75 into a tiny 10 gallon tank and it wasn’t even empty. Hey, if you don’t want to pay $5.23 per gallon take your chances crossing I-70 for the next 105 miles.
On to Virgin, Utah and our next National Park Zion.
If you haven’t visited the Fave Pix Page for a while, take a look. I’ve updated photos thru this stop.