Day Nineteen – Hoodoo Gurus

More photos here.

Just my daughter, dog, and I now so we took a day in Moab to ease down before the final journey home tomorrow. I finally emptied the trailer’s gray water (no Cousin Eddie “shitter’s full!” moment as we successfully avoiding pooping in the camper), though you can still smell the tank from 20 yards away. Which was fantastically nauseating in today’s 100° heat. But we were detached and touring around so no stank for us.

We try to pair the majesty of national parks with good low-brow tourist experiences so we started at Moab Giants, basically an outdoor park filled with fiberglass dinosaurs and “museum” buildings of fossil casts. How was it? Well, only four of the nine screens in the 5D Paleo Aquarium exhibit and the volunteer docent was completely phoning it in. Which is about what we expected. They had a mock fossil dig pit, which we haughtily avoided having dug for the real things last week. Fairly up-to-date dinosaur models, though. Some feathers, no tail-dragging. B- overall.

From there to Arches National Park. Though Utah has a ton of national parks and it’s only right next door, this was my first there. Lots of visitors not prepared for the heat (or hiking), but we managed and were generously rewarded. Every turn and vista is stunning, the sandstone carved by erosion into seemingly physics-defying contortions. Having looked at so many things that operate in spans of millions of years (dinosaur evolution, tectonic upheaval, etc) it was refreshing somehow that these arches come and go on the order of thousands of years. Live fast, die with a thundering crash to the ground.

Our last treat to ourselves after this epic trip was an air-conditioned theater and a viewing of the final Indiana Jones film. Fitting in some ways that such a precisely planned trip winds down with improvisation. As Indy says “I’m making this up as I go.”

Next up: home.