Sunday, April 6, 2008

A weekend in the high desert

  Last weekend, March 29-30, I took my two oldest kids, Jordan and Matt, to Moab, Utah. Well, more precisely, I took them to the national parks in the area - Arches and Canyonlands. We just stayed overnight in Moab. I've decided that I really don't have much tolerance for the town of Moab. It's a dirty little tourist trap, full of over priced food, over priced little bits of junk, and thousands of self important people. I could do very well without the town of  Moab. Except that that is where the Motels are, and I admit that after long days of playing in the rugged outdoors, I like to be able to shower and sleep on a bed. And have somewhere to lock up my camera equipment. 
   So, on to the trip. It was a great experience for me, and I think for my children as well, to be able to spend that amount of time together seeing some of the most beautiful sights in the world. We learned some things that weekend. We learned that we can survive a moderately long car ride without killing each other. Ok, it was only about four hours, and we didn't have Emma with us, but blessings are blessings. We learned that Matthew has no fear of heights. I would not have guessed this. For those of you who know Matt, sometimes he's afraid of his own shadow, but some of the places we went last weekend were at heights of anywhere from 500 to 2000 feet high -- not to mention the places that he actually hiked to and then had to get back down from. It phased him not at all. Jordan, on the other hand, was about three seconds from heart failure most of the weekend. Actually she did fine as long as she was in control. She is much like her father, only braver, at that point of my life. I had an irrational fear of heights at that age. But, every time Matt did something, or went somewhere that made Jordan nervous -- which was most of the time -- Jordan would forget who the parent was, and begin ordering Matt down from wherever it was he had gone. 
   Matt learned that it hurts if you intentionally touch a cactus. We learned that Jordan is a pretty good photographer. She took 95% of the pictures that we have from the trip. Her father is very proud. All of the pictures that I have included with this post  -- except those of the kids -- are made by Jordan. 
   We spent Saturday at Arches, and Sunday morning at the Island in the Sky in Canyonlands (which is one the coolest names for a place I've ever been to). This is always my schedule when I go to the area, for one reason -- light.  Most of Arches gets prettier as the day goes on. The late afternoon sunlight turns the landscape fiery red. But the real treat is Mesa Arch, in Canyonlands, at dawn. The arch sits on the edge of a 1,200 foot cliff, overlooking a vast canyon to the east and the light of the sunrise comes right through the arch, lighting it up a bright red. It only lasts for a few minutes, but it's one of the prettiest things I've ever seen. And most people miss it. In fact, I've never seen anyone else up there at that time, except for a couple of photographers. And that is why this is always my favorite part of the trip. After spending  all Saturday experiencing the wonders of Arches, with thousands of other people from all over the world, I usually get Canyonlands almost entirely to myself -- or ourselves, as the case may be. 
   This weekend with my children was one of the highlights of my life as a father.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

That was a really fun weekend. It was fun to meet you under the double arch.