Published: April 11th 2011April 11th 2011
Now that Steph has told you her version of events about the scary uphill drive I will tell you the truthful unexaggerated version. What she said was true!!! So with that day behind us we decided to keep our feet on terra firma for the next couple of days. Saturday started off as a bit of a cloudy cold day. For the first time since we have been here in the US we appeared to have got some bad weather. I walked to the campground info centre to check on the forecast and found that there was a 40% chance of rain today with storms the next day and a 60% chance of rain on that day. We have found since we arrived that the weather forecasters do things in %'s. i.e. There is a 20% chance of rain and a 42% chance of sunshine and a 36% chance of wind etc. Well as we have found out they haven't built in the 50% chance that they are just guessing. The day brightened slightly but the was a bitterly cold wind blowing most of the day but no sign of the 40% rain. We headed off to the Arches NP after
finding a proper coffee shop that didn't sell dog sundries and started our first walk of the day.
The Arches NP is an area made up of amazing large red rocks much like Sedona just more plentiful and most of the rocks over time have had the centers blown out and blasted by sand so that there are a number of natural arches formed in the face of the rocks. It is to say the least a fantastic place to look at. We walked up to the first arch called delicate arch. It w a stand alone arch sitting on a cliff face and the only one that we found that stands by itself. The ultimate photo is this arch on a blue sunny day with no one standing inside the arch itself. This was going to be a challenge because there was a 40 % chance of rain and hence the cloudy skies and there was a 89% chance that the other 300 people who walked the 3 miles to get there wanted to stand in the middle of the arch and block my photos. I am sure at this stage there is a sign which says "Craig
is going to take a photo of this object please feel free to stand in front of it". Anyhow luck was on my side in one expect and the 89% of people occasionally moved long enough for me to get a half decent shot.( those who know of my photographic hates are really laughing now I bet).
We headed off to an area called the Devils garden which was a 12km walk through what was described as a primitive track which passed number of arches on the walk. The track went up the side of slickrock trails and down into old river beds and at times was aptly named the Devils garden because it felt like if you slipped you were heeding straight down. About half way around this track we came to a part which had a dedicated sign warning of going on and impending doom etc as the track was to get much worse and was hard to follow. We sat and thought for a while then realized we were here for a good time not a long time so went on. The track wasn't too bad with just a few more rock faces to scale
down and a few more sandy bottomed river beds to cross. About half way round when we thought we were doing great we passed an 84 year old man and his wife going the same way. So the smug look of achievement on our faces quickly disappeared. The whole time that we were walking we we being pounded by the 42% wind which had turned out to be 100% of wind. It was easy to see how the arches had been formed with the wind being so strong at times it felt like it was going to push us over. We finished our trek and decided to head back to the campground rather tired and wind blown.
Upon arrival at our tent we found that the culmination of two weeks sand and dust had taken it's toll on our tent zippers and our main tent door flap zipper was now totally useless and every time we tried to open it the eyes of the zipper would not hold and kept bursting open. Now for those of you who have done any tenting you will understand that the main door to a tent is....well...the only door and at close to
zero night temperatures having a door on your little yellow house is pretty much desired for a comfortable night’s sleep. It was at this stage that Steph thanked her lucky stars that she was married to a true genius who when packing for an overseas holiday always includes Ducttape in the bag. Instant front door!
This morning we awoke to find the front door still intact but in need of some major repairing which will require a 2 metre zipper and a very handy seemstress with the patience of Job. We have neither so it was onto the Internet where we found that about 100 miles up the road that we are to go tomorrow there is an REI stockist who specialize in tenting equipment. Looks like a new tent as from tomorrow and retirement time for the trusty fairy down tent. Hopefully the 60% chance of storms today doesn't come to pass.
The day turned out to be an absolutely glorious morning with blue skies and no wind and not a sign of the 45 & 1/2 % rain so we decided to head off again into the Arches NP to finish the walks that we didn't
do yesterday. Our first stop was at a little known place called delicate arch where we walked for 3 miles to get a photo of the arch in blue skied mountain backdropped serenity. Now you may be saying at this stage that this is a little déjà vu didn't we visit the delicate arch yesterday and spend a while waiting for the perfect photo? That's why I am married to the most amazingly patient woman in the western world and we did go back just to try to get "that photo" and hopefully I did.
We spent an hour walking along a stretch of trail called Park avenue. It is called such because it has rocks on either side which remind you of skyscrapers similar to ..yes you guessed it Park Ave NY.
We finished off the day by entering into the Canyonlands -Islands in the sky NP that we spent a lot of the other day in and drove around again to get the distant views that it affords without the cloudy weather of the past days. There is a point called Grand view which the other day was not exactly Grand more like average view which
we revisited and had an amazing view over an area of canyons and mesas which today was especially Grand. As far as the eye could see there were views to die for. Just for old time sake we drove past the top of the Shafer trail that we foolishly drove up and I enquired of Steph whether or not she wanted to give it another go from the top down. The reply cannot be printed for censorship reasons.
So it was back to the campground about 78% tired and after having a 100% nice green salad for dinner we did our 67% dirty clothes a favor and washed them and are day to head off to bed with the new and improved duct tape door way for another night. Roll on tomorrow and REI. If anyone knows anything about patent law maybe they could tell me if here is a market for duct tape tent doors cause I am 12% sure I could sell it to some fool.
There are more photos below