Saturday, January 19, 2019

Arches NP: Salt Valley Road

By Jen.

After the busyness of Delicate Arch despite the rain, we thought we would try a more remote section of the park. On the map, we found “Salt Valley Road (Impassable after heavy rains).” While it had been raining all day, we weren’t sure if it had been “heavy rains,” so we thought we would drive to the entrance and find out. It was still open, so we figured we would go as far as we could until we saw something we had to turn around for. The road was empty and fairly nice, though we did find out why it was impassable after heavy rains. It runs right through the valley bottom, where it will wash lots of sand across the road, possibly making it impassable.

Along the road.

Salt Valley.

After 20 minutes or so of driving, we came up to the Tower Arch Trail, a nearly deserted trail through hoodoos and sculptured sandstone that was indeed very scenic.

There was a rather steep climb right at the beginning, where the path was barely distinguishable along the rocks.

Fun views from the top, though.

Those clumps of darker dirt are actually living microbes that stabilize the sand.

A bird of prey surveyed the area for dinner.

You can faintly make out an orange sand dune in the distance. We follow that up the U-shaped gap between the towers in distance.

View back from the sand dune.

Gorgeous area, even in the rain.

Weathered rock can be beautiful.

A double arch!

The storm clouds were beautiful too.

This is a massive arch that you can walk under.

When the clouds parted a little, you could see a fresh dusting of snow on the mountains that we stayed at the night before.

We finished our tour of the trail and returned to our van. Instead of going back through the park, we decided to use Salt Valley Road to exit towards the north of the park.

More views along the Salt Valley Road.

The rains are coming.

We camped outside of the park, but near the road. And decided to re-enter the park the same way the next day. It had definitely rained hard the night before. The road was a bit more difficult to navigate, but Jonathan managed it like a pro.

Remember the nice, grated surface from the day before?

It was solid-enough though, and someone else had crossed before us.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Our 2018 Timeline from Google

By Jen.

Since I have Google Timeline turned on, it generated a fun report for me for 2018 that I thought I would share with everyone.
Your visits in 2018

Around the World
1.5 times
You traveled 38,931 miles, that's 1.5 times around the World
Getting around
224 hr
278 mi
In transit
1,199 hr
28,721 mi
Trip highlight
Victoria and New Zealand
November 25, 2017 – April 14, 2018

Place highlights

Tongariro National Park
8 visits

Whale Watch Kaikoura
5 visits

Kahurangi National Park
4 visits
Place highlights

Walmart Neighborhood Market
12 visits

Walmart Supercenter
4 visits

Reasor's Foods
4 visits
Place highlights

Quail Cove Resort
15 visits

Lake Poaka Reserve Area
3 visits

Borland Biv
3 visits