First of all I would like to give a ‘shout out’ to Karen from Calgary, Canada who we met on the tour of Antelope Canyon and who is now following our blog. It was lovely to meet you Karen. Enjoy the blog!
So, today was another lovely, easy day at the ‘office’ …… not! We left the hotel this morning at 4.45 a.m. to go back to Mesa Arch in Canyonlands to take photos of the sunrise. Just as we pulled into the parking area a coach full of tourists (I know, we are tourists too, but when we saw how many there were our hearts sank) arrived too …. nightmare! Why do these things always happen? Because there were so many people and a lot of them were inconsiderate and had no idea of photography etiquette things got a little heated with the photographers who had been there for some time. Well, when one stepped in front of Si’s tripod just as he was taking photos then of course words were exchanged and I think we got sworn at in a foreign language but Si was not having any of it.
We arrived down at the arch to find people already there, cameras on tripods just waiting for 6.00 a.m. when the sun was due to arrive. There was one young Italian photographer who had left his hotel at 3.00 a.m. just to get a good spot. It was well worth the early start as you will see from the photos.
After a short rest we then made our way to Arches National Park, another wonder to behold. The arches are formed by erosion into the most amazing shapes. It has taken millions of years for these arches to form and one could be standing today and tomorrow be just a pile of rubble.
The Anasazi Indians first settled on the land in 1000 AD and petroglyphs (photos tomorrow) still exist and so proving they were here.
One of the most famous arches is called Delicate Arch. We’ve seen it from a distance on a previous visit but decided that today was the day to do the three-mile round hike to get a closer look. We set off along the trail and soon realised that this would not be an easy hike in temperatures of 90 degrees. We rounded a bend and could see people way off in the distance but couldn’t believe that was the trail we would be going on. The climb rises to 500 feet by way of a steady incline passing over soft sand, flat rocks and steps that have been carved out of rock.
We met people on their way back and they all kept saying things like “a ways to go yet” and “it’s very windy up there so hold on to your hats.” We kept walking steadily getting higher and higher and thought we would never reach the top. About half way it started to get a little hard to breath and my little knees felt a tad wobbly but we kept going one foot at a time, thinking all the while that perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea after all but that British Bulldog spirit kept us going until at last we reached the top and there it was, Delicate Arch in all its magnificence.
The people who warned us about the wind were not wrong ………. it wasn’t a wind blowing it was a gale. We had to take off our glasses and hats for fear they would be whipped away. The ledge up top was not that big and two steps back could have been a disaster. It would be true to say we were more than a little concerned for our safety. Si took his photos very quickly and we started the descent. Of course it was much easier on the way back as most of it was downhill and we were glad we did it but I don’t think we’ll be going back anytime soon.
We were both wearing our Antique Archaeology (from a US TV show called American Pickers) t-shirts today and at the end felt they were very appropriate because we felt like a couple of right old fossils!!