From Taos, we kept driving North (not West, like we were supposed to be doing) because we had heard great things about Arches National Park. I was just in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where the famous arch was in the tip of the Baja Peninsula.
This was WAY better. Except for the excruciating altitude sickness I got. (Extreme fatigue and pounding headache. PS- apply pressure to both insides of your wrists to relieve the headache.)
We stayed about an hour outside of Moab, in Monticello, in a cheap hotel with great WiFi.
Oh, you probably didn’t know this, but my friend and I did have a 3rd person with us. But he didn’t drive, chain smoked in my friends brand new car (her and I are non-smokers), he didn’t help plan any of our pit stops, didn’t help find hotels, and generally didn’t know where we were because he slept 90% of the time.
As we were driving through Utah, we kept casually mentioning not to throw cigarette butts out the window because there was the high chance that it could start a fire since it was so dry out.
Right before we entered the park, he did it again. My friend sternly mentioned it again.
As I pulled up to pay the park ranger (only $10 per car load!), I saw on the window that it said smoking was not allowed in the park.
He smoked in the car because that seemed to the more logical solution, rather than waiting an hour or two. The car reeked.
But we did our best to keep our cool because this place was GORGEOUS. It has over 2,000 natural arches!
We got out, checked out the infamous balanced rock, but quickly drove to the next place. We wanted to see as much as we could before it got too hot since we had a small dog with us, who technically wasn’t allowed on the trails.
We went and saw the North and South Windows and Turret Arch, all of which were breath-taking. But the whopping quarter-mile hike to reach them was seemingly impossible because of the high altitude. I felt SO out of shape. I was literally trying to catch my breath when I got to the top, and it really wasn’t that far! (I’m sure you read about how far I walked in San Jose Del Cabo, so you know I’m capable of hiking.)
We ended up driving around quite a bit to make sure the pup stayed cool. We parked in a few spots and ran over and grabbed a few pics at scenic overlooks.
We found an “easy” hike, one that was recommended for children. It’s called Sand Dune Arch, and sure enough, there was kids playing in the sand, near the arch.
After a few more scenic views, we decided to head out.
Right as we were leaving, our 3rd passenger decided to light up yet another cigarette. Guess what he did with it when he was done? Yeah, flicked it out the window. I was furious, but I’m too passive to freak out at anyone. Not my friend though. She flipped out on him. She told him that she didn’t want to be the car responsible for starting a huge fire. Do you know what this dumb****’s response was? “It’s dry, there’s nothing that will catch on fire.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!
I think there was one more time after that that he did it again and my friend said “if you throw another cigarette out the window, you’re going with it!” He finally started putting his butts in an empty bottle. How can someone be that dumb?!
We headed back to our motel, even though we had already checked out. But we desperately wanted to ditch this guy, so we wanted to use the WiFi there (cell phone reception is kind of poor in the middle of nowhere). So we found a Greyhound station in Flagstaff, Arizona. Granted, this would mean that we would miss Antelope Canyon, but we figured it was worth it to ditch him sooner rather than later. We just had to figure out a way to let him know that the road trip was over for him…
This was the last picture of the 3 of us.