Saturday, October 1, 2011

Part 10: Epic (Adventure) Fail!

When I returned from the restaurant Tuesday night, all I wanted to do was hit the hay, er, sleeping bag. Unfortunately, my neighbors in the camp right behind mine thought it was okay to party until 2:30 in the morning. The camps at this off park site, were very close together. These people were probably no more than 15 feet away from me. It was 2 guys and a girl and the longer the night went on, the louder she got. Let me tell you, you haven't heard "Hey Jude" until you've heard it with an off key drunk German accent.

In the morning I was wiped and got kind of a late start. After breakfast, I headed back into Arches and took some shots as I made my way to the end of the park, where the Devil's Garden hike begins.

About a mile into the hike is Landscape Arch...

I imagine it's called that because it kind of blends in with the landscape until you get closer to it and can see the sky through the arch. It's very long and thin and I wonder how long it will be able to defy gravity. Then it was on to the Double "O" Arch. This part of the hike is listed as "difficult with many elevation changes, rocky footing and some exposure to heights," meaning cliffs.

They weren't kidding by calling this "difficult." my heart was pounding as I gained elevation. Shortly after I started this part of the hike, I climbed a rocky hill to a point where there were some large rocks you had to climb up and around, right next to a nice little drop off....

The rock surface was pretty smooth, like an idiot, I had put on my sneakers instead of my hiking shoes. On top of this, my photo backpack was weighing me down and I was a bit off balance. With the tripod attached, it was probably close to 30 pounds. Other folks were having trouble negotiating that area, going in both directions. Some needed help. With the hot noon time sun beating down on me (unlike Bryce Canyon it was a much warmer day and there was no cloud cover), I made a decision to turn around and go back. I wimped out and was very disappointed and depressed about it.

On the way back I was muttering things like "Hikes are for people that don't have cars" and "They should either move the roads closer to the arches, or the arches close to the roads!"

I planned on hitting Delicate Arch (probably the most famous) in the late afternoon. Another difficult hike and it would be even hotter. We'll see how that went in the next installment...

- Posted from my iPad

Location:Arches National Park, Utah

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