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Romantic Weekend in Moab: The Photos behind the Newspaper Column

trail Arches National ParkIn early April, my husband and I spent a weekend without kids at the upscale Sorrel River Ranch outside of Moab. The only must-do on our agenda was to hike the Devils Garden loop trail in Arches National Park — a 7.2-mile, moderate trail that we had last completed together 16 years ago, when my then-boyfriend, now-husband first introduced me to the otherworldly desert landscapes in and around the national park.

I wrote about falling in love that weekend (not only with Quent and the wild rock formations) in my April travel column in the Denver Post. Go ahead, scoot on over there and read that first then come back; that piece is one of my favorite essays ever written and might help set some context for the photos below!

I was hoping my editor would have room in the paper to run some of the vintage photos I’d sent her from our 1997 visit to Moab. But, alas, she ran just one of us trying to recreate a shot we’d taken in Arches 16 years prior. It makes so much more sense when run next to the old photo — where my prematurely grey husband has much more dark hair. And I have some pretty dreadful looking bangs….

1997 vs. 2013

1997 vs. 2013

In searching my scrapbook for those 1997 pictures, I found we’d taken a selfie back in the day! Though at that time, I’m pretty sure I rested my film camera on a ledge, hit the auto-timer, and then ran back to stand next to Quent in front of the camera:

1997: What *are* those wings on the side of my head?

1997: What *are* those wings on the side of my head?

Today’s digital selfies are much more close-up affairs:

2013 at Arches

2013: My hair *still* wants to try to escape from behind my left ear.

Here are some more shots from our 4-hour hike in Arches National Park:

Peering through one of the eight arches highlighted on the Devil's Garden loop trail.

Peering through one of the eight large arches highlighted on the Devil’s Garden trail.

Quent reaching out for me with a helping hand.

Quent reaching out for me with a helping hand.

Hugging the rock on a ledge after agreeing to go "off the beaten trail" a bit!

Hugging the rock on a ledge after agreeing to go “off the beaten trail” a bit!

Finding the "secret" pictographs off the trail.

Finding the secret pictographs en route to the Dark Angel rock formation.

In my column, I talked about Quent’s romantic morning gesture during our 1997 weekend in Moab — pulling out his camp stove and making me pancakes by our rustic Colorado River campsite:

A man at home in front of the camp stove.

1997: A man at home in front of the camp stove.

On our 2013 visit to Moab, we enjoyed much more luxurious digs at Sorrel River Ranch, also by the Colorado River, but featuring plush beds, kitchenettes and sweet porch swings. A working ranch, the chef grows his own herbs and produce on site, and horses are on hand for horseback riding on nearby trails:

Cabins line the Colorado River underneath looming rock formations at Sorrel River Ranch.

Cabins line the Colorado River underneath looming rock formations at Sorrel River Ranch.

One of several horses in the corral - and on hand to ride - at Sorrel River Ranch.

One of several horses in the corral – and on hand to ride – at Sorrel River Ranch.

Rough-hewn logs, longhorns and buffalo prints in the cabins at Sorrel River Ranch.

Rough-hewn logs, longhorns and buffalo prints in the Sorrel River Ranch cabins.

Just a three-hour drive from our house, Moab is a favorite romantic getaway for me and my husband. I know we’ll be back for more rest, relaxation and romance soon!

6 Responses to “Romantic Weekend in Moab: The Photos behind the Newspaper Column”

  1. 1
    Joe Todd says:

    Thanks for the post. Looks like a great spot

  2. 2
    Janice says:

    Loved how you posted pics from now and from 16 years ago. I haven’t been to Moab yet – hubby keeps wanting to go, but only in spring or fall. Looks like we’ll have to wait until October.

    • 2.1
      Kara Williams says:

      Yes! Summer heat can be brutal in Moab. October is a lovely time to go!

  3. 3
    eva says:

    i love your photos! i am thinking of heading to arches for the first time this summer, and will definitely use this information. thanks for sharing!

  4. 4
    CarolynB says:

    Lovely essay in the Denver Post – very poignant. Beautiful photos too.

    Look forward to reading more! Cheers and happy travels.

    CarolynB
    @CarolynBarnabo

    • 4.1
      Kara Williams says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words!

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