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!!
Feel hot and sweaty at the thought!!
We did ‘glow’ rather a lot!
Looks like the agro was well worth it! What fabulous photos of the Mesa Arch! Blow the gym and our 45 minute spin classes! Sounds like you’re having far more exercise with all this extreme hiking you’re doing!!!
Thanks dearie. Si is rather pleased with his efforts. The scales tomorrow will reveal all!!!!!!
Beautiful photos again Si! It’s amazing, and I’m glad it was all worth it to get there!! How do your bones feel today? Where are those Hot Springs again when you need them?! Take care xx
Thanks Nat. My calves were a little achey today but Si’s okay. Yes, those hot springs would be lovely right now!! xx
Haven’t been on for a few days and OMG how much have you done. The photo’s are fantastic wish I was there with you, so if you want to take your favourite niece next time I would be more than willing to tag along lol xxxxxxxxx
Thanks favourite niece! Yes, we’ve been busy and of course, we’ll pack you in a suitcase next time we come. xxxxxx
Amazing Photos Don’t Think me and carol would have got to the top carol is out of breath just looking
Thanks. I get out of breath just thinking about it now!! xx
I’m catching up after a few days-must say how envious I am of your adventures! Simon, the sunrise images are stunning, well worth the early rise. I believe I’d have had a few choice words for anyone attempting to usurp my position as well, maybe a little shove with the elbow even ;). Well, maybe not a shove but you were justified. Wonderful, wonderful collection of photos, and Sandra, you look fabulous! Love to you both <3
Hi Denise, Si says ‘thanks’ and ‘thank you’ from me too. x
Oh my gosh! Those arches are awesome, especially with the sun rise shining through them. Sandra, I don’t think you need to worry about stepping on those scales for a while! You’re walking off and sweating out those calories!