Arches National Park

Thursday morning I headed out of my aunt’s house at 5:30am! Bright and early (kidding, it was dark, but it was early…)! I knew I had to get to Arches National Park and to Salt Lake City in order to get to Portland the next night! I made it through Denver and as I got into the mountains, I was totally in awe! They were gorgeous!

I stopped in Dillon to get gas and was just completely amazed. Speechless. I decided to head up to a lake that I saw on my Google Maps and ended up spending over an hour in Dillon/Frisco. (I haven’t gone through these- so you all get my Instagram versions.)

dillon colorado

dillon colorado

As I kept driving, I think I just became even more amazed than I had been. Colorado is such a beautiful state and I never could have pictured the adorable little towns! As I got into Vail, the trees really started to have some color (the leaves had fallen off a lot of the other places)! I found a great turn off spot and got a few pictures!

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I really thought I was never going to make it to Utah, but then the news came on saying they were expecting a wintery mix in the afternoon for elevations greater than 10,000 feet and flash floods for areas 7,000-10,000 feet! No thanks! It started raining on me too!

LONG drive to Utah! But beautiful!

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I got to Arches National Park around 1pm and ended up spending over 4 hours there! I think I could have stayed forever! I didn’t see a lot of the arches there since I had limited time and a lot of the arches called for longer hikes. It was also really crowded there and I hate crowds of people! They ruin all my photos!

arches national park

arches national park

After feeling rushed through Arches, I realized that it was Thursday and that I had two FULL days left of my road trip! I have no idea how I thought it was Friday all day, especially since Jon and I talked throughout the day about his classes and we talked about how he got up early to take out the trash (Thursday is trash day). This opened up some doors of opportunity! I had a whole free day that I wasn’t expecting!

After Arches, I was feeling pretty drained. I had been doing tons of driving (over 2,000 miles at that point!) and was starving and spent all day walking around in the heat! I decided to stay in Moab for the night, get dinner, relax, and then head to Canyonlands National Park the next day!

Moab was a super cute (super small) town! They had so many healthy options for eating and everything was walkable! My room was even pretty decent for being in a little motel! I was expecting a much more disgusting town but was pleasantly surprised!

I ended up staying up to upload photos. I’ve already filled all my memory on my Mac that I just got in May! I need to stop and buy a terabyte tomorrow since I can’t even upload all my pictures from today!

Rocky Mountain National Park!

Wednesday was a fantastic day of traveling! It was my first “zero” day as Jon calls it. No actual progress made on the road. I slept in until 7:30 and then enjoyed a morning chat with my aunt. My other aunt and uncle stopped by as well, which was really nice! I just can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve seen my family!

I headed out around 10am to go to Rocky Mountain National Park. It was an amazing drive through the Big Thompson Canyon! I was in awe at the scenery! I was even more excited to finally be getting into the mountains that I had been seeing from afar!

I ended up parking and taking the bus up to the Bear Lake area, which is also the starting point for a loop where you can go to view other lakes as well. Bear Lake was really gorgeous! I was a bit confused about where to access the other trails, but I also tend to overlook simple things when I’m hiking alone (in a crowded place anyway- I’m careful if the trails are lonely!).

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I started out on my ascent to see the other lakes after a brief stop at Bear Lake. My hip was definitely in discomfort during the hike, but it wasn’t too bad. I also ended up passing a girl who was hiking alone and then she’d catch back up when I’d stop to take photos! We started chatting and completed the rest of the hike together!

The lakes were gorgeous up in the mountains! Each lake kept on getting better and better! (The internet connection at the hotel is SO SLOW so these are all the pictures you get!)

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The whole hike was about 3.8 miles, I think? It didn’t take very long and was a really easy hike overall. It was a constant incline up but not very steep so really doable. I drove around the park a little bit after the hike and did a little sightseeing, but then I had to head out to make it back in time for dinner!

I went to dinner with my aunt and uncle (the ones I’m staying with) at a Hawaiian place and then went back to their house to relax for a bit before preparing to head out very early on Thursday morning! I really enjoyed having some family time with my dad’s side and am really hoping to make it back to Colorado to see them again soon!