We made it to Arches // Day 5

So this is the last day of the trip. It was a real long one. I can never resist a sunrise and when you combine that with lots of driving and a red eye... well that's a long day.

Morning in Moab
When we first got to Red Cliff Lodge the day before, we knew we liked it but were also wistful for something slightly closer to society. Any of that remaining sentiment was erased when I drank coffee and watched the sunrise over the Colorado River. As we were just standing there peacefully taking in sunrise... a beaver swam by. I've never seen a beaver before! Plus, there was some bird/duck watching for Jake to partake in.

After sunrise, we headed into downtown Moab for breakfast. We got several recommendations but ended up at the Jailhouse Cafe. Spoiler alert? It legit used to be a jailhouse. It was also tasty.
Bird Sanctuary
Kerrianne did a lot of the planning for this trip. We made a lot of the decisions together but she did 90% of the research. One of the gems? She found a wildlife preserve perfect for birding in Moab. It took us a bit to actually find the entrance but it was worth it. I think Jake saw 4 new birds.
We didn't get to Arches until nearly noon - which is a lifetime from when we normally show up to parks. The line to get in was probably 30 cars deep - and there were 2 lines. Once we got into the park, we charted a course that would hopefully be a good balance of walking... and just driving. We pretty much stopped at everything but here are some specific callouts
+ Delicate Arch Overlook
+ Salt Valley Overlook
+ Devil's Garden
+ Sand Dune Arch
+ The Windows
+ Balanced Rock

The primary hike we did was the Devil's Garden. It was just the right amount of distance and effort. It would have been amazing to see Delicate Arch but on the last day of our trip, we were a bit worn out. I'd recommend maybe not doing Arches last - or just being more emotionally ready to walk up a bunch of rock :-). Also, Arches is crowded! So, you are never alone on trails. We spent probably about 4 hours bouncing around this park before packing up and heading out.
Bye to Utah
Throughout the entire trip, we have been really lucky with traffic and weather. It rained one morning, but other than that - home run. The streak ended on our 4 hour drive to Salt Lake City. About two hours into the drive, it started to rain ... and did not let up. Certainly made driving four hours in the dark to a red eye flight... less amazing.

Upside of the drive? We can say for certain that there are like no gas stations or rest stops between Moab and Salt Lake City. The original plan was to stop just around 2 hours... but we ended up going more than 3 hours ... because there was nothing. We did see a lot of trains - which Dad certainly appreciated. So we stopped at Olive Garden for dinner and then killed even more time at Petco since our flight got delayed. And I'm not sure if this is a low point or a high point, but we ate the leftover breadsticks on the floor of the airport while waiting for our flight. Either way, we made it the entire trip without any major issues. And I'll absolutely forget how miserable red eyes are when I'm booking my next trip.

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