Monday, March 30, 2009

Arches NP

This carefully-framed pic elides the popup camper next door, fully equipped with a generator which ran reliably during all permitted hours. In my simpleness I thought the infernal machine could be run for some period within those hours; but the neighbours believed in the ants' dictum, 'everything not forbidden is compulsory'. Breakfast and dinner were accompanied by its steady brrrr. Otherwise, an excellent site, moderately sheltered from the cruel month's winds, with an unbeatable view across the sandstones to the La Sal mountains. The sand was fine and soft, marvellous below the sleeping bag, not so good as a companion in it.

The boys scampered up the rocks to find a sunny warm spot for re-reading the entire Calvin & Hobbes oeuvre.

A short hike from the campground gets us to Broken Arch, which is not in fact Broken. At kid hike pace, stopping to examine and discuss lizard versus snake trails in the sand, create sandslides, pick up attractive bits of sandstone, etc etc: this hike took nearly 3 hours. On another morning I ran the loop in 18 minutes. Still, the journey's the thing.

Broken Arch from below. There's a goodly bite out of it, and a crack across the narrows so it may not be long. On another day we hiked past Wall Arch which isn't there anymore.

From the top of the arch, views to La Sal. The mountains were clouded and snowy all the time we were there. Somewhere in the dead ground between here and there is the Colorado river. Our last trip on that section is essayed earlier in this screed.

Quoth young C, "I'm enjoying myself in two different ways. It's fun climbing on the rocks, and it's fun making you nervous".

SandDune Arch, good for an hour's innocent amusement. Surely there must be a way to climb up top and teeter precariously above one's aged parent ?

Sunset on red rocks.

We'd planned a nice easy bike ride on the Bar M loop but I managed to snap the rear derailleur cable on the Schwinn Continental. It was only 18 years old, can't imagine why it broke. Of course I had a full set of cables and housing languishing in the garage at home for the last several years, awaiting my pleasure. There was a bucket'o'tools in the car, using for a bit of deck construction in Palisade on the way over, but no cable. We needed to visit Arty the Wonder Dog in town anyway, at his lodgings with the Moab vet, so back to town.

I walked into Uranium Bicycles and waited for the owner to finish selling a $6k Wilier frameset with Dura-Ace tubeless wheels, probably a good $10k overall. Then I asked him about fixing a cable on a shamefully dirty $25 bike. He couldn't do the job before the next day and I didn't want to drive the hour-plus back to town, so he was kind enough to cut housing and sell me a cable for $6. They have some beautiful road bikes for rent, thought briefly of getting one for a long ride through Arches: eheu fugaces, I have children and dogs and a campfire to attend to. I replaced the cable while Arty got a walk through the cow pies at the vets'.

Weather rather shut down over the next few days, windy and cold. It rained the last night, then froze. The drive home as always took place through a blizzard.


rr said...

Wow, incredible photos. And Calvin & Hobbes are indeed worthy of oeuvre-calling.

The one I get in my head on the way to races is Radar Love by Golden Earring. -- Last car to pass, here I go.. and the line of cars goes down real slow -- I've been racing to that song in some sport or another since high school. I'm off to download the Thrasher song..

Anonymous said...

Awesome photos - colors are so vivid! Sounds like a fun trip.