|Cacti at Arches NP|
Happy Fourth of July! What a beautiful sunny day it is to celebrate America's birthday. I just had some barbeque and fixed myself a mojito-like drink from the fresh mint in my little garden. On that celebratory note, I'm posting the second part of my vacation: Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. The names are quite self-explanatory. In Arches, you will see stone pillars and arches. In Canyonlands, you see a vast numbers of canyons. Far from the cool forest of Yellowstone and Grand Teton, these two parks are borderline southwest and characterized by a more desert climate that reaches 100F well before midday. We saw a numerous patches of prickly pear cacti. Most were finished flowering, however I did manage to find remnants of pretty pink flowers in one patch (above).
The picture below is a landscape at Canyonlands. Most of the park is atop a mesa, and you can look out on the edges. The canyons stretch for much further than the camera's lens can see. If you're afraid of heights like me, it's a pretty scary yet awe-inspiring experience.
|The courthouse, Arches NP|
|Fiery Furnace, Arches NP|
|Juniper, Canyonlands NP|
|Small Lizard, Arches NP|
These duo arches are called the North and South Windows. We climbed them at 12 noon, when it was 100F outside. The grade is not steep, but it's so much harder to hike when the sun is beating down on you. Once you reach the windows, however, it is marvelous to sit in the shade and enjoy the strong breezes blowing through the windows!
|North and South Windows, Arches NP|
Finally, I'll conclude with my "I was here" picture. I wore my favorite summer polish, Dior Vernis in Aloha as my pedicure. I thought the color fit in quite well with the red earth and sand found everywhere in the deserts. I apologize for the dustiness of my feet... the red sand really gets over everything.
|Red earth, Arches NP|
P.S. Back to beauty after this. June favorites is next...