Day 14; Delicate Arch at Last!
Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
32Trip End Aug 23, 2009
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last full day in Moab has been the best day of the holiday so far,
for me, anyway, although it didn't feel like it when Lyn woke me at
6.15am to go and hike the Delicate Arch trail before it got too hot.
With much grumbling the kids were woken, and we grabbed a quick
breakfast in the hotel. As we left the hotel the temperature was 62
degrees; by the time we reached Arches National Park, a mile away, it
had risen to 76 degrees!
were at the start of the trail start by 7.15am. The car park was
nearly deserted. We passed the signs warning us of the importance of
taking water, and began the hike. It is only a 3 mile round trip, but
after an easy start on a flattish trail, the trail heads over
slickrock, marked out by cairns. It gets progressively steeper, and
the sun gets progressively hotter!
was surprised that I didn't find the trail as difficult as I thought.
I was using Craghopper walking poles for the first time, and I loved
them. They definitely eased my journey. The kids were typically full
of energy. We soon reached the ledge I'd read about and dreaded at
the trail end. I'm no good with heights, and was really worried about
the ledge. We stopped first for a breather in some shade before the
ledge started. There was a tiny arch in the rock above us. We trekked
on, with me zooming off ahead to get the ledge over with. As is
usually the case, it proved to be no big deal at all ,and I crossed
first view of Delicate Arch took my breath away. Wow! We had seen it
from a viewpoint when we visited 2 years ago, but it in no way
compares to being up close. It was just breath taking. I can see why
it's Utah's State symbol.
were so right to go early in the morning, as it meant we shared the
Arch with another British family, and 2 couples. We climbed down from
the ridge onto the slickrock amphitheatre that surrounds the arch,
and just all found a private spot to just sit down and take in the
view. It was just so fantastic that I even got over my dislike of
heights, and climbed down to stand beneath the arch, trying not to
look down at the drop. We posed for the usual photos, and then Lyn
and I walked a little way to view the arch from the other side.
was so nice to sit there in the peace and quiet in the shade and and
view people as they came over the ridge and saw the arch for the
first time; comments ranged from “look Mom, that's really cool”,
to “Wow, that's neat” to just jaw dropped looks.
really can't describe the view, or the peace and quiet there, and I
know the photo's will not do it justice. You'll all just have to go
there and view it for yourselves! Do like we did, though, and get
there early. As we left, after about an hour, there was a steady
stream of human traffic arriving; I don't think the peace and
tranquillity would last much longer , and the temperature was well
into the late 90's.
we left the arch, this time stopping by the smaller arch by the
ledge. Ioan climbed up first, and raved about the view, so we all
climbed up. It was well worth it, we could view Delicate Arch through
journey back was much easier, as it was all downhill. It was funny to
see the crowds of people puffing in the heat as they trudged up the
slickrock. The temperature was unbearable as we walked downhill. I
couldn't believe how people were hiling it with no hats, wearing
jeans, and with just tiny bottles of water. No wonder park rangers
often have to rescue people. I was really proud of my achievement,
until I noticed someone ascending with a false leg!
and I stopped for a quick photo by The Wolfe Ranch, a tiny Pioneer
cabin at the trail entrance. I still can't believe how they lived, so
simply, without any mod cons, especially air conditioning!
got back to the car, then back to the hotel, via the smoothie shop
for ice creams & smoothies. We had much needed showers, then
crashed out in our hotel room. Lyn was snoring within minutes, I read
and dozed, and the kids watched TV. It had only been 3 miles, but the
ascent and the heat had not made it an easy 3 miles. Well worth it
though; a definite holiday highlight.
went back out at about 4.30, and got some food, then back out to
Arches. The temperature was still up in the 100's, even though it was
6.30pm. We drove up to the Devil's Garden trail, where we walked out
to Landscape arch. It's got an impressive 306 ft span, but it's not
one of my favourites. Imagine sitting underneath there like some
hikers were doing, in 1991, when they heard ominous popping sounds
and fled. A 60 foot slab of rock fell from the arch causing hundreds
of tonnes of debris to fall where the hikers were sitting! Luckily no
one was hurt, but you can't walk under the arch today.
visited Tunnel Arch and Pinetree Arch on the way back; Pinetree Arch
is very nice. It looks really safe and solid!When we got to the junction for the two arches though we realised we had no Cian! I had been walking ahead with Tegz, and then she had dropped back to be with Lyn and the boys. I got to the first junction to turn off for the two arches, and went down it, knowing Lyn knew where we were headed. What I hadn't realised was that Cian had left the boys to catch up ith me, and, of course, had gone straight past the junction! Ioan sped off to find him, and he wasnear the car, not far from the junction. Luckily he took it all in his stride, but lesson learnt here!
ambled back to the car and heard sirens in the distance. A Park
Ranger van sped into the car park, and radio's crackled. Two Rangers
got all kitted out and headed off onto the trail. San ambulance
passed us, as we drove out, all sirens blazing. Obviously a search
and rescue. The son was setting rapidly, and it was getting dark. I
hope everything ended well.
went back to the hotel and started packing up for the trip to St
George tomorrow. I can't wait to get to St George, but I do like
Moab. I'm sure we'll be back one day again; Ioan would enjoy the
climbing and canyoneering here, and we all love Arches National Park.
One day.............just maybe not in the summer, it's just too hot!