Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Great Weekend in Arches...

It's mid-October and that means a camping trip in Arches National Park. You may remember last year we had a bit of drama on our way there, but no trouble this time! We got our shopping done Wednesday night so that we could get up on Thursday morning, pack, and get our of town. The day was beautiful and very mild. We rolled into Arches around 4 pm and found our campsites. We were the first ones there so we got first dibs! Got the tent set up, kids are really getting helpful with this. Everyone else started to arrive and get their stuff set up, the kids found plenty of rocks to climb on and we ate our hamburgers for dinner.

Friday morning we had a nice breakfast and then the kids took off rick climbing and playing in the sand. I sat and read after cleaning up breakfast. Jeff and his friends played the card game they all love. At 4pm we left for a nice dinner in town. We went for BBQ at the Blu Pig. Once we got back to the campground, I could tell that things had been 'moved around'. Just as I was asking Jeff where he moved everything to, the campground hosts stopped by to inform us that we had left our garbage unattended and the ravens had a good old time going through all the garbage. We were horrified and had no idea they would do that. The park ranger apparently caught the ravens in the act, shooed them away, and picked up all of our garbage. The campground hosts told us the ranger would probably stop by tomorrow and talk about this with us, maybe give us a ticket. Great. Did I mention we were horrified?

Saturday was a day of card games for Jeff and his friends, the girls and I, went to Sand Dune Arch with two of the other wives and the other kids. The instant they got in they started digging quite the pit. It was fun to watch the kids do this, and to watch the random kid come up and start pitching in. Kids are amazing in their ability to work together.

Anyway, we stayed there about an hour and then the rest of them went off to hike The Windows, while the girls and I went to this new Moab Dinosaur park that is on the road going into town. It is fairly new and (in my opinion) mostly geared towards the 12 and younger crowd. My girls really enjoyed it. There is a nice, easy trail that takes you through different dinosaur eras, with statues of different kinds of dinosaurs. They have an information plaque at each statue. We had fun. There are also several interactive displays, and two theaters. One of the theaters we went to was a 5D walk through PALEO AQUARIUM!!!! You wear the funny glasses and walk past these "tanks" with (animated) paleo fish. Not unlike walking in the fish cave at Cabela's. The tour guide told you facts about that particular critter and you move to the next. The final "tank" was for the MEGALODON!!! The tour guide is talking about it, and all the sudden the megalodon swims right to the glass and bumps it, while at the same time the floor shakes, water sprays, and people scream. I was laughing the whole time, but Katie and Maggie had their eyes closed and missed all the fun!

Once we got back to the campsite, I learn from Jeff that the Ranger did come by, and took down Jeff's information and ran him through the NPS Database. We are now known to the NPS as rabble rousers and next time we will be ticketed for ravens in the garbage. At this point I start getting ready for dinner and between that and packing up the next day, I had to have Jeff write the rest as he was more involved with our second run-in with the law...

Early in the afternoon on Saturday, while the rest of the gang was off hiking, and Johnny, Brian and I were sitting around playing cards, an older man approached us in our campsite and said "Hi, I'm from the Czech Republic, and I'd like to set up my tent back here aways." We saw that his group was in the next camp, and I said "sure, just go back there away from us, and set up. So we saw him set up his little red pup tent, and then his whole group left for the afternoon.

It was after dark, and we were eating dinner, when Czech man came up to me directly while I was prepping my food, and said "Something has happened to my tent, I need you to see it." So I left my food to get cold, and wandered over to where his red pup tent was set up. He pointed to a six inch rip in the rainfly fabric down near the ground, and said, "Your children did this." I didn't believe him, and mentioned that he had set up his tent basically in the middle of a trail that went back and forth across the face of the rocks, and that there were people passing by all afternoon and evening, and that I seriously doubted my children did it. He told me that "adults would not do this." and that there were no other children around. Having sat there all afternoon watching a parade of people going past his tent, I basically told him that without evidence to the contrary, I wasn't going to accept his accusation. Knowing that we had trouble with the ravens trying to get our food, I asked him if there was any food in the tent, and he took a very long time to answer, and then said no. I told him if he wanted to take the matter further up some chain of authority, he should inform the campground host. And I left him to go back to my cold food. We asked the kids if they'd ripped his tent, and they all denied it utterly. We told them we wouldn't be mad if they did it by accident, and just to tell us if they had. Nobody fessed up. 

Later, Brian and I walked over to the campground host's spot and informed him of all that had happened. Then after we were done with our story, he says: "Well, you know I'm not on duty tonight, that's the other campground host."

Anyway, that's where it sat overnight. In the morning, we noticed that the older lady campground host was talking to the Czech man and then she got on her golf cart and was getting ready to leave, when I asked her about what he had said. She told me he told her this story about my kids ripping the tent, and she didn't believe him, and wasn't even going to bother me with it, until I asked her. Then somebody in his group photographed us, and our gear, and cars, and everything, and he came over with his bill, saying "I know Americans are honorable people." I took a look at it, and said "I'm not paying you a dime," as I was thinking "Yeah, we are honorable, but we're not suckers." Then after he and his party had left, the campground host brought the park rangers to talk to me and take my statement. They told me not to worry about it. I gave them the handwritten bill he had given me. 

That's about it. It kind of felt like a shakedown after all was said and done. 

Leaving on Sunday, we got out around 9:30am. We left Moab via the Colorado River route 2/3 of the way to I-70 we had to stop and wait a half hour for the marathon to finish. We spent this time throwing rocks in the river and enjoying the sunny day. I was very glad to get home and cleaned up!

1 comment:

CowanTravels said...

Wow! That WAS a lot of drama, second year in a row!