Showing posts with label Arches National Park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arches National Park. Show all posts

Friday, September 9, 2011

THE Trip, Arches National Park, The Last Hike, Broken Arch, The Final Steps

CABS for Reflections From the Fence

After my little excitement of sliding down the Broken Arch, and a little bit of a rest, Man and I set off to hike the rest of the loop trail, back to Big Butt.  Along the way we have two interesting encounters with other hikers.  The first was with a lovely couple from Germany, they were hiking the loop in the opposite direction, and, doing so, they had actually scampered UP the Broken Arch.  We chatted with them both times we met, and enjoyed both discussions.  We also were passed by a class of young kids with a lot of adult supervisors on a field trip.  I cannot be sure that they were on the same hiking loop we were, as there was another trail they could have been on.  I wondered, did they really slide down that huge rock?  I can tell you that they caught up to us while we were climbing a long incline between some fins (very cool, very cool!!!) and they practically ran up that long incline.  Ah, to be young again, eh??

Below: a photo of Man on that "fin" climb, the afternoon sun was really setting off glares and the tall fins were casting off deep shadows.  It was fantastic!

Below: another photo, as we climbed further into the fins, no, there are not enough photos in the world to capture all this beauty.

Below, photographic proof that sometimes even Man had to work to get to the next level of the hiking trail.  All I can say, is thank goodness for Utah pines!

In any event the last part of our hike was filled with more beauty, every corner you turn brings more interesting and stunning red and white rock formations, different shapes to continually excite one's soul.

And, thus ended our 11 nights stay in Moab Utah, it is time to move on, 2 days drive from here is Bryce Canyon National Park.  What wonders await?  Stay tuned.  It will be an adventure, lots of views, a hunk of weather, a couple of sensational hikes and a bit of really bad electric service in one of the campgrounds.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

THE Trip, Arches National Park, The Last Hike, Broken Arch

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 - -


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

THE Trip, Arches National Park, The Last Hike, Tapestry Arch

CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Man was ready for another hike, we had one day left in Moab before we would hit the road again, heading for Bryce Canyon.  We decide on a hike in Arches National Park.  We had at least 2 brochures to study to assist in our decision on which hike we would attempt.  We had the Arches National Park Visitor Guide dated 2010 No. 3, which on page 4 shows the hikes divided by their estimation of difficulty.  There is no way we are going to try anything more than Easy, based on previous walks we had taken at various parks.  We also had the brochure handed to us when we entered the park.  Both guides stated that the Broken Arch Trail was easy, about 1.3 miles round trip and should take us 30 to 60 minutes.  Well, we have already proven there is NO way we can do this in 60 minutes, I stop too much to gawk and take photos, we know it will take us close to twice that amount of time.

We have water, hats, sunscreen, walking sticks, snacks, extra battery for Sony, and of course, Sony.  We are ready to go.  Let's hike!  Just minutes after we begin, this is the view:

Below, sections of the trail are soft sand:

Up the trail a bit further there is a sign announcing Tapestry Arch, 300 yards.  300 yards?  Yep, gotta go have a lookie see.  Here is Man scampering over a dead Utah pine, beyond, the trail abruptly turns from soft sand to slickrock.  I actually chose to go right, ducking under another Utah pine, around most of this pile of limbs, as I felt a bit uneasy with the width of the trail.  Ya,  I picked what looked like the "easier" path.  LOL

After we scamper up that slick rock and follow the cairns over a few more, here is Tapestry Arch.  You should seriously consider clicking on the image, for the larger version, click your browser back button to return here to Reflections:

A bit closer look courtesy of Sony and photo editing:

Back on the trail, red red slick rock and formations continue to fill us with awe:

The trail has changed from rather deep soft sand to a harder packed surface.  Much easier walking.

Our first view of Broken Arch, our "destination" ??

Next, we shall take you up to the Arch, and beyond.  It is getting to the "beyond" stage that proves a bit challenging for Reflections.

* Now you know I take way too many photos, yes, I do.  Some have asked, what does Man do while I am busy shooting TOO many photos??  Well, here, have a lookie see:


Monday, August 8, 2011

THE Trip, Arches National Park, Wolfe Ranch

CABS for Reflections From the Fence

After our 2 little hikes on our second day in Arches National Park, we decided no more hiking for the day.  We did travel a little further into the park to the site of the Wolfe Ranch.  You can read about it and a lot of other fascinating history on the park here.  According to that web page, "In the late 1800s, John Wesley Wolfe, a disabled Civil War veteran, and his son, Fred, built a homestead in what is now Arches National Park. A weathered log cabin, root cellar, and corral remain as evidence of the primitive ranch they operated for more than 10 years."

So, we walked around the site, briefly, and took a few photos.  The first two photos below are of the home, the weathered log cabin, beautiful in a stark artsy way:

Below, the roof, have no idea just how they did this, what materials were used, and the color is off a bit here, I remember it as being a bit on the greenish side.  I wonder, was this original, or has it been repaired and replicated??  Have to say, don't think there is a lot of insulating factors here.  Whew!

And, below, looking at the roof structure from below.  You can see a bit of mud chink between the logs.

Below, a look at the corner of the cabin.  Gotta say, those logs sure look dried out when viewed from this angle.

The root cellar building, much shorter than the cabin.  Appears they dug out soil, so they could get some cooling.  Considering this harsh environment, my imagination runs rampant, the act of digging out the foundation, finding enough logs to build these structures, even though the structures are not that large.  Hard work, and remember, John was disabled.

Corral fencing:

And, thus ends our second day in Arches National Park, April 28, 2011.  It has been overwhelming, awe inspiring, tiring, exhilarating.  Totally awesome!

Leave ya today with this one last photo, taken during our hike around the North and South Windows, I could look at this all day.

* These photos of the buildings and fence at Wolfe Ranch just beg me to do some fun digital editing.  I have very little, OK, no experience with this "art form" and I need a lot more time to learn.  But, I did play with the second photo of this post, see below.  And, that corall fence, just screams at me, it just may show up somewhere here on Reflections again.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

THE Trip, Arches National Park, Hike the North & South Windows, The Primitive Loop

CABS for Reflections From the Fence

The second half of our second walk on our second day in Arches National Park, this IS a graphics heavy post.

Once Man and I turn the corner and enter the Primitive Loop Trail we enter another world, so to speak.  On the first part of our hike we see a lot of visitors enjoying their walks and especially the North Window.  But turn the corner and almost magically, the hiking trail is pretty much abandoned, just Man and me, our hiking sticks, water, a little snack or two, Sony, abundant beauty and quiet!  During the rest of our hike we will encounter less than 20 other visitors.  It will take us approximately 40 minutes to finish hiking the Primitive Loop Trail.

Below:  The first thing we see when we round the corner is:

Below:  Further down the trail we get a great view of both the South (on the left) and the North (on the right) Windows:

Below: As we hike along the view of the 2 windows changes, the perspective changes, I stop every 50 to 100 feet and gasp and shoot another photo with Sony.  Nope, not gonna share ALL of them with you, but, since we were here to see the windows, I will share a few, including this panoramic.  Note I am shooting into the sun, a little glare going on, but, I also caught a jet way up there, making his white puffy streaky tail in the beautiful blue sky.

Below: Here is another jet trail photo, and another visitor/camera bug:

Below:  While you hike along, if you can take your eyes off the windows for a bit, and look the other way, you will see:

Below:  One last look at the Windows before we continue our hike:

You may remember from the sign at the start of the hike they gave instructions if you hike the back section, the Primitive Loop, to follow the cairns. Sometimes you can find beauty and interest in the most, well, unusual places.  See, here we have the cairn, a man-made pile of stones, or as otherwise described, a' heap of stones piled up as a memorial or as a landmark'.  I must be easily amused or amazed, as I find it fascinating to study cairns, how do they get those small stones in there holding up larger stones above?   Super glue??  Inquiring minds want to know, and no, I did not go wiggle the pile to find out!  As they say, cool beans!

It is somewhere about now in our hike that Man made good use of that hiking stick (you might remember I mentioned this in yesterday's post) .  We came to this, mmm, little rock, OK, not so little.  And the cairns said we had to go right up it, straight up, like 6 to 10 feet.  Man scrambled right up, but of course. Then, it was my turn,  scramble NOT.  I got up part of the way, feet planted, but could not figure out how I was going to, well, raise my sorry ole hiney up the rest of the way.  I could not even climb up on my hands and knees.  So, Man handed me one end of his hiking stick, and used said hiking stick to YANK me up that little ole rock.   Success, and not even a scrape to show off said success. OK, I say to myself, that was not tooooo bad.  And, on we hiked.

Well, you know that saying, what goes up, must come down.  Ya, that saying!  Well, the down was slippery, steep, narrow.  Did I say narrow and steep and slippery??  Ya, I did.  Again, Man, ahead of me, manages to descend rather gracefully.  And, then, it was my turn.  He offered the walking stick again, to steady me.  Instead, I passed him the Sony and with my walking stick out in front of me, acting as a brake of sorts, I somehow, gracelessly (not gracefully) slid down the entire rock on my hiney.  I was rather pleased with myself, I did not break anything, including my walking stick or my leg! I did not even rip my jeans.  Still I had to wonder, was this the "hill" they had warned about on that sign??  See, there, in the second paragraph.

I don't really have a photo of all this excitement, as we were more worried about not getting hurt and getting up and down in one piece than we were in taking photos of the event, but, I think this is about the place in the trail that I slid home.  That lady and her man were still above the really steep part of the trail.  They were rather nimble, probably part mountain goat, as they had very little trouble getting down the steepest section, ahhhh, to be young again!  Oh, and catch that scenery, not bad, eh??

Below:  I cannot be too sure, but, I think this is the rock, err, boulder, err, BIG HUNK O STONE, that I slid down, looking from the bottom, up.  I vaguely remember taking the camera back from Man and after a few steps, turning to take a photo, saying to him, "really need to have a shot of that ole rock I just slid down".  If not, well, you get the idea.  See, there is a cairn off to the left, sand at the bottom and that big tall long ride, mmmm, rock above! And, ya, know what, if it is not this "hill" I rode down on my hiney, it is representative enough for this story!  LOL  Too bad photography does not catch this in 3D, cause then you could really appreciate the situation!  LOL

Below:  After the ride down the boulder we continued along the trail, which soon turned very sandy, if the rocks don't tire you out, the sand will, but it sure is pretty, isn't it??

Well, there you have it, our hilly, slippery hike around the Windows.  Personally, I really think they need to change that sign just a little, a little verbage about rock scaling would be somewhat helpful.

* Our hike around the North and South Windows at Arches National Park was done on April 28, 2011.

** We were not quite done with the day's visit at Arches, but we were done hiking for the day!  LOL  We will,  however, return to Arches later on during our stay in Moab for another hike, an easy hike.  Question is, easy in whose mind??  Had to be the mind of a teenager or 20 something.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

THE Trip, Arches National Park, Hike the North & South Windows

CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This would be our second hike of the second day of our visit(s) to Arches National Park.  Man particularly likes hikes, and I am good to tag along as long as they are not through knee deep sand, muck, swamp or water, or involve looking over severe dropoffs of 1000 feet or more, or involve large rock/boulder type structures I have to scale or slide down.  During our stay in Moab we take several hikes, 3 longer ones are in Arches, and all of those ended up involving something on the "no no like" list.  And, nope, none involved the 1000 foot drop off issue, whew!   Here is the disclaimer:  Yes, we do refer to the brochures available at the Visitors Center and/or the signage along the way, such as this sign:

And, here is the other, mmmm, disclaimer.  I did not see or understand that part about "climbs one hill".  Course, what is a hill??  Just a slow incline upwards from where you started.  Right??  I can handle a slow incline upwards, maybe, depending.  This particular sign does not say how long the climb is, 30 feet??  250 feet??  and, you will note, it also does not state how much of an elevation rise you will be climbing.  I mean 500 feet in 1.5 miles is one thing, 500 feet in .25 miles is totally different!  TOTALLY!

Below:  the North Window, just a few steps into our little walk.

Below:  Closer, as we hike up the "hill", is this the hill, or is there another in our future?

Below:  As you climb this hill via the trail stairs, if you turn around 180 degrees you get a pretty good view of the Turret Arch:

Below:  Back to our hike up the hill to the North Arch, how awesome is this, can we say TOTALLY awesome??  Yes, I believe we can.  The other visitors standing below start to give you some idea of the size, more overwhelming!

Below:  Almost under the window now, I no longer can get all of the window in the photo, only parts will fit. Below:  Man and some other visitors, almost totally below the window, or is that in the window, maybe standing on the window sill ledge?  You will note Man is carrying his hiking stick, said stick will be very handy later during this hike/walk.

Below:  When I finally came to the middle of the window sill ledge, about where that lady is sitting with her blue back pack, this is what I saw.  I am outta words, you fill in your own descriptive gasp:

Below:  Now, photos never do justice, and even though I try, Sony and I just cannot capture the size, the color, the magnificence of Mother Nature in this big big land.  But, in an attempt to do justice and to capture, I turned Sony UP, and looked straight up at the bottom of the window, and gotta say, that huge crack in there, was eye opening, and more.  I felt this overwhelming need to skedaddle down and away from that window, while it was still up and open.  Note those smaller (?) rocks kinda stuck in the crevasse??

Below:  So, we are at the "top of the hill", standing beneath the window, and down there is where we came from.  See, there is Big Butt, waiting for our return.  He is the 4th vehicle from the left.

Below:  Back on the trail we head over towards the South Window, no clammering up to the sill ledge here.

Below:  Because we are the kind of people that have to see what is around the bend in the trail, we kept on walking, till the bend:

And, we kept right on walking, deciding we were going to hike the primitive loop trail.  I'll show you that part of our little hike up the "hill" next time.

* Our hike around the North and South Windows at Arches National Park was done on April 28, 2011.