>Edward Abbey was talking about Arches National Park. In his memoir, he describes his life as a park ranger in what was once a barren, non-commercial park. Throughout his time spent in Arches, development occurred: roads were built, tourism exploded, and Arches was deemed a National Park. Abbey’s extreme stance against development is thought-provoking, although most definitely debatable.
Being the nerds that we are, Nicole and I would read Desert Solitaire to each other while driving across the country. I started reminiscing about the other kind of odd things we used to do in the car to pass the time, and figured I would share them with the blogosphere:
-memorize the state capitals
-name all of the U.S. states in geographical order
-listen to R.Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” (yes, I have that on my ipod)
-look up “local” things to do in towns we plan to visit and enquire about costs (we mostly called wineries, along with the occasional hot air balloon company)
-record “music videos” on my camera when bored driving through Texas and Oklahoma (if you’re lucky you’ll see those eventually)
-talk about the first meal we’d have once we returned to NY
-figure out where we were going to sleep that night
In any case, I really want to get back to Arches. When we first arrived in Moab, we set up camp at a site with showers AND wifi (I skyped my parents from our tent that night–and you wonder why technology freaks me out?) We then immediately got back into the car and drove eagerly to the park, for we had no idea what to expect.
I was blown away.
I think what makes Arches so unique is that there is literally NOTHING on this earth that resembles this park. It’s a naturally made sculpture garden; thousands and thousands of years of erosion has created these sandstone arches and fins that seem to appear chaotically amongst a stretch of flat, red land. I understand how it can be understood as a spiritual sanctuary. It’s so peaceful, yet so bizarre. I can’t really explain it better than that, you should really go see for yourselves. In the mean time, here are some pictures that will only do Arches partial-justice: