Sunday, September 29, 2013

long weekend in moab, pt. 4

All that gorgeous weather we'd been having in Moab?  That all changed when we got up Sunday morning.  The sky was overcast and we could see rain in the distance.  When we checked the forecast, the area was under a flash flood watch and a severe thunderstorm watch, with the threat of snow at higher elevations and possible large hail, all potentially starting late morning/midday.  We had planned to do the ranger-led Fiery Furnace hike at Arches National Park at 10 a.m. and when we checked in, the ranger was watching the weather maps.  She thought it would be okay but would call it off if things got dicey.  We went back outside and, frankly, with ominously dark clouds to the north and east, the potential for "dicey" looked pretty good.

We stopped for breakfast at the Sweet Cravings Bistro, at the north end of town on Main Street.  The food was tasty - excellent coffee, a slice of veggie quiche for me and an egg, cheese and bacon bagel for H - but seemed overpriced for the small portions.  The lady behind the counter told us that the storm could get caught by the La Sal mountains but that would effect Arches as well.  After breakfast, we stopped by the Chile Pepper bike shop so I could get some new MTB socks.  Thunderheads were building over the La Sals and all around us, we could see intermittent lightning stabbing down from the low clouds.  If all went well, the Fiery Furnace hike could take as long as 3.5 hours, which would be cutting it close to pick up B from the kennel, and if we factored in driving in a hailstorm ... we decided to save the Fiery Furnace for another, sunnier, less sketchy day.

Ominous skies north of Green River

So that was it.  We headed back to Salt Lake, getting caught in an incredible downpour when we stopped in Green River for a couple of melons.  While we didn't actually drive through any hail, there were drifts of it on the roadside in numerous locations along the way; that night, safe at home, we heard that Moab had gotten nailed with big flash floods and ping-pong ball-sized hail around noon.  We were disappointed that we didn't get to the Fiery Furnace but we felt better when we heard about the crazy weather we'd missed.  We'll just save it for another trip - and trust me, there'll be more trips.  You can't run out of things to do in Moab!

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