Monday, July 13, 2009

On the Road - day 2

Day 2 of our journey was a long day.. we departed Richfield at 7 am for that days destination: Arch National Park in Utah.

As we ventured northward and eastward, the desert scenery gave way to more green stuff. Arches National Park was in the desert part, though. I forgot how many natural arches there are in the park but it is more than any other place on earth.

The pics don't really do justice to how majestic these natural structures are. Take a look at how vast the area is, and also how clear and blue is the sky. I had to snap pics of the wildlife, too. In case you are wondering what that dirt is, it's a little ant mound. Sorry you can't really see the ants very well. Look at how red the dirt is that they excavate (click any picture to enlarge).

That last picture above is of the arch that is on the Utah license plate. Luckily I had a 10x zoom on the camera because it was really far away from us. There's a hiking trail for masochists, however.

We ate lunch around 2:00 at a McD somewhere in Colorado (Fruta, maybe?). They were overwhelmed by a big tour group coming in and it took a long time to get our food. We should have just gone across the street to Wendy's instead.. the food would have been better. Plus the service was typical McD - disorganized. At least they were nice over there.

This last picture was taken in Denver at a restroom stop. As I mentioned above, things got greener as our trip progressed.

Our stayover destination was Denver. The highway passed through Vail and just outside of that city we got stuck in a horrendous traffic jam. This was Sunday night and people must have been returning from the 4th of July weekend; it was like a parking lot and the electronic road sign warned that traffic would be heavy all the way to Denver which was like another 80 miles.

After crawling along the highway for quite a while, our tour guide consulted the road atlas and after conferring with the driver, we exited to take a "shortcut" through Arapahoe National Park.

Dusk was approaching by then and here we were on a giant tour bus winding our way through a park that went up into the mountains - high into the mountains. Julie and I were sitting toward the middle of the bus (to balance things out we were assigned different seats each day so that people didn't have to sit in the same place all the time) and couldn't really tell how fast the bus was going but it seemed to be going pretty fast. And higher and higher along the road with some sharp dropoffs along the side.

Finally we reached the peak and began our descent, with no civilization in sight and darkness upon us. When we got to the bottom we were in some little town. It took a long time to actually reach Denver and I think it would have been quicker to have stayed on the main highway but hey, I guess we got a little bit of extra sightseeing done as a bonus.

It was just after 10:00 when we arrived in Denver at our dinner destination, a small plaza that didn't have a Chinese buffet but it did have a Chinese restaurant (closed by that time) and a Vietnamese restaurant (also closed) and another Vietnamese restaurant (supposed to close at 10 but when they saw us and the potential for adding to their revenue from a big group, they stayed open). Julie and I opted to just get some fast food across the street at a.. McD. Ugh, lunch and dinner at McD. The problem is that everywhere else besides the Vietnamese place and McD was closed by that time. The area wasn't very nice, either.

We got to our hotel, right next door to Invesco Stadium, somewhere between 11:30 and midnight. What a long day. And lousy food! But at least we arrived safe and sound.


kmiyake said...

was that a cat tree?
you should have caught the cats. and that lizard too

Rickie Miyake said...

Do you mean that tree in the earlier post with the animals climbing in it? Those were all bear cubs. As for the lizard, it was too quick plus you can't catch anything in a national park!