Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)

Travel Tales: Moab, Utah (Arches National Park)


I am absolutely loving being in Bulgaria and I’m settling in more and more every day. However, I’ve come down with a mild case of the homesickies recently. In an attempt to keep the blues away, I recently wrote letters to some peeps back home, and I’ve also been reminiscing about my beautiful home state, Utah. You’d think this would make me more homesick, but it actually helps in some weird way!

If you’ve never been to Utah, you haven’t lived. Ok, Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but in all honesty, Utah truly is one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Chances are, if you’ve ever seen a movie and marveled at the stunning desert vistas, that was filmed in Utah. Just Google “movies filmed in Utah,” and you’ll see the never-ending list of huge blockbuster movies with Utah as a backdrop. On that note, pretty much any calendar with scenic landscape shots has a few in there of Utah’s incredible National Parks (of which there are 5). It’s just fact. 🙂

Can you tell how proud I am to call myself a Utahn? Sure, the Beehive State has some things (and people) that don’t jive so well with me, but overall I am happy to have grown up there and to have had many opportunities to explore places that some people just get to dream about.

Case in point: a Spring Break trip with two great friends to Arches National Park, in Moab, Utah.

I’ve been to Arches a few times and it never ceases to give me goose bumps. It is utterly amazing. By day, the park comes alive with colors I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing anywhere else in my travels, rock formations that boggle the mind, and vistas that seem to stretch to the ends of the earth. By night, the temperatures drop and an impossible number of stars twinkle in the crisp, clear night sky.

On this particular trip, I enjoyed said stars laying on a blanket in the sand with a bottle of wine (to myself) and nothing but my thoughts to keep me company–that is until my friends cut me off and made me go to bed (I wax a tad philosophical when I have too much to drink). They are just rude like that! 😉

We camped, we hiked, we clung to ledges for our dear lives–it was a fantastic trip.

I cannot wait to take my hiking-obsessed husband on a road trip across the state, showing him all of Utah’s natural wonders.

You simply have to see it to believe it!

Arches' famous Balanced Rock


One of the more famous formations in the park is Balanced Rock. It seems like a light wind would known such a precarious balancing act right over, but it’ still standing strong!


Can you spot my pals, A. and A.?!



Landscape Arch (from a bad angle)

Landscape Arch sits in the park’s Devil’s Garden area and is considered to be the 2nd longest natural arch in the world with a span of about 290 ft.  I know it’s a bad angle in the photo, but can you see that thin area of the arch? Well, it used to be thicker but in the early 90’s some slabs broke off. The park service was forced to close the trail runs underneath the arch. Thankfully, Landscape Arch remains intact, Wall Arch was not so lucky.


Delicate Arch

Good ole Delicate Arch. The most famous site in the park and one of the most recognizable natural landmarks in not just Utah, but the world. Utah’s license plates even featured it for years. I like to refer to the hike up to it as “the hike of death,” but really I am just not the most in-shape person in the world. There is absolutely nothing like rounding the corner at the end of the nearly 3-mile straight uphill hike to see this beauty. I’ve been up there about 4 times and it leaves me breathless (and not from the hike!) each and every time. On one visit I even saw a man propose to his girlfriend right under it. So sweet! I’ll admit, however, I am not a huge fan of heights and walking over to the actual arch is nerve wracking. It sits right on the edge of an enormous cliff. Makes me shiver just thinking about it!

And I don’t know the name of this last one, but I think I know what I would name it!

(He he he!)

Mother Nature is a dirty girl!


If you ever have the chance to visit Utah (especially southern Utah), I would jump at it. Remember to bring your camera and lots of memory cards, you are going to need ’em!



4 thoughts on “Travel Tales: Moab, Utah (Arches National Park)

  1. Wow! I really like your picture of Delicate Arch. Well Done. You are correct, you have not lived until you visit Utah, specifically Southern Utah. I had the exciting opportunity to visit all of the major National Parks in Southern Utah with my dad during a two week vacation a few years back. One of the best trips of my life. All of the parks over there are amazing and unique creations, just beautiful. I hope to make it back there someday.

  2. I’ve never been to Utah, but I went to school in New Mexico for a year. What people never seem to get (probably from people never venturing anywhere outside the airport or the resort) about the western states is that the landscape is just so diverse. I could go from desert to mountains to coniferous forest is a quick 90-minute drive.

    • I totally agree! People who have never lived/visited the western states have no idea what a variety of landscapes and climates there are. Utah is similar to New Mexico when it comes to being able to go from snowy mountains to deserts within just a short drive. I loved growing up with such beautiful variety and luckily I can get a similar feel her in Bulgaria. I don’t know that I could ever truly get used to living someplace like Iowa or Nebraska. So much flat nothingness!

  3. Pingback: Tales from the Bilzzard « From Here to Bulgaria

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