Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Delicate Arch

The next morning we had planned stopping at Balanced Rock and hiking the Delicate Arch Trail. It is about a three mile roundtrip and climbs 500 feet to the arch that’s Utah’s State Symbol. Both of us were a little worried about hiking uphill at this altitude as we had spent so long along the seashore and we had not yet acclimatized.
The first part of the trail was pretty easy. When we reached the solid rock it turned into an uphill grunt. Added to the free exercise was the fact that we had packs with a lot of water, but it was weight well needed. We made frequent stops and finally made it up the hill. The trail then turned west, wandering through fins of red sandstone before turning into a narrow rock trial. On one side was the vertical wall of a fin and a small arch. The cross bedded sandstone was classic southwest rock. On the other side was a vertical drop of a hundred feet. It was really neat and provided a view of some beautiful arches and pour offs.
As we turned the corner of the fin, Delicate Arch was before us in all its glory. They could have named it surprise arch as it is a sudden surprise on the trail. We took some pictures, sat down and ate an apple, before getting in line to have out pictures taken under the arch,(Yes, I said line as we shared the beauty with a large group of high school student and teachers. They actually looked somewhat human unlike the goths and gangsters we saw at the Petrified Forest )((Look under the Arch and you can see Renita).
The hike back was easy and fast as it was all downhill. We stopped and took pictures of some wildflowers as the desert was still blooming. After returning to the vehicle we drove to the viewpoint of the arch from down below. It was a far away view and was pretty dull after standing under it. Really tired we headed home. Clear skies.

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