Abby and I discussed many options for when and where to get married, and we finally decided on a very special and beautiful place, Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, near Moab, Utah. Abby’s parents got married on October 12, and since early autumn seemed like a perfect time for an outdoor wedding, we agreed to that date. With a few friends and relatives meeting us in Moab, we exchanged vows at one of the most beautiful places on earth.
• Driving to Farmington, New Mexico
We convoyed with a friend and fellow photographer David to Farmington, New Mexico, stopping for dinner at Ten Ten Chinese restaurant in Santa Fe, where Abby and I ate on our first vacation together, The High Road, in 2003. We all had a good trip, and were very excited about the upcoming events.
• Four Corners, Southern Utah, and Arches
We drove north from Farmington, stopping first at Four Corners National Monument.
Wilson Arch south of Moab, Utah was next. We hiked all around the arch and had fun. Not far up the road was Hole ‘N the Rock, a tourist stop that was funny to see.
After lunch in Moab, we hiked for a while in Arches, in the Devil’s Garden section.
• Wedding Day
We enjoyed a nearly private wedding ceremony at the Delicate Arch that was both simple and very emotional.
We were treated to pearl blue skies and moderate temperatures for the hike, which included Park Ranger Annie Corson, Abby, me, Chele, Nicole, Michael, Thea, David, surprise guest Robert, and others. Chele and Nicole, who were both ordained by the Universal Life Church, conducted the ceremony.
After the ceremony, we had a good hike down and out, followed by lunch in Moab and the legal marriage ceremony at the Grand County Courthouse.
Unknown to us ahead of time, Delicate Arch appears on our marriage license.
Robert, David and I had a solid though easy hike down the Park Avenue trail. The rest of the crew returned to Moab for a nap.
By evening, we all gathered for shooting the golden moment at Balanced Rock.
“That was the most beautiful wedding I have ever seen,” Nicole told me on the phone later.
• Primitive Loop at Arches
We had a giant hiking day in the Devil’s Garden, at first in whipping wind. We reached the Dark Angel at the end of the trail, then returned via the Primitive Loop Trail, which was difficult in spots and extraordinarily beautiful.
• Canyon de Chelly and the Drive Home
We drove without haste to Canyon de Chelly, where we hiked to the White House Ruin. It was a fine end to a perfect wedding trip.