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Wild West road trip Days 11, 12 and 13 Arches National Park and going home
 
 
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
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Our last National Park of the trip was
 
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Arches National Park in Utah.
 
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The road to Arches
 
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follows the Moab Fault.
 
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The ridge on the left and the ridge on the right used to be connected. After the earth cracked, the side with the Arches (the right side) was 2600 feet lower.
 
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Arches National Park
 
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is in a high altitude desert
 
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that sits on top of an underground salt bed,
 
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creating an unstable geological environment that results in many interesting rock formations.
 
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200 million years ago, the desert in this area was covered in sand dunes. The dunes were covered by sediment and compressed into sandstone leaving these petrified sand dunes.
 
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There seemed to be an 1950's car gathering at the park.
 
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Our first stop was the Balanced Rock.
 
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The Balanced Rock
 
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is a Sandstone rock
 
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on top of a faster eroding pedestal of mudstone.
 
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Eventually, the pedestal will erode to the point that the Balanced Rock will fall,
 
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so go see it while you can.
 
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After the Balanced Rock, we met our
 
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first arch.
 
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The park's many arches are formed by the particular way in which the sandstone erodes.
 
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It was the developing one's first trip to an arch.
 
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Throughout the park we saw many different arches.
 
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arches with mountain backdrops,
 
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single thick arches,
 
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tall skinny arches,
 
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twin arches.
 
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At this arch,
 
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I met a
 
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lizard
 
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that let me
 
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photograph him
 
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real close.
 
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By this point in our trip, we'd seen so many sites that we were becoming a little numb to nature's wonders,
 
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so after a few more arches
 
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and one last lizard,
 
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we hit the road to change focus to our long drive home.
 
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Unfortunately, we got lost on our first start home, and ended up wasting an hour (probably wouldn't have happened if I was driving and Ilaria was navigating; but we were in our weak driving formation).
 
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Near the interstate,
 
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Ilaria wanted to stop at
 
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one more
 
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ghosttown.
 
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Like all of the previous ghosttowns we'd visited,
 
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the town was a collection of
 
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abandoned buildings
 
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combined with
 
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a surprising number of
 
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people that still lived there...
 
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Here are a couple
 
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of the town's old mines.
 
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Before long we were in Colorful Colorado
 
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which has become one of my favorite states. They've got plains in the east, deserts in the south,
 
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and beautiful mountains in the West. All they need is a big ocean and it'd be the best place on earth.
 
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We stopped for the night in Limon, CO.
 
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Most of the next day we spent making our way through Kansas.
 
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That night we spent the night in
 
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Columbia, MO.
 
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Finally the next day, we arrived back home in Saint Louis. At 5,589 miles, it was our longest road trip to date.
 
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We certainly saw a lot of the wonderful nature this country has to offer.