Day 12 12-08-2007
Good morning glorious snow! We got on the road about 8:15am (32-degrees). Only 36-miles to Mesa Verde National Park and we were both looking forward to it. As I said before, one of the disadvantages of traveling during off-season is that a lot is closed. Although Mesa Verde was open it should have been closed. Only one area of the park was open with guided tours at 10am and 1pm.
Unfortunately we arrived at 9:30 and it would have taken us nearly an hour to drive the 20-miles. The snow was thick and the road hadn’t been plowed. We couldn’t even see the forest on the sides of the roads. After about 2-miles we decided to turn around and continue on to Arches National Park, where (hopefully) there would be no snow. I’d been to Arches about 6-7 years ago, but Robert had never been, so I was excited for him to see it.
After Mesa Verde we headed north into Utah on Highway 491. We stopped for lunch at Denny’s in Moab then entered Arches about noon. It was beautiful! And no snow! After some debate we decided to spend our last night camping, which had been our intent for the entire trip. We set up camp at Arches only campground, Devil’s Garden Campground. The campground had a total of 53 sites, but half of them were closed for the season. When we decided to camp the sky was mostly clear, but while we ate our chili dinner, a cold wind kicked up and dark clouds blotted out the sun. We didn’t have any wood and weren’t allowed to gather wood in the park, so we hurriedly washed our dishes and jumped into our sleeping bags. It was cold, windy, and only 6pm, but absolutely perfect.