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The Three Gossips at Arches National Park -- Photo by Pat Bean

 “Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye … it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.” — Edvard Munch

 Day 21

At this point in my journey, I had traveled 1,546 miles toward my destination – plus several hundred more miles in side trips. As always seems to happen to me in my dawdling journeys, I was now faced with a deadline. Because of commitments, I needed to be in Ogden, Utah – 260 miles away – today. It left me with too little time to visit Arches National Park.

I did so anyway.

Even if it was to be just a quick run-through, there was no way I was going to miss this spectacular place where wind, water and time have carved out a fantasy landscape. Just from the road, one can see arches, bridges, potholes, hoodoos and precarious balancing rocks. This day, roadside wildflowers added yet another dimension to this red-rock

Roadside flowers added yet another dimension to the wonders of Arches -- Photo by Pat Bean

 architect of nature.

Arches is a place I visited many times when I lived in Utah. It was where I always took visiting friends and relatives, knowing that they couldn’t help but be awed – as once again I was this day. When it comes to fantastic scenery, this braggart Texan is always forced to admit that in this category Utah wins the Oscar, Pulitzer, America’s Cup and all the other awards out there rolled into one.

 My few hours spent this day in Arches stayed etched on my senses all the way to the Wasatch Mountains, which cast their pleasant shadow on my life for the 25 years I lived in Ogden. I was eager to renew my acquaintance with these serene giants; and because my trip would include a 10-day stopover in Ogden, I rejoiced that I would have time to do just that.

 I have a fickle heart when it comes to Mother Nature’s wonders.

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