Sunday, July 29, 2012

Arches National Park

I used to go down to Arches National Park all the time when I was in high school and in my 20’s.  You could pull into their campground before noon and almost always find a spot.  On the occasions the campground was full, there was the beautiful Potash Road, along the Colorado River just down the road, where you could always find a spot.

I don’t go as often anymore.  Moab has become a huge tourist destination, and getting a spot in the Arches campground means booking it 6 months in advance.  Exactly six months, because that’s when reservations open online and by 12:05 that morning at least half the spots are booked.

And the last time we camped down the Potash Road, we felt like we were in a bad horror movie when two groups of teenagers (one on each side of the river) were shooting rifles in the air well after dark set in.

So, I don’t go down there as often.  Once or twice a year my brother and nephew-in-law will book 2 or 3 sites and portions of my extended family go.  Last time I partook was the summer of 2010.

These pictures are from the year before, all in the same general area inside the Arches campground, all on the same evening.  I took them with my Nikon D40x, on a tripod, in manual mode.  The beauty of digital photography is that I could just take a bunch at different settings and sort out the good ones when I got home.


Lisa Shafer said...

We used to camp along the river, too. But oh-- the gnats! Ugh. That was the problem with the river.
Most of the time, we'd camp at Dead Horse Point, because, as you said, in those days you could just pull in and find a place. But that was before Moab became the Jeep and mountain biking capital of the world.

Max Sartin said...

We used to go down dirt roads like Horse Thief Trail and just camp pretty much anywhere on BLM land. They had to put a stop to that because too many people were leaving their campsites looking like the county dump. So much for "Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures."

Al said...

Nice photos, that's a place I'd love to visit. We have the same camera, the Nixon D40x!

Rita said...

Tent camping was my first husbands favorite thing to do. Over time we experienced all the same things you mentioned at his favorite places. We finally gave up in state camping and purchased a clubhouse on the river. I haven't camped since he passed away. My current husband and I did buy a camper a few years ago intending to travel and to this date it has never been christened.

Great photos though.

Max Sartin said...

My brothers and I ended up buying 80 acres of land out in the middle of nowhere (up 3.5 miles of dirt road) so we had somewhere to go camping without fighting the hoards. We now each have our own campers and we built a one room cabin as a commonplace for use to congregate. It's been a lifesaver for us.