Arches and Pioneer Days

The day started just right enjoying some coffee of my own making while watching our neighbors (mule deer) playing all around the house.  This was followed by a good breakfast at PJ’s Diner.  Arches National Park was our primary target for the day but we were open to checking out what else may be along the path.

The first place we stopped was Wilson’s Arch.  Given my inability to do anything physical, I watched as Spencer and Laura climbed up the hill to stand in the arch.  The red rocks of Utah make for some of my favorite backdrops.


The Hole N” the Rock is a man made tourist attraction.  It is a house that was drilled / chiseled, scraped, and painted into the side of a mountain that is the same red rock that is everywhere.  The tour of the house was worth the $6.50.  The people that built this were certainly dedicated.  The should have skipped their attempt at taxidermy though.  The stuffed mule and horses that sit inside the house are pretty creepy.

The location includes a gift shop, a general store, and a display of a yard art.  Bigfoot is even on display there but don’t get your hopes up.  If you look at the pictures of one of my favorites (baby rattlers) you’ll get the idea of what this place is all about.


About 50 miles or so north of Hole N” the Rock is the entrance to Arches National Park.  Jana and I have seen the park a couple of times but it was important that Laura and Spencer get the experience.  We waited in line for about 15 minutes to get to the entry gate where I got to use my official Old Guy National Park Pass (it saved us the $25 entry fee).  We stopped at the visitor’s center for the hatpin and magnet.  I didn’t take a single picture inside the park.

We drove the entire length of the park and then retraced our path to the entry/exit.  By that time we were getting hungry and decided to head back into Moab for some lunch.  The distance from the park to town is only about 2 miles.  Along the way is a footbridge over the Colorado River that is part of the bike path through the area.  It is beautiful.

After stopping to admire the small park / footbridge, lunch was really high priority.  We punched up restaurants on the GPS and found a place call the Sunset Grille.  It was really close so we turned in.  I finally got a good look at the place.  Part of the building just hung out over the edge of the hill.  To get to the building I had to maneuver the truck straight up the side of the mountain on a very narrow driveway.  The distance was only about 1/2 mile but it was a nerve wracking experience none the less.  I guess the place is well named because it doesn’t open until sunset.  Bad choice.  Back down the driveway we went.

Our true lunch stop was a very forgettable place – which I have already forgotten.  While eating we made a decision not to attempt to drive to Dead Horse State Park but to get our Moab shopping out of the way.  We wrapped that up with minor damage to the wallet.

Back to the house we went to rest up and prepare for the ghost tour of Monticello that we signed up for.  It didn’t start until 9:00 which we thought would be the perfect time for ghosts to appear.  It turned out that the tour was actually a history tour of the town.  It was interesting but for me it went on a little too long.  My body was just not designed to sit on a hay bale for an hour.

Tomorrow is Pioneer Days Festival.  It looks like the social event of the year in town.  Spencer and Laura signed up for a 5K run at Lloyd Lake up on the mountain.  There is a parade that starts at 10:30 – we’re not sure of the exact route but lawn chairs were set out and prime viewing spots were already roped off.  We’ll be there but the understanding is that “Hey, it’s not the Rose Parade”.



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