Woke up really early, packed up the car and drove to arches before it opened. We spent some time in the visitors center learning about the arches formation ( the oceans flooding and evaporating leaving salt beds for miles piling sand on top Fromm erosion and wind. The sand hardened to rock and water eventually seeped through resolving the salt creating cracks in the rock that eventually gave way to form arches... They think....Of course this process took millions of years... We watched a film and explored the interesting exhibits. We drove to landscape arch and hiked 1.6 miles to see it. We had a blast hiking on the red rock with Ronnie but were kind of cold as it was still very early- next comes the fun part-
Ronnie drove us to what he thought was the lookout point to delicate arch and told us that there were two paths - one high point that was too difficult for him and one lower one that him and Emma would go on. The girls were tired but he convinced them that it was very quick- .5 miles and we started on our way. Olivia was not happy and wanted to go back but I kept convincing her that we were almost there. After about 15 minutes we realized Ronnie had made a mistake but we figured we had already home so far that it couldn't be much longer. We got to a part where the floor was all rock and there's was a vast steep fun looking incline. The girls were convinced that the top was the end of the hike but I bet them it was a lot longer. That pushed them forward and they had fun recharging their batteries and taking frequent breaks. Of course Aida dropped her water bottle down the whole mountain! When we got to the top the girls realized I was right but we kept going because so many people were on the trail we figured the end must be right there... We continued for another 10 minutes before asking someone on the way down how much longer and she responded" you are not even half way!" We pushed forward anyway and kept climbing arriving in an area of gorgeous red rock everywhere. After lots more breaks and fun we got to a very narrow strip around the bend of the mountain where everyone kept saying- " your almost there.... Just around the bend..." Finally we turned the bend and couldn't believe our eyes- delicate arch was huge and magical! The girls scurried across the large bowl to get closer to the arch while I took pictures. Hannah and Aida kept saying how worth it the hike was to see the gorgeous sight but Olivia said" I don't think it was worth it. It's just a rock with a curve..." I think we've taken her to one to many beautiful places if she couldn't appreciate this! Spoiled brat!
The way down was really quick and fun. We came up with different ways to deal with Ronnie's mess up acting out different scenarios of getting lost, crying.... Oh how can I forget - just as we started our way down a nice woman came up to us and said your husband sent up this bottle of water for you because he said you didn't have enough! We laughed so hard and made sure that he was the guy in the wheelchair before taking the water. When we got down as we predicted Ronnie had a smirk from ear to ear saying hurry up- we are going to miss rafting!.... We retold our adventures to each other- Ronnie and Emma enjoyed the petroglyphs and when he realized he sent us on such a long trail sent Emma running after us! She never caught up and ran back to him ( thank god) and after consulting some rangers and asking a bunch of people if we were alive he sent up water! Anyway we got in the car and rushed to the boat landing where we were supposed to meet our raft for our float trip down the Colorado River and we frantically called them leaving messages as we were an hour late!
We arrived at the site and saw a huge truck with rafts pulling away! We flagged them down and thankfully they said they could still take us. We got a safety talk about how to get in and out of the boat, use swimmers position, climb out from under.... And got in and were on on way. We floated on calm river for quite a while enjoying the beautiful sights. Our guide told us he was a geologist as well so we asked him all of our questions about the black rock ( rock varnish or dirt that comes out of the pores of the rock)...we passed lots of landmark rocks like the priest rock , professor rock, snoopy, castleton rock ( famous climbing rock) we even saw Bon job is drummers house! We passed the first rapid- onion rapid and stopped for a Mediterranean lunch at a small beach. Emma took a swim and we headed back for another 2 hours of rapids and calm water. Next we passed through professor rapids cloud Burst rapid and finally rocky rapids. Aida and Olivia jumped in and held on to the boat through some rapids and had fun. Hannah stuck her feet in and tried to plot a water fight that ever happened...we had a blast and although exhausted we changed clothes and drove to meet our jeep tour in the parking lot of city market.
Ok - if that wasn't exhausting enough we meet our sunset jeep tour and got right in. We drove a mile to the trailhead devils hells revenge... Or something.... It was INSANE!!!! Let me repeat that- we have done much stunting as gido would say but this took the cake- INSANE!!!! Up vertical climbs on extremely narrow ledges up and down - words can not explain the extreme sport if you can call it that. Curtis drove Aida and I and we watched Olivia scream and laugh with delight as we took the insane drops around the mountain. We stopped to see dinosaur tracks and eventually a beautiful cloudy sunset. The stunting the drivers did with each other was a blast. Dan the owner and his son drove the others and entertained us tremendously along the way. Dan is famous for his excursions and has been featured on tv! The way back was in the dark and exhausting but fun! At the end Dan stopped the jeeps to show us the international space station and the gorgeous stars in the night sky. Eventually we got back to the car - filled up with gas- restocked supermarket needs and returned netflix and continued on our way to Telluride - a three hour drive. It was now 10:00.... At 1:00 we arrived at the hotel Madeline- a gorgeous hotel that we desperately needed sleep in- unpacked the bags and food and got about 3 hours of sleep....