- 1,344 Miles
- 4 days
- Joined the National Parks Annual pass club & visited a park each day!
- Born Identity Audio BookÂ from Audbile.com – Really long & way different from the movie but really good.
Day 1 – 4th of July at Arches National Park
Arches National Park – (Flickr Photos)
I drove to Moab the night before so i woke up early, checked out of my motel, and then headed over to the Arches National Park.
I stopped by the information center, filled up my water bottle and started out to see the sites. I wanted to do the Fiery Furnace guided tour but they were all sold out :(. Most of the main attractions were actually just a short hike off of the road. I was able to see balanced rock, the windows, and park avenue with a short hike. I was able to do all of these pretty quickly, but it was getting warm and I was through most of my water.
I decided that I can’t leave without seeing the famous Delicate Arch, the one featured on the Utah license plate. I first tried going to see it by doing another short hike to the overview. It was not a very good view especially for the hike, so I decided to do the full hike all the way upto the Delicate Arch. That hike was completely worth it! After that hike I was out of water and was tired so I jumped on the road and started heading to Cortez Colorado where I would be staying for the night.
I arrived in Cortez, CO early so I was able to rest up from the hiking. It was also the 4th of July so I walked over to the local park to get ready for the fireworks show. While walking through the park I found a group of people playing volleyball and was able to join in until it got dark enough for the fireworks.
When it came to the firework show I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting very much, but they actually did a good job. I especially liked being so close to the fireworks and the crowd cheering throughout the show. Every once in awhile there would be a huge mushroom cloud of fire when some of the fireworks would shoot off. I thought it was part of the show, but turns out it was an accident from using too much black powder! I bet somebody didn’t have eyebrows the next day.
Day 2 Mesa Verde National Park & Roswell
Mesa Verde National Park – (Flickr Photos)
I stayed the night in Cortez CO because it was close to the Mesa Verde National Park which has some of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the world. I only had time to do one tour. The two main options were:
- Cliff Palace – Is the largest cliff dwelling andÂ contained 150 rooms and 23 kivas and had a population of approximately 100 people. The tour only takes you in front of the cliffs and not actually into them
- Balcony House – Smaller cliff dwelling but the tour takes you actually up and into the cliff dwelling.
I wanted to get a closer look of the dwellings so I took the Balcony house tour. It was really cool to be able to climb up into the cliff and see the effort they took to get into their homes.
After the tour I jumped back in the car and made the wrong trip down to Roswell NM.
Roswell NM – (Flickr Photos)
I got to Roswell around 7pm and was able to set up a place to stay through CouchSurfing. I thought it would be fun to say that I slept under the starts in Roswell so I set up my tent outside. Once my tent was set up Dave, the guy watching the house i was staying at, told me that it was the Roswell UFO festival that night! I was so excited and headed into town to check it out!
I got to the UFO Festival and started to stroll down the blocked off street. For being the “UFO Festival” they didn’t have too much about UFO’s I think I counted a total of 3 people dressed up. The crowd consisted mostly young families who were there for the carnival rides and the small parade.
After the festival I headed back to my tent for a night under the alien stars. This was a bad idea for the following reasons:
- It was HOT!!! – Even at night it was way too hot
- It was raining – With it raining I had to leave the rain tarp on which made the tent even hotter!
- I was on a slope – When I set up the tent I thought I was on level ground but it turns out it was on a slight slope
All of this plus the paranoia of being abducted by aliens I did not get any sleep that night. In fact I was up at 6:30, showered, and packed ready to go by 7am!
Day 3 Carlsbad Caverns to Finish Line
Carlsbad Caverns – (Flickr Photos)
After getting no sleep in Roswell I got an early start to Carlsbad Caverns. I had never heard of these caverns before the trip but am so glad that I was able to go!You go down 75 stories into rooms that are 80 feet tall and wide open. I don’t know if it’s because I just came from Roswell but with the lighting it honestly looked like something out of an alien movie. The Caverns were so big that I felt like i had the whole place to myself.
After the tour of the caverns I started the last leg of my trip to Austin late Sunday night. Just in time to start my job Monday morning.