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I’ve been dreaming of going to Arches National Park since I stumbled on images of Delicate Arch a few years ago while researching US road trips. I saved a couple images of the arch to my computer and decided that it was the first place I would go when I could take a trip out west. When Katie and I started planning our road trip beginning in Boulder, CO, I immediately looked up the distance from Boulder to Arches and told her it was my number one destination to include. She happily obliged.

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We planned to spend half a day at the park and continue on to Canyonlands, but once we settled in Moab the evening before we realized we wanted to take our time and see all of the park. After days of camp food the burgers and fries we ate at a restaurant near our hotel tasted like heaven. We settled into a motel room with boxed wine and Mary Oliver poems and it felt like the most luxurious night of my life at the time, ha!

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The next morning we packed up and headed to Arches early. We stopped at every arch, hiked (nearly) every trail, and I finally got to stand in the presence of Delicate Arch. The hike to Delicate Arch was sort of excruciating for me for some reason — I had a terrible headache that no amount of water could fix and at one point begged Katie to stop in the one place of shade we could find so I could rest before we got there (as 10-year-old kids passed us…). Once we rounded the corner, though, all pain was forgotten. We climbed around the area and then sat near the arch and watched it for over an hour. I was completely mesmerized, and between that and my exhaustion I never wanted to get up again.

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After a full day exploring the park we drove back to a random campsite we found in Moab (photos from the campsite directly above). It ended up being one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, and we were the only ones there. More wine, a spectacular sunset, more fireside chats, and then we laid on the huge rock formations and picked out planets and constellations for what felt like hours. It was the last night of the camping trip so I was determined to soak in every last drop of goodness. I can’t recommend Arches or camping in Moab enough; it was the highlight of our trip.