Wednesday, October 8, 2014

More Arches at Arches

It's 8:00 and I am ready for bed.  We hiked much of the day today.  It was sunny and warm this morning and clouded over this afternoon, but never rained.  We continue to be grateful for great conditions for being outdoors and doing so much hiking.

We hiked two trails this morning, enjoying the wild flowers along the paths.  We also find all the stark dead trees to be interesting.  Some were struck by lightening, some are just dead, and some have burned in fires.

Do you know that Utah juniper trees can live to be 1200 years old???  They self select branches that the plant no longer needs.  Water no longer goes to those branches, so one might think the tree was dying.  Actually, the healthy part will continue to get water so it stays green and flourishes.  Amazing how God does that!

Here's Andy and I standing next to an 800 year old Utah Juniper!

At any rate, we walked to the Sand Dunes Arch and the Broken Arch first.  They are way north in the park.

Sand Dune Arch...

We felt like we were going to the beach walking on so much sand to get to the arch.

Broken Arch

You can see the crack in the middle of the arch - thus, Broken Arch.  This one was very pretty.

On the way to the Devils Garden Trailhead we saw the Skyline Arch, so we pulled over and took a look.  Then we walked out on the trail to see the largest arch in the park called Landscape Arch.  Two other smaller ones were just off the path so we walked to those as well - Pine Tree and Tunnel Arches.  Each one a little different in size, color, shape, position, height...just very interesting.

Skyline Arch - no need for a hike to see this one!

Tunnel Arch

Pine Tree Arch

Landscape Arch - The longest arch in the park

Guess that's what you do when you go to arches!

One of the hikes Andy really wanted to take is Ranger led twice a day.  However, our guide books had not told us that you should make reservations online MONTHS in advance.  We were told by the Ranger at the visitor center to check in each morning to see if there were cancellations...  Yesterday, no cancellations.  So today we stopped by to check on as we entered the park.  We were standing in line when a couple approached us and wondered if we were interest in hiking the Firey Furnice with a ranger at 2:00 today.  That was just what we wanted!  Amazing how God provided Andy's desire!!  

But that's not all!  He gave me MY desire, too, because I really didn't want to do Andy's 2nd seemed like it was a little more daring and difficult than I was comfortable with.

So we showed up at the trailhead and went canyoneering in the Firey Furnace.  It was great fun - challenging at times, but fun.  It was beautiful.  The people we went with were nice and the Ranger did a good job.

So, here are some fun pics on our new adventure in a canyon!  Called canyoneering...

We walked through narrow spaces and jumped over crevices...

We walked along on narrow ledges...

We used foot holds to scoot through narrow high spots...

We scooted along walls holding ourselves up while side stepping along a ledge...

Our guide showing us how to walk with one foot on each side of a crevice.

Our ranger guide, Kali.

In the end, we all made it out safely after 3 hours in the Firey Furnace!
And everyone seemed to really enjoy it!

Went out for Mexican food for supper.  Have been laying low reading and working on my blog at night.  Tomorrow we will spend a few hours at Cayonlands National Park and then head back to Sarah and Joel's home.  We are on beauty overload and cannot take in too much more!!! It has been fabulous but it's time to think about heading home!!!

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