Natural wonders envelop Moab, Utah. The area is one red sandbox filled with giant toys. Huge stone sculptures set against enormous red cliffs make up the landscape. This is high desert; hot in the summer and frigid in winter. Although rivers do stream, collecting thunderstorms, channeling their precious fluid to oases like Moab, the local splendor is rocks. Geological forces made these rocks, heaving them up through tectonic plates shifting and setting them into place, while extreme weather: wind, rain, and snow, polished and sculpted them into their latest form.
Arches National Park is most amazing of all. The scale is monumental and it's first magnificent monument is the Three Gossips seemingly discussing the latest political intrigue and passing judgement on their hapless subjects. They might be robed choir members but for their chiseled aspect and austere demeanor.
Rock faces really start looking like faces and pillars start resembling animated creatures. Animism is alive and well in the desert heat.
Greatest of all gems in this vast collection of jewels is Delicate Arch. It stands alone and aloof from the rest, quite far from any other attraction. In fact it's practically inaccessible. Hiking uphill for two miles over slick behemoth boulders in the desert heat at high altitude seemingly conspires against anyone ever reaching this isolated landmark.
|Pathway to Delicate Arch|
The anticipation built while getting to the arch is like potential energy released at first sight. A fantastic feature on one continuous rock surface stands there, impossibly, pointing skyward, and downward, marking an undisclosed passageway. A portal to another dimension? A divine whimsy? A giant's project? Certainly a testament to nature's varied splendor. A skeptic might believe, however briefly, that a cosmic Architect, or the hand of God gently carved out an arch so exquisite its only purpose could be to signify majesty; for no other purpose than to inspire, to leave you standing there, agape.
Leaving behind scientific buzz-kill words like erosion, tectonic upheavals and the like, it is so much easier to let go and wonder...