We began day 4 with cautious optimism. It promised to be a long dreary day of driving around the flat deserts of Utah, and we were probably a little disappointed with the thought of not visiting anything as grand as the Arches National Park. That’s one flip side of having a grand experience – they raise the bar. Almost suddenly, nothing is good enough. The trek to Delicate Arch, the colors of sunset, the viewpoint on the terrace, the howling and haunting wind was nothing sort of magical. And although it made us full and content in one way, it made a big hole in “tomorrow”.
Wide open spaces miles all around and mountains in the horizon were the predominant landscape in the morning, and there was wind. In fact there was so much wind, Day 4 will probably go down as the “Windy” day. The big Ford Expedition swung from side to side on many occasions, and driving was a wee bit like a local rodeo show. As we got into the afternoon, the terrain changed shape and colors. It seemed as if the mountains closed in from all sides, and turned a coffee brown.
It was around 3PM when we saw the sandstorms sweeping through the highway, reducing visibility to a hundred yards or so. You could see the brown sand being washed off the tall rock faces of cliffs, swept off from the ground and swirling up into mini-twisters. Then we saw the funniest sight – a 4X4 tugging a motorboat in the middle of this desert, through the sandstorm !! Ah!, the spirit of adventure!
Bryce Canyon was an amazing spectacle. We had just enough time to visit Inspiration point and the amphitheater at Bryce Point. The hoodoos were a sight, really! You can’t fathom how they transform from fins to arches to hoodoos over millions of years. The afternoon rain clouds kept the sun hidden, and we could not quite see the famous amphitheater in all its splendor. That will have to wait, for another day, another visit.
The drive back from Bryce Canyon to Richfield was through almost complete darkness through the canyon roads. Native American flutes played on the CD, and we talked about energies, spirits and hauntings.
We would have loved to end the day with some Scotch and Tequilas, but we reached Richfield very late. It had to be Cup Noodles and coffee.