We had planned on sleeping in and going out for a nice breakfast, and taking our time exploring Moab, but when the place we had anticipated going for breakfast didn't work out, we made a change of plans. Since Arches National Park was about five miles up the road, and my dad had done such a fantastic job belaying last time, we decided to do another climb. So, in a flash, we skipped breakfast and were parked at the crag in Arches. I led (onsite) "The Doil" (5.8), and it ended up being one of my favorite single pitch climbs. It had a hand crack, stemming, a chimney, and great views.
I was going to do it again, and Dad encouraged me to, but I decided not to. We got all packed up and ready to go, but there was another climb around the corner, that I wanted to look at in case I ever had the chance to come back and do it again. Well after much debate, Dad talked me in to doing it while we were standing right there looking at it. I'm really glad he did. I led (onsite) Fledgling (5.4). The climbing was dirty, i.e. I had desert sand all over me when I finished (more on that in a min.), but I was able to stand on top and enjoy the great view of Arches.
I was covered in dirt and sand from that last climb, but we had already checked out of our hotel, so I didn't know what to do. I knew for sure, I didn't want to start the six hour drive home covered in sand, so Dad suggested we go back to the hotel and "sneak" into the pool. It was one of the best ideas of the trip! The cool water was so refreshing, and it rejuvenated us to "clean up." We walked over to the Denny's for brunch, and we both had hearty meals to start the journey home.
We took the scenic route through Monument Valley, and even pulled over to enjoy the view of Castleton Tower. The drive home was great, and we talked the entire way back to Boulder. The next day, I was back to work, and Dad was off to the airport bus for his flight back home.
Dad and I were in the car together for 32 hours, and traveled 1,100 miles. We did six 4x4 trails, sighted in some rifles, and I ticked off three new climbs. Overall, the trip could not have been any better. I think my dad enjoyed his Christmas present . . . I know I did!