Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Delicate Matter

First of all...THANK YOU to new "Follower" Ruth.  I'm pleased you joined my group and I appreciate the time you give to reading about our RV travels and fulltime living.  Comments are always welcomed.

A few other bloggers recently visited the Arches National Park and I suggest you visit their blogs for their thoughts on this amazing place and some of their great pics.  Make sure you catch up with Dave , Carol K, and Rick and Paulette.

Most of the readers of this blog do not know me personally.  A few do, like my cousins and a few friends from Tumwater, but most of you do not.  So for those that do not know me, I'm going to let you in on a widely known aspect of my personality......I don't like getting dirty and sweaty and stinky.  Real camping has never been my "thing" because there is so much dirt involved in tent camping and so forth.  I loathe using those campground privy toilets and that is why RV "camping" is wonderful to me.  My kids have always said I have a "cootie fixation" and they are correct.  Plus, I've never been a hiking fan.  What if I saw a bear or a snake????   The 2 days we spent at Canyonlands and Arches National Parks were filled with some hiking.  Yeah, I know.....real hiking! (sort of)  I got dusty, sweaty and stinky.  And you know what?  The world did not come to an end and I was able to clean up later.  Amazing.

At Arches National Park we got to the Wolfe Ranch parking area thinking that Delicate Arch would be a short, tiny little walk up the dirt path.  WRONG!  The sign said it was 1.5 miles each way.....yikes! each way???  It was all uphill with the elevation change being 480 feet.  We do not have hiking boots, but we were wearing sturdy athletic shoes.  So, we decided to take the hike.  We did not want to be at the Arches and not see Delicate Arch.  It is said to be the most photographed arch in the whole park.  We set out on the path which was well defined.

As we progressed the scenery got even more beautiful and colorful.  The hike was pretty easy here.  We were going at a steady incline....but even us city folks could handle this.

Eventually we came to an area of open slickrock.  The going began to get a lot more difficult.  At this point the trail was only marked by rock cairns.  We began to have some exposure to heights that could be risky if you got too close to the guardrails here!!  Up on the slickrock I turned back to take this photo of some of the other hikers.  We saw a wide range of hikers making the trek....children with their parents, young adults, middle agers, and some old folks....yes, older than us!


We passed some beautiful green shrubs along the way.  I was still a bit enthralled by the lush green colors I saw throughout the park.

We climbed and climbed.  I had to stop a few times to catch my breath.  We were comfortable in our athletic shoes, but hiking boots would have been better.  We did see a woman doing this hike in a pair of rubber flip-flops.  I swear, it is true.  At least we weren't that stupid.

Soon the path narrowed considerably.  There was a sheer drop off the one side.  Be careful I reminded Bruce, we aren't mountain goats.   Those passing by us heading back down told us the arch was right around the corner above us. 

Sure enough....we rounded the turn in the path and there it was.  The Delicate Arch.  Maybe the most iconic feature in the park.  And it was beautiful.

Here is a full view of the arch.  You can see the La Sal Mountains through the arch.  I had Bruce take a photo of me with the arch in the background.  I wanted proof to our kids that I actually climbed and hiked to see this natural wonder.  They know me all too well to think I would have actually done this.

We stayed up there for a while.  I met some ladies who had hiked up for the first time also.  They were as amazed as we were at how beautiful it all was.  After looking at and admiring the view for a while, it was time to head back down.  All downhill.  First we had to tackle that narrow ledge.

The trip back didn't take near as long as the trip up, but it was still 1 1/2 miles of watching your step and following the rock cairns marking a path.   We passed many hikers on their way up.  Some would ask, "Is it worth the hike?"  We told them YES! 

I can't say that these 2 days of short hikes have turned me into a true hiker.  No....I'm still afraid of bears in some parks and snakes almost everywhere!  But I'm willing to get back to Tumwater and go in search of some hiking boots.  I'm ready to tie them on and do a few hikes....short ones.  I hope you all will find a time to visit Arches National Park.  It is really wonderful.

P.S.  Our WiFi connection at our Moab park was awful.  I need to play catch-up with the posts of all my blogging buddies!  I haven't been able to look at many before the connection would quit.  So irritating!

Until next long for now!



One of the main reasons we decided to go RVing when we did was because we were still in good enough shape to get our boots on the ground & hike/walk the trails. Did not want to wait until we were at the point of seeing the Southwest from a Senior's tour bus. Driving by & looking out the window & stopping at designated tourist spots may be fine for a lot of folks but we've always felt so much is missed that way & to get a real feel for the magic of a place you have to get out & become a part of it. That is so great that you made it to Delicate Arch. May that just be the first of your new walking & hiking experiences. Remember, don't sweat the petty things & don't pet the sweaty things....:))

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Another day of great pics, We would have to be like you and start out in smaller hikes, since neither of us do mcuh walking, Hope your internet improves at the next stop, you do get spoiled by having a good connection like at home day after day. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Wayne and Roberta said...

What a great feeling to accomplish something that you normally don't do and the end result was seeing the beautiful arch. Great pictures, thanks for sharing.

Happytrails said...

So glad you decided to take this hike to Delicate Arch....if you hadn't you would have missed this spectacular sight. Just beautiful and it is definitely on our "to see" list.
I agree with Bayfield Bunch, so many people told us to get started with this lifestyle while we could still get out and hike and explore.
I can see why!!!! Thanks for the inspiration. :)
Safe travels!!

Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

Rick and Paulette said...

Congrats on making the hike to the Delicate Arch. Paulette is like you - terrified of snakes! Thanks for all the great pics too as that is one place we never got to see while in the Arches. We had our muttzo's with us, so naturally, we weren't allowed on the trails. Thanks for the shout-out as well!

Gypsy said...

Good for you! Being open to hiking can get you to some spots you couldn't otherwise see. It's great exercise as well, and keeps you young. Go for the hiking boots, and I would suggest going to a store where they know how to fit you and can also tell you what kind would probably be best for you. REI comes to mind.

Ali said...

What a great hike to do. Love the pictures of the arch. It sounds like the hike is even one I could make :)

Wishing you a great day!

Phyllis said...

It's funny - but I had that impression of you from your previous posts. They seemed to be more city or small town oriented.

I can not see us deciding to visit any city. Small town yes. Not a city. Maybe we need to open up our horizons a little too?

Carol K said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Margie. Good for you and Bruce making it to Delicate Arch via the strenuous hike. I would like to do that hike next time we visit Arches, but I have to work my way up to it!

Great pictures!

The Gypsy G-Mas said...

Congratulations on your inaugural hike! We've been to Arches several times and Delicate Arch is most definitely worth the hike. I'm glad to hear that a pair of boots is in your future. Even if you stick with the short hikes, there is so much to see that you usually miss from the road. I, too, don't like snakes but in all of the hiking we do, I have only run across one a few times. Especially on the more maintained trails...they know to stay away. Thanks for sharing the pictures, they're beautiful!

Levonne said...

Nice light that day. Everything looks pinky. And yes, the joy of being out there in nature can make up for the sticky, sweaty, stinky. At some point you'll even come to wear all that like a badge of courage! Enjoy!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

What a great hike, and glad you got out in the *rugged country* a bit. Nice to experience a bit of everything!

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

What a great hike, and glad you got out in the *rugged country* a bit. Nice to experience a bit of everything!

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard