L.A. to Toronto Roadtrip Notes: Day 5, Moab

We arrive in Moab, Utah on the outskirts of Arches National Park in the late afternoon and it's too sweltering to do much but stay put. Our campsite is noisy and dusty, on the edge of a highway, and mounting the tents in the open sun just about does us in. Fortunately, there's a dining area with AC and even showers in the bathroom, the first we've seen since Vegas. Finally, no more smell of moldy cheese stuck in an armpit, eh, kids?

The campsite owner is friendly and tells us about a local secret, a nearby stream, Millcreek, which comes down from the mountains and ends at a small waterfall in a "cowboy's swimming pool." We head there to get wet, rather than venture into the national park to see choice spots like Fiery Furnace.

The way into the falls runs partly along a path but also through the stream itself. We strip down, leave our shoes on, and wade through the rocks and rushing water, through another twisted riparian-desert zone.

Carved into the cliff sides, we spot petroglyphs, probably of the Anasazi people.

We arrive at the waterfall and there aren't any cowboys but there are dudes drinking beer and cliff-diving into the water. The water is filled with boulders and only five feet deep at most, in only one small spot near the base of the waterfall. A young woman in a see-through bikini laughs hysterically and dogs jump in and out, barking like car alarms.

I hear bones cracking in my head. A search and rescue arriving.

But in the meantime, it's almost 7 p.m. and 40 degrees. We jump in, yippee!