A day at Arches National Park

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We spent a day exploring Arches National Park in Utah. This is an amazing place, full of all sorts of stone formations and, well, arches. It’s the kind of place where the photos tell the story.

Balanced rock isn’t really balanced. It’s all one formation of different kinds of rock. But some day it will fall.

Delicate Arch is the most famous and most photographed arch in the park. This is taken from a distance. It’s a bit of a hike to get up close. If you want to see closer photos, the Internet has plenty.

Skyline Arch was created in 1940 when a huge boulder fell.

The formation is called the Three Gossips. It looks kind of three women in bonnets huddled together.

Robin checks out the “ranch house” of the Wolfe Ranch, which was started by a man and his son. Later they were joined by his daughter and her family. The house, actually a one-room cabin, is the second, more “luxurious” dwelling on the property.

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Heading east for the winter

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We have begun our annual migration to North Carolina. We left Thursday and made a stop-over at a state park outside Pendleton, Oregon, which gave Robin an opportunity to visit the Pendleton Woolen Mills store. After one night in Idaho, we are now in Utah, heading for Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

We were planning to camp at Utah Lake State Park, but the campground was closed, even though it was supposed to be open until the end of the month. We ended up staying in a commercial campground just down the road from the park.

Today we walked over to the park, which was pretty deserted except for a few people fishing. The park has a big marina, which was also nearly empty.

Utah Lake, with the Wasatch Mountains in the background

Utah Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the state, encompassing nearly 150 square miles, but it’s not very deep, only 13 feet.  It loses an average of 30 percent of its water to evaporation in a year. It looked pretty low today.

Our campground is called Lakeside, though it’s not actually on the lake. It is in the Provo River, a pleasant little stream that is quite scenic in its own way.

The Provo River

Across the street from our campground is a storage facility with a huge collection of old gas signs and gas pumps.

Storage facility with a huge collection of old gas signs and pumps

Tomorrow we head for Moab and the two national parks.

A New Mexico oasis with a history lesson

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2F7385D8-27EF-4563-A8A5-D13B061D411BToday we got off the Interstate and took a side trip to El Morro National Monument west of Albuquerque.

El Morro means “the headland” and that’s what it is, a giant sandstone headland rising out of the New Mexico desert. But what makes it especially notable is a pool of water at the base. That pool, fed by rain and melting snow, has been an oasis for travelers for hundreds of years. Continue reading

A look back at the Little Rock nine

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We took a day off from our westward migration today to see a bit of Little Rock, which in the past we always whizzed by on the Interstate.

F9EE20CA-A968-4CC5-8EB0-DB00A5CB6035In the morning we headed for Central High School, scene of one of the seminal confrontations of the civil rights era. Our route took us along the Wilbur Mills Freeway. I was hoping for a Fanne Foxx exit but no such luck. (If you don’t get that, look it up.) Continue reading

New furniture from old wood for the new house

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Headboard and bedside tables in the front guest room, courtesy of Robin's brother, Mark.

Headboard and bedside tables in the front guest room, courtesy of Robin’s brother, Mark.

Last week we drove down to Eugene to bring back furniture that Robin’s brother, Mark, made for us. He makes beautiful pieces out of reclaimed wood.

We transported two headboards for our guest rooms, two bedside tables, and a bench for the first-floor hall. We had already brought up four other tables and a cart for the pantry. Continue reading