After our stint with the antelope, we continued on down Highway 128. Initially, according to plans, this road was just a means to reach our destinations in Southern Utah, with Arches National Park along the way, however it turned out to be one of the prettiest drives of the whole trip. The road took us into a canyon, through which flowed the Colorado River, between two sheer sandstone walls that were a beautiful deep red. We were in awe the whole way down the canyon and chose this as a great setting for our lunch (we kept a cooler stocked with supplies for ham sandwiches).
When we eventually left the little canyon, the beautiful scenery didn’t let up. The gorgeous red of the canyon walls was everywhere, the soil, the spires of Fisher Towers reaching up into the sky, the snow capped mountains in the distance that we could glimpse every so often. It was absolutely gorgeous and we were in heaven! I never thought there would be much to see in Utah, its not really a top destination state that you hear a lot about… It most pleasantly surprised us!
Eventually we finally left the area and proceeded to Arches National Park. The park was beautiful, of course, but it did have a fair amount of visitors there, which made it challenging to get decent pictures of any of the arches without people in them (you are able to walk right up to many of the arches). I don’t enjoy seeing places when they are full of tourists. It detracts from the beauty of the place, plus I much prefer my pictures to be human free (unless of course the person was the point of the picture)…
From Arches National Park we continued heading south to see the Valley of the Gods (Utah) and Monument Valley (Arizona: remember the Forest Gump quits running scene?). I wanted to see the later at sunset, but as we hit the Valley of the Gods, we realized we were going to be cutting it a bit close. So, we rushed to drive through the Valley of the Gods. I was the one driving, going down the gravel road as fast as I possibly could. I’d stop the car at a pretty spot, we’d announce, “3 clicks only!” (3 pictures), laugh hysterically as we all jumped out of the car, quickly snapped some pictures, and hopped back into the car as fast as we could. Its a good thing we were the only people going through there, anyone who might have seen us, would have assumed we were insane! Despite the rushing, we really enjoyed the Valley of the Gods, and I thought it was prettier than Monument Valley. That, however, could just be because we arrived at Monument Valley after the sun had dipped below the horizon. We snapped a few pictures, but nothing great, and then continued on to Page, Arizona and our hotel for the night.