New Traditions

Sunrise across from the Windows at Arches National Park

Welcome to 2023, as if I am some sort of official recognizer of all entering the New Year.  The end of last year brought some pretty significant changes, as I’ve written about, and as this year starts up, we are already looking forward to some more steps forward.

Obviously, the big event was buying One Life.  That was huge.  But some other things changed for us as well.  Little did we know that 2021 was the last holiday season that would look like all of our other holiday seasons.  We got to spend Thanksgiving with our oldest, but they brought home their significant other.  Then the two of them headed to Riverton for Christmas.  This kind of change in a parent’s life is inevitable.  Children should go on to establish their own traditions, but it was kind of a shocker when we were told that 2022 would be different.

It was an odd feeling knowing that it wouldn’t be the four of us for Christmas.  What do you do?  Do you keep going with old traditions, knowing that those are going to change anyway?  Do you do something different?  Something in between?  We loaded up and went to Arches National Park.  If you’ve never been there, it’s magical.  The arches are amazing! When you see the Windows or Delicate Arch, words cannot describe the beauty of that formation. There is something else that I really cannot describe.

If you get the chance to go to Arches, go.  You’re also close to Zion, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef National Parks all of which are pretty amazing (or so I’ve heard).  We only gave ourselves two days in the area, but did what we could to make the most of them.  Christmas Eve day, we did a hike in the park in an area known as Devil’s Garden.  Truly an amazing place.  Fin Canyon in there, is awe inspiring.  To look up and see rock fins lined up in this canyon gives you an amazing sense of the power of nature.

Shadows formed by Private Arch

Later Christmas Eve, we drove back into the park to see the stars.  There is minimal light pollution. You can see the Milky Way and the stars in ways that you can’t in more populated parts of the world.

Christmas morning, we got up early to go to The Windows to see the sunrise.  The Windows is a set of two arches in one rock.  A pretty amazing formation. I was up there to take some pictures, it was a Christmas present for me to do a sunrise shoot in a different location. Taking in the breaking dawn was truly amazing and overshadowed the photo shoot.  I tried to get to the right spot for the perfect shot, but there wasn’t just one perfect spot. The entire area was magnificent. And as the sun was cresting over the horizon, looking to the west the way the sun lit up the desert was like nothing I’d ever seen before.

The whole area is beautiful, and to go to the area in December is a great time.  It was 8 below zero when we left home and Moab was 40 degrees, so we were pretty comfortable.  We found a great doggie daycare for Christmas Eve Day, which wore the dogs out and took good care of them.  If you go and have dogs, I highly recommend Moab National Bark. 

We know that the holidays in 2023 will be different.  One Life will be in the water, we will be sailing, somewhere in Caribbean. For now we adapted and started making some changes.  We didn’t have a truckload of presents, which was OK.  We just got rid of lot, but what we brought back from Moab were some amazing memories.

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