Early in the morning we headed out for a hike beginning at the Devil’s Garden Trailhead at the back of Arches National Park. We planned on doing the loop trail and side trails which would be about 8 miles long. Years ago we tried this hike but it was so windy in April that I was too scared to cross the fins near the Landscape Arch. This time I was prepared, the wind wasn’t blowing, and I was sure I could do it!
We arrived at Landscape Arch on the main trail where I took a bunch of pictures. I also saw another arch above and in the distance but I’m not sure which one it was. Then we continued on the trail only to find out that Wall Arch had collapsed in 2008 on the main trail so the trail was rerouted, right over a rock fin. I tried to go up the fin, but eventually I chickened out. So, we decided to retrace our steps and begin on the primitive loop which goes around the other way. After about 2.5 miles of soft sandy trail (which really tired out my legs) and some rock scrambling, we came to a rock fin. After 5 or 6 tries, Don was able to haul me up to the first ledge. We talked about continuing up the steep rock face but finally decided to give up. I had to admit defeat! I would rather do that than have to get the rangers to rescue me when I got in over my head! We returned the way we came and stopped at Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch. All in all, we ended up doing our 8 miles anyway even if we didn’t do the whole loop trail. I feel bad for Don because he didn’t get to see all of the arches that we had hoped to see.
By then it was lunch time so we went to La Hacienda for lunch. I had 2 chili rellenos and a salad. In the afternoon we did our laundry. We found one Laundromat near the City Market but they wanted $4 for the washing machine! We left there and went to another one near McDonalds and their washers were only $1.50. In fact, it cost us $4 total to do our laundry (washer and dryer!) Then we came back and took a nap!
What I Learned Today:
· Gatorade makes a big difference when hiking in extreme heat! I drank more than if I had warm water.
· Knowing my limitations keeps me from getting in bad hiking situations.
· You never know what wildlife may be hidden in the bushes like deer and lizards.
· $4 is way too much to spend on a washing machine! (We found another Laundromat with $1.50 machines)
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).
Original Photo: by Pat Hensley