A Spectacle of Joy, With a Touch of Discomfort

Over the weekend of March 11, our daughter, Virginia, was married in the Arches National Park near Moab, Utah.  She said she wanted to be married in a place surrounded by natural beauty, well away from trite tourism.  After some web-surfing, she picked the Delicate Arch (one of the most photographed natural arches in the world).  It was to be a small, private wedding with only the immediate family, a photographer, a secular officiate, and a park ranger present.  This wasn’t what Judy and I had always envisioned for our daughter’s wedding; but, then, it was her wedding.

I’ve traveled extensively in the West, but I’d never visited Moab, a small, rustic town catering to outdoor sports of all types and reachable by air only by flying into a small regional airport in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Moab is about a 90-minute drive from there through some of the most spectacular desert and mountains in the region.  The town is perched on the edge of the Canyon Lands National Park, where 127 Hours was filmed and where the original story took place; Thelma and Louise was also shot nearby in Dead Horse Point State Park.  John Carter was filmed in Arches National Park.  Much of the area does look like Mars, or what I’ve seen of it on TV, and there are ample cliffs to drive off of when all seems hopeless.


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