We were up early and out the door before sunrise. Because that how the Dwyer’s roll. And because I wanted to catch Mesa Arch around sunrise. Also, we had a full day planned at Canyonlands aka “Candyland” and wanted to beat the heat and crowds.

Driving towards Canyonlands
Monitor & Merrimack
Clown Car & Moon Set

After our first obligatory shot at the entrance, we stopped at Mesa Arch. The sun angle was perfect!!

After walking the Mesa Arch Loop, we continued on the drive with our tour guide Alfred. Oh! I totally forgot to mention Alfred. Before we left, our friends Bill and Allison just returned from a trip to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. They recommended the app: GyPSy Guide. It is a narration about where you are driving. I purchased the Arches & Canyonlands tour. I’m so happy I did. We named our narrator Alfred. He’s great. He makes jokes, tells stories, talks about science and gives recommendations and mandatory stopping points. If you have a road trip planned to a National Park, check it out! Back on the road… our next stop was Buck Canyon

We stopped a few more times and then we hiked along the Grand View Rim Trail. Grand View is an understatement!

We double backed and had a mid morning snack before heading to the Green River Overlook. Again, beautiful.

Picnic Spot
Green River

If the Mesa Arch was the primary thing to see, Upheaval Dome was the second. Upheaval Dome is a geological wonder. Was it caused by distillation of salt that caused it to collapse OR a meteorite? We just don’t know… what I do know. It was beautiful to see, really cool and a fun hike!

Step it up!
Hiking Partners for Life!

One of the things Alfred told us about was how desert animals will burrow during the day to keep cool. Dave was lucky enough to find a “bird” burrowing to escape the heat.

Very rare bird burrowing

On our drive back to Moab, we stopped in Dead Horse Point State Park. It was where the classic scene in Thelma and Louise was filmed – where they drive off the cliff. No, it wasn’t the Grand Canyon. It was Dead Horse State Park. It was beautiful and they had running water… nice to use a real toilet and actually WASH our hands! *side note. I had no issue with the cleanliness of the CNP pit toilets. I brought this travel sized sunscreen that was super thick and greasy. After reapplying before our last hike our hands were gross.* (yes, I brought wipes and hand sanitizer – it was like zinc oxide)

It was a FULL day. We left the Airbnb by 5:45 and were back home by 1:45. It was definitely beer:30. We accomplished all the goals and had a blast. Lots of short hikes (1-2 miles) to see different stuff. We were out of the park before it was too hot or crowded. The line to get in was about a mile long when we were leaving! We enjoyed an early dinner and tiramisu for dessert in the desert.

I will always say “yes” to tiramisu!

Tomorrow is another early morning. Arches National Park… Delicate Arch at sunrise.