Our campsite. There’s only so much shade and as the sun sinks lower on the horizon, even that disappears. The Sun keeps up its intensity right up to the point where it slips below the horizon. You’ve got a brief window of pleasant temperature each morning before it begins its assault on you the second it rises above the surrounding hills.
You plan for as much as you can but you always miss something. In the case of Moab and the surrounding area, it’s the heat. 100F is the mean here. Though thankfully, there’s no humidity.
Our plan for the day was to ride our motorcycles around and through The Arches National Park. We packed what we thought was enough water, though you quickly learn, you never really have enough water.
All the parks in this part of Utah are stunning. The Parks Service also trusts that most people who are visiting their protected areas aren’t idiots, though I saw plenty of evidence to the contrary. You see other than the odd ladder or guardrail, and sign saying, “Stay on the trail,” or “This is not a trail,” there’s little in the way of safety on offer here and yes, people do get hurt. Personally I’m okay with this. If Mother Nature takes a chunk out of your ass because you weren’t paying her the proper respect, it’s your fault, not hers. The thing you need to always be aware of in these particular parks is there’s always danger of rockfall both minor and extreme and a lot of what you’re doing is going to be at heights above the point where you’d have to wear all kinds of safety gear if it was job related.
The Arches themselves are on top of a series of plateaus, so after you get into the park proper, you need to make your way up the valley wall to the top.
you get the idea, it’s a long way up…
But the first view is worth it.
I’ve got to remember to turn off my helmet cam when I get off the bike to take pictures….
The first place we rode to was the Delicate Arch Overlook, which is the second parking lot. The first parking lot was the launch point for a three mile hike up to the Delicate Arch itself. The Sun was well up y this point ad neither Kelly or I thought it was a good idea to do the hike, this late in the day (and it wasn’t even eight in the morning yet). So we schlepped ourselves up the considerably shorter trail to the overlook.
Like I said water is essential. Motorcycle boots also aren’t the best for hiking in but they do offer good ankle support.
Even going down, you have to be careful. It’s easy to twist an ankle out here.
The arch might look small but the truth is, we’re about a mile and a half away. Those small specks to the left of the frame are people.
The view back the way we came isn’t bad either…
The next stop was, The Furnace. Everywhere you look here, the rocks are fantastic.
Our next stop was Sandy Arch where it’s a very short hike which brings you to this…
Which leads to this…
The Sandy Arch itself… It’s not very high but the place it lives in is pretty spectacular.
A slightly better exposure.
Just to give some perspective…
After this we decided to continue to hike our way over to Broken Arch which turned out to be a lesson for the both of us in how harsh the conditions we were walking through were. I’ll have to continue that story tomorrow, wifi willing.