Megan, Ferda, and I took off in Megan’s little red car and visited three national parks on the way from California to Colorado. We spent longest at Joshua Tree where we did a little climbing. The sun might make it look warm, but it was actually quite cold during our three days there. We were lucky to get the last available spot at the Hidden Valley Campground, an area that is very popular with climbers. Unlike, say, Geyikbayırı or Potrero Chico, it’d be rather difficult to visit and climb here without a car. The campground didn’t have water, you can’t make reservations, and the climbs and crags seem to be scattered over a large area.
Our visit to the Grand Canyon was very short. They say the average time spent looking at the Grand Canyon is 17 minutes. Well, that was us. It was Thanksgiving weekend, one of their busiest weekends of the year. The line of cars to get in at the south entrance station was long and slow. Finding parking was difficult. We arrived late in the afternoon with just enough time for a short walk along the rim and a drive out the east end of the park, stopping at a few more view points. We did luck out with some nice afternoon light.
Somehow in my many years of visiting the Colorado Plateau, including perhaps a dozen trips to Canyonlands NP alone, I had never been to Arches NP. Megan was stunned. She took us on a great one day tour through some of the highlights, like Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch. We also got to Pinetree Arch, Tunnel Arch, Navajo Arch, Partition Arch, Double Arch, Turret Arch, and North and South Window. Fiery Furnace has been on my list for years, but we didn’t have time for that this visit.
After a number of days of camping in the cold and the snow, we were looking forward to staying in a warm house with friends in Boulder.