High Painless Drifters

Gold stars for my kids on Sunday morning, they got up without prompting or complaint at 5 AM, and we hiked the Devil's Garden and primitive loop trail, the longest in the park-- when we hit the trail (6:30 AM) it was shady and 60 degrees, and six miles and three and a half hours later, upon our return it was only 83 degrees . . . not bad at all in the desert; the hike was astounding, lots of arches, including the longest in the world (Landscape Arch) and the aesthetically pleasing Double O Arch; the kids enjoyed all the rock climbing-- we hiked along narrow slanted precipes, atop slender rock fins, into shady gullies and canyons, and along a few exposed high plains looking out over the mesas and mountains and spires of red sandstone; there was also plenty of wildlife-- we saw deer, jackrabbits, lizards, a snakeskin, and a little toad with beautiful red spots (aptly named the red-spotted toad) and while none of these animals would be particularly exciting out of context-- a bunny is a bunny and we often have deer on our front lawn-- but when you see something moving through the red sand and cacti and sage and stone of the Moab desert, the feeling is extraterrestrial, like witnessing life on Mars . . . for some pictures of this stuff (especially sunrise on Balanced Rock and the red-spotted toad) head over to Captions of Cat and for posterity, if my kids get in big trouble in the future (which they certainly will) they can refer to this post for a get-out-of-jail-free card.

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