Devil's Garden: |
Camp to Trail: 0.9km
Trail to Landscape: 1.3km
Trail to Tunnel: 0.4km
Trail to Navajo: 0.6km
Main Trail: 4.0km
Primitive Trail: 5.5km
To Dark Angel: 1.2km
Claim to Fame: One of the highlights of the trip is the Landscape Arch, one of the world's longest stone
spans. It stretches 93 meters (306 ft) yet is only about 3.3 meters (11 ft) thick at its centre. It was almost
5 feet thicker until September 1991 when a few small pieces of the arch began to fall. Within seconds a 21 meter
long (70 ft) slab of rock dropped from the underside of the arch's thinnest section.
I got that out of a brochure.
Georgia O'Keefe Inspired Rock Formation of the Day
Holy Frickin' Frack!|
John Wayne slept here once!
*What's a Cairn?|
A cairn is a pile of rocks that guide you along a trail. The only problem is that they tend to blend in with the landscape, also made of rock.
In Canada, piles of rock along a trail or road are called Inukshuks. The purpose isn't to mark a trail, but rather for some deep and meaningful reason that I can't think of right now. If you follow them in Canada, chances are you'll end up on a highway to Marathon.
Jan 22 -
Before we started this trip we were running 5K each day, doing yoga and lifting the occassional weight. Now we live in our car. There's not much room for yoga in the jeep, and we tend to favour a trip to the largest ball of twine over a jog through the park.
I'm telling you all of these intimate details so that you understand the shape we were in before starting out on the 13.6km strenuous primitive hike through Arches National Park.
The Devil's Garden hike is the longest maintained trail Arches has to offer. When you combine that with the primitive trail, you're looking at one whopper of a hike. Exactly what our sorry butts needed.
As usual, we did the hike without proper gear. If we went to Yellowstone in January without coats, we can certainly go on a hike through the Utah canyonlands without hiking boots, proper clothing or gallons of water.
(Note to Mom: We did bring an emergency blanket, a candle and matches in case we got lost. But we forgot the compass in the Jeep. We can't be overly prepared, now can we?)
The trail map says it will take you 3-5 hours to make the journey. We figured we could do it in 2. Hah! How naive we were. I think we stopped for cold Jambalaya around two hours into the hike. We lost the people who were behind us about an hour into the primitive trail and ran into a couple of British boys who scambled up to us asking is we were on a real trail or not. Apparently, they had gotten mixed up on the shear stone and weren't able to find the cairns* to follow out.
The same happened to us about three hours in. We somehow made our way off the primitive and missed the joining spot of the primitive and the main trail. It's a lot easier to get lost than you might think.
It must have been almost four hours in when we headed back from the Dark Angel rock formation. Only 2.5 miles on the main trail, scrambling along sheer rock cliffs and sloping stone. By the time we got back to the Jeep, we had logged exactly 5 hours.
Sure, it took us the longer estimate to complete the hike, but we did it!
Warm Enough, Though Not Too Warm
|it should be told that Aimee's second fall was right outside the tent when she tripped on a rock and fell flat on her face. Nice.|
Site 12. After all that hiking, we'd better sleep well!
|Lunch: ||Devil's Garden|
On a cliff somewhere
|Shared:||Leftover Jambalaya, Nachos, Water, Gorp|
In the warm car