Arches National Park in Utah is a sight to behold… it is leaving me pretty speechless even now as I’m trying to write a quick post about it. It’s definitely a must-see… and for me personally, it’s a place to visit again and again. The first time I saw this US National Park 15 years ago during a trip to Moab, I had the feeling that I had finally arrived in “America” – and that after living in Florida and Brooklyn for 1o years. I consciously chose this second visit to Arches for my last In Another Minute video and my birthday.
I hope my 1-minute video will give you an idea why I think Arches National Park is so great… and also why I think it’s worth visiting again and again.
Have you noticed how drastically different the color of the rocks looks in the various light conditions throughout the day? The video loosely follows the light change from morning to Golden Hour and then sunset. I wish I could have had several Golden Hours and sunsets to experience and capture more places at that time.
Arches National Park lies in the high desert just north of Moab and is part of the Colorado Plateau. It features 2,000 sandstone arches. We saw only about a dozen. See, another reason to return. The park covers 76,679 acres (310.31 km2) with its highest elevation is at 5,653 feet (1,723 m).
Arches first became a National Monument in 1929 and then a National Park in 1971. The dramatic, serpentine road into the park was paved in the 1950s. I’m fascinated with the fact that they chose this as an entrance, instead of an easy access road near the Salt Valley. I guess it’s all about the visual drama.
My favorite arch is probably Pinetree Arch… although the fact that Scott and I got to visit it alone, while all the more famous arches were a tad bit overcrowded, might have had something to do with it. That arch can be found in Devil’s Garden. I’m so glad we took the time to drive up to the most northern part of the park and went for a short hike to see it. It’s great that the main sights of Arches National Park are so easily accessible by car – making it a perfect place to visit for less mobile people. But it can quickly feel like an amusement park or just a place with specific photo ops, unless you get out and walk around a bit where there are less people.
Talking about Devil’s Garden; it naturally reminded us of Garden of the Gods in Colorado. And it struck me how at Garden of the Gods every pebble seems to have a name, while at Arches many rock formations appeared to remain nameless. Clearly, this one should be called The Sphinx, that one The Rhinoceros and how about Showering Elephant for that one? Of course, lots of them look like male anatomy…
The music in this video is the instrumental version of the song “Once Tomorrow” by Josh Woodward. This song is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 US License. Josh, I cannot thank you enough for all the beautiful music you have made available to all of us and the soundtrack you have provided for a majority of my American Western videos.
Over the next few days, I will be publishing photos from Arches National Park on my photography website LuciWest.com, my blog, Facebook, Google+ and Flickr. I will try to identify all the rock formations by their official name – or, if there doesn’t seem to be one, with my own inventions.
I will also publish photos of the other amazing places we visited on this birthday road trip: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Cisco (ghost town), Dinosaur Diamond Scenic Byway along the Colorado River, Canyonlands National Park (!!!), Canyon Pintado and Dinosaur National Monument.
However, I will not publish any 1-minute videos about these places… because next week I will publish my last regular weekly In A Minute video… and I already have something else planned for next Thursday.
That’s right: after exactly 7 years (since May 7, 2010) of publishing a new 1-minute video every single week, I’m finally bringing this project to a close next week. There is a good chance that I will still occasionally publish Moving Postcard videos – but they will be of the irregular and extended kind. I still have lots of footage to share with you… and I’m not done traveling and filming!
A quick note about Canyonlands National Park. That park deserves the same attention as Arches National Park. I urge anybody who is planning a trip to the Moab, Utah, area to split their time evenly between the two parks and whatever other adventures they seek. It feels a bit wrong for me to not share a video about Canyonlands because it was just as beautiful and mind-blowing – just very, very different. But it was also lovely to explore something new without a tripod, but just with a camera and Scott.
And now a HUGE THANK YOU to Scott Solary, the love of my life. He has come along on so many of my shoots and shared so many adventures and road trips with me. And I’m very grateful for that. But I have to say, he was especially awesome on this trip. There’s so much I could say about how wonderful he is and all the things he did on this journey. But for this post, I’ll keep it to the video-related activities: he did ALL the driving, he was exceptionally patient and encouraging when it came to shooting the same formation one more time and from yet another angle, and he assisted over and over again with all my lens changes. He also supplied all new music for the traveling video show; and I need a lot of music to keep going. He’s also very easy on the eyes when I need a break from looking through the lens. Oh, and he built his own Balanced Rock. It didn’t make it into the video. Sorry. I’ll publish a photo soon…