CABS for Reflections From the Fence
I last left you with a photo of approaching Broken Arch while hiking in Arches National Park. Below: After a few more steps, getting closer to the arch. The trail is a soft sand, and off to both sides you will note Cryptobiotic Soil Crust, the link goes to a series of photos of soil crust on Reflection's Flora and Fauna.
Below, the trail turns from sand to slick rock, see that sign to the left of the photo??
Here is what that sign says:
And, below, this is why this arch is named, Broken Arch.
One more view of the arch:
Man took Sony outta my hands and snapped off a couple of photos of Moi. You will note I am smiling. Looking relaxed too.
After our little photo op, we head up the slight rise to see what is on the other side of the arch, here is Man, he is almost there - -
And, this is what you see when you stand right under that arch:
What it does not really show, because for one thing I did not really capture the truth of the matter, and I don't have 3D photography to really show it to it's best - - but, this is a drop off. I am gonna try to be conservative and say, it was about 20 feet down, no steps, no handrail, just slickrock. Yes, this is the trail, the sign said so, and in the bottom left corner, just out of the shadow of the arch is a cairn. The trail goes right down that huge slippery hunk of red rock. This next photo was taken when I got down, and again, the photo does not do justice to what the reality of how tall and long that rock was.
No, you cannot really appreciate how far down it really was. There was a shiny spot on that wall of red where a lot of other hikers had scampered up, or crawled up, or slid down - - because you can hike this trail from two directions, one way you slide down the rock, the other way you scamper/crawl up.
Man came down on the far left (of the above photo) and I tried to follow his lead, but, well, I got to a point that I could not go further. Well, I WOULD not go further, it was too steep for me. So, I carefully proceeded to the other side, maybe about the middle, oh, all right, I will admit it, I am not quite sure any more.
Anyway, this turned into a 'slide down the rock' event. Slide down the rock on my bottom, a 'long slide down' event. Long slide down and oh, my, 'can I sit down for a few minutes' at the end of the slide event. I need a break at the end of that long slide down, 'got water and a snack?' event.
I was not exactly smiling, nor was I relaxed any more either.
I am happy to report that slickrock does not tear one's jeans. I am also happy to report that Man did not get photos of my 'sliding down the rock on my back end' event. And, I have to say, I am really glad I did not have to scamper UP that rock, because as unnerving as the slide DOWN was, there is no way I could have scampered up. Maybe about 30 years ago, but, not now. And, I will admit that I was rather concerned about getting down there without rolling or falling down, without breaking an extremity.
Now, if you remember, when I started chatting about this last walk in Arches, I stated that the park brochures stated this was an "easy" hike. After hiking two hikes in Arches, both of which were supposed to be "easy", I have to wonder, who rated these things "easy"? I also readily acknowledge that it is doubtful that I could do "moderate" to "difficult" hikes. Especially if those hikes all contain these rocks that I have to manage to slide down.
One concern that Man and I had and always have, is that we don't want to be taking a helicopter ride out of the "backcountry" . We don't want to get injured, we still have a long long bucket list of places to visit on THE Trip. Bryce Canyon, Zion, Yellowstone and more await. And, so does Salt Lake City, the research mecca. If one of us gets hurt, THE Trip comes to an abrupt and unhappy end.
But, I slid down the red rock, and survived to tell the story, no harm done. After a brief rest Man and I returned to the trail, turning one more time to take in the Broken Arch.
Broken Arch, did not break ole Carol! The hike is not quite over, and the scenery continues to be special and delightful, onward - -