The Arches in Utah

“On the first part of the journey
I was looking at all the life
There were plants and birds and rocks and things
There was sand and hills and rings
The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz
And the sky with no clouds
The heat was hot and the ground was dry
But the air was full of sound

I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain…
…After two days in the desert sun
My skin began to turn red…”

I was in the Arches National Park yesterday in the afternoon. It was beautiful with the red sandstone arches standing bright against the sunlight, and to paraphrase the above song, the heat was hot and my skin began to turn red just after 2 hours! It was burning and the landscape was bone-dry (with random patches of green). I got a few good pictures, but regretted not being there at sunset.

We took the trail to the Delicate Arch, which probably epitomizes the Arches for most people. The actual hike to the Arch is 3 miles with no shaded areas. My heart quailed at the thought, and we chose to take the easier option of half-a-mile hike to a viewpoint. Needless to say, no pain, no gain! The angle of the arch was a little off from the viewpoint.

We then went to the ‘Windows’, which turned out to be an easier hike with a more rewarding sight!

The Arches have a a diverse and abundant wildlife, and I would have loved to see some bighorn sheep and fox, but I don’t think they wanted to venture out in the sun! We were running low on fuel and chow and so we headed out of the park at 3 with a blazing sun overhead.