We bid farewell to Moab, and cross the Colorado River for the final time. To the east are the sheer red walls of Arches; to the west, piles and mounds of sand, what Arches will become in time as erosion takes its toll, reducing the soft red sandstone into dust.
Then – the high desert. This isn’t quite as barren as you might think, as mile after mile of scrubby green bushes dot the sand that becomes lighter and whiter as we drive on. Flat-topped mountain ranges, mesas parallel the road in the far distance, providing the tempting scenery along this flat level part of the drive, other than the odd tourist trap and the lonely railway line. Eventually, the endless road reaches I-70, and we turn west, the highway astutely avoiding the distant mountains along these vast barren plains.