Tim told us before we went to bed the night before that we had to be up and on the road by 6:30am this morning. Normally this would be a problem because I move very slowly in the morning (especially when it’s cold like it was that day). But the good thing was that I was still pretty jet lagged, so I was already awake by 2am. I tried going back to sleep but I realized that I’m going to be spending a lot of time on the bus that day, time that can be used to catch up on sleep. In the meantime, I took advantage of the hotel’s wifi connection to watch YouTube videos and chat with a few friends on Viber.
It was a cold and wet morning. This was taken when our bus stopped for gas and everyone was asked to disembark. We used this opportunity to run to the bathroom and buy some sandwiches from the Arby’s nearby because we haven’t had breakfast yet.
After getting back on the bus and driving for a few minutes, I saw this outside my window:
Snow!!! Not a lot, but it’s still snow. It made me happy because I didn’t think I’d be seeing snow during this trip. It was May at this time, and I expected it to be warm already. Like I said in a previous entry, I packed mostly dresses and shorts for this trip. It’s a good thing my aunt was able to lend me some sweaters and gloves.
Getting comfy on the bus. We spent an average of 8 hours on the bus everyday during this tour. I downloaded an audio book of Pride and Prejudice the night before this, which I listened to occasionally to pass the time.
Ezra brought along this pack of Mega Stuf Oreos. We munched on them during the long bus rides
Creamy~ She loves eating Oreos with me because I only like the brown cookie part. We usually split the Oreo in half and she gets the side with the cream.
Our bus had these outlets on the seats so people can charge their gadgets during long trips. Pretty cool eh?
After about 2 hours, we made it to Arches National Park
Look how red the soil is 😀
Finally, we were given a chance to go down and take some photos:
Posing next to this lonely little weed thing
Photo of the Three Sisters/Three Gossips rock formation from afar
My dad took this candid shot of Ezra and me looking lost in the desert
Another family photo by Airish
The Balanced Rock
Lookie what I have~
After this we got back on our bus to head further inside the park where the arches were. Tim gave us about an hour to wander around and explore the area for ourselves.
A brief explanation of how the arches are formed
A friendly reminder to the tourists. It tells us that we might encounter some “black crust” on the ground, which is actually cryptobiotic crust (AKA “desert glue”). It’s a plant community that hold desert sand together and makes it possible for other organisms to grow. Stepping on them will not do them any favors so we had to be careful where we walk.
They call the some of the arches “windows”
Look at that amazing view!
You can see one of the windows behind us (above Ezra’s head)
On our way there, we came across this dead tree:
(I’m actually not sure if it’s really dead or that’s how it’s supposed to look)
Making our way up to the windows again
And we’re here!
Look at me, so strong! Holding the arches up and everything XD
View from the top:
We were happy with simply admiring the view from the top but some of the more adventurous tourists went down the other side to take photos
Like this guy. I wanted to go down too but I was scared that I might slip and fall down the cliff thing (it was a little steep). I wanted to use of my time well, and nursing a broken leg didn’t sound like the best way to do it.
Tim was there at the top with his yellow flag making sure none of us get into any trouble
Here’s a better picture of him with my mom that my dad took
Guess what Ezra’s doing in this lovely place. Yep~ Reapplying her makeup, lol. She forgot she was wearing eyeliner so she rubbed her eyes and smeared it all over her face.
After this Ezra and I headed down to explore the other windows. (My parents went their own way because they didn’t want to climb all the way to the top with us)
We found this rock thing that we could climb for a better view
My mom saw Ezra and me climbing it so she decided to get up there with us. My dad chose to stay behind and just take pictures of us from afar
I can’t remember what we were pointing to here. I think we were trying to tell my dad that there’s an easier path he could take to the top so he could join us, but he still refused. It’s too bad because the view was lovely 🙂
Soon, Tim was going around telling everyone it was time to get back on the bus.
Getting up on the rock was easy, but I had a little bit of trouble going down. Ezra and I had to take turns holding my camera because I was worried I would smash it against the rocks during my descent.
Our bus took us to the Arches Visitor Center where they had a museum and a gift shop
Family photo at the entrance
They also had these metal animal statues there. Hello little Raven 😀 (Or is this a crow? Ezra loves reminding me that I’m horrible when it comes to identifying animals. I once called a duck a goose and she still won’t stop teasing me about it.)
But I do know that this is a lizard. (Very good Carmi)
Ezra just finished watching Cuticle Detective Inaba, so she was a little obsessed with goats during this time.
Hello Don Valentino (Sha-sha-sha!)
See? There were so many animals there but she chose to pose with all the goats
Inside the museum:
Buying some souvenirs from the gift shop
The high altitude and lack of oxygen at the park made me a nauseous so I decided to wait for the rest of the group on this bench outside the center. My dad wasn’t in a shopping mood either so he kept me company.
When we got back on the bus, Tim told us we would stop for lunch in about an hour so I took a nap and hoped that I would feel better when I woke up. Unfortunately, I think part of the problem was that it was already noon at this point and I was pretty hungry, so I actually felt worse after my nap. But I felt much better after I got some food in me.
I can’t really remember what else we did after that. But seeing that I have no other photos of us in other touristy places, I’m fairly certain that we spent the rest of the day on the road. Our final stop that evening was Denver (Colorado), which was a long way to go. I did manage to take this pictures later that afternoon from our bus window:
It’s a little hard to tell in this picture, but this is actually a lake that’s starting to freeze over
And I actually got to see the snow falling from the sky. This is only the second time I’ve seen falling snow, so I was very excited. I wish our bus stopped for a while so I could play around and take pictures, but we were on a very tight schedule.
At around 7:30pm we made it to our home for the evening, Hotel VQ.
Look how bright the sky is considering it’s already 7:30. It normally starts to get dark around 6pm here in the Philippines
Even though we spent the majority of the day sitting down on the bus, we were exhausted! We just gobbled up our dinner (we stopped by a grocery and a fast food place on the way here), took a shower and crashed into bed. Tim told us that we had to be on the bus by 6:30am again the following day so we ended our night early.
At this point we were starting to wonder if we made the right decision in joining this tour because it seemed as though we spend only 10% of our time sight seeing and the rest sleeping on the bus. It was already Day 2 and so far the only tourist spot we’ve been to was Arches National Park. Granted, it’s lovely and I enjoyed our time there very much, but it just seemed like there was so much time wasted. However, I’m pleased to say that the following days were much better. We still spent about 8 hours a day on the bus, but at least we got to see lots of nice places as well 🙂
- Yellowstone Tour (Day 1 of 7) : AKA “The day we almost got left behind in Los Angeles”
- Yellowstone Tour (Day 3 of 7) : Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial and Bear Country
- Yellowstone Tour (Day 4 of 7) : A date with Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park
- Yellowstone Tour (Day 5 of 7) : Freeloader Picnic and Elk Antlers (Grand Teton, Jackson Hole and Salt Lake City)
- Yellowstone Tour (Day 6 of 7) : Is this Gringotts?? (Great Salt Lake, Utah Capitol, Vegas)