(I think this is my 600th post! Wow.)
Wednesday 21st of April
Today's plan was to head to Arches National Park. Lovely drive in, someone noted upon our first sight of the rock formations that yesterday was all about looking down into canyons and today would be all about looking up. So true. As we drove in, we stopped frequently to marvel, take photos and just absorb the beauty. Our stopping points included Courthouse Towers.
Balanced Rock - which had a nice walking path. Later we learned that the balanced rock was 55ft tall with the overall formation being 128 feet.
The major walk of the day was done at the Window Section where we hit the South Window, Turret, and the North Window, returning on the longer "primitive path". Along the path we found a lovely place to sit on some rocks and partake of lunch.
Later we went to the Fiery Furnace which Meredith was completely intrigued by. This site is hikeable with a ranger and that's done by appointment. When we arrived a group was heading out, and various members of group debated sneaking along.
Heading north we stopped at Devil's Garden Trailhead, where we split from Matt and Meredith - so they could hike faster and further. Greg, Janet and I took our time, stopping at Landscape Arch, where we found a nook to draw and write but rain started - heavy but short, cutting short our more esoteric activities. Rain in the desert is different, a treat in a way. Given the weather we decided to head back. The water made the rocks glisten - for about five minutes before it dried.
We drove back down, stopping at Park Avenue Viewpoint and Trailhead, again separating briefly. Greg, Janet and I drove to the other end, saw the lower bit of a rainbow that sat next to us for quite some time.
Some of the group were experiencing strong cravings for beer which decided our next destination - Moab Brewery, where we had a great meal. Upon heading back to our campsite we drove to Dead Horse Viewpoint to watch the sun go down. It was great to experience that location in the strong light of day and again to see how light plays with rocks.
Upon arriving back at our tent site we found there had been lots of activity - the winds had blow sand furiously into our tents, Matt's tent had flipped over, my fly had been put on wrong so it had blown off and in addition to sand, rain come in, leaving me with a damp sleeping bag. After putting my fly on correctly I took my bag into the rest room using the hand dryer to make my bag sleepable.
So here I am lying in my sandy damp tent, listening to the rain, not exactly cold, not completely toasty either. In some ways I am already overwhelmed and saturated by all the visuals. My body is sore, I am bone tired - the sun (yes I am a bit burned, though not badly), the physical exertion, the conversations, the nonstop beauty and the awe nature inspires are all a lot to absorb, assimilate. I can hear Greg snoring already. It's so much and the trip has just begun. I am wondering whatever possessed me to do this trip but I am enjoying it, just wondering how to balance everything.
With the noise of the rain I am tempted to call BC. What the hell I will try. We spoke very briefly but it was good to hear her voice. It hasn't been that long since we spoke but when I heard her on the voicemail after dinner it felt like it had been forever. I think because the days have been so full and so long.
It is almost 10pm MST, time to maybe put on another layer and get some sleep.