The test of an adventure is that when you are in the middle of it, you say to yourself, "Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home." And the sign that something is wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure. -Thornton Wilder

The nice thing about being confused is you get a chance to notice things a lot better than if you knew where you were going.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Revelations 1 and the Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch is probably the one arch used the most to represent Arches National Monument. It was a cold blustery day that I chose to go see this arch. The wind was whipping along continuously.

Just before the arch I walked along this trail edge, protected from the wind by the wall of rock on the right. Yes, it is straight off down to the left.

I stepped around the corner, saw the infamous arch for the first time
 and was blasted by a near gale force wind.
The ever increasing steepness of the angled sandstone was itself a bit intimidating with the thought of one misstep and the consequences of tumbling down into the deep bowl below. Added to that, having to compensate for the the wind coming at me at 25mph plus, I really had no desire to venture any further, especially after having to hit the deck when a tremendous blast came roaring past the arch. The guy above running and the girl behind him in the shadow had just been standing under the arch for a picture. The photographer was next to me. We heard the blast of air, the couple hunkered down flat on the ground and then it hit us and we too hugged the ground. Behind us? Straight down.
I eventually mustered up the courage to join the group sitting down at the left. I was none too proud to not confess to these 20 something year olds that "Years ago when I was your age I used to scamper around stuff like this just as you are. But in my later years..I guess the cojones shriveled up some." They laughed.
That was my first Revelation.

I briefly thought about going over to stand beneath the arch, but why? Why would I even consider such a thing, walking over on a 45 degree angle surface and risk being blown off into the abyss below?
No, I just wanted to get the heck out of there.
You may be able to see the guy at the bottom. He is in the right side of the photo a quarter of the way up from the bottom of photo. He was retrieving a metal water bottle that got blown away.


And you know, I don't even remember taking this photo or at from what vantage point.

On the way back I caught a view of the Little House on the Highway far off in the distance down below next to the road.
And yes, it is a straight drop-off here too.

4 comments:

  1. I was so happy to see your photos of Delicate arch, and since I've been out of the loop for a couple days I went back and looked at your previous views of Arches National Park and even before. Great job. I didn't hear of anyone getting blown off the mountain side, but I know it was very windy the day before we went up. I don't think when people see photos of the arch they have any idea what it takes to get to it. Glad you made it and glad you got some great photos of it.

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  2. hey, older is sometimes wiser, my friend! good for you - i couldn't bear the thought of sinbad waiting up for you at night, wondering where you've blown off to...

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  3. Fantastc! Found you through Texwisgirl's blog. I'm happy to be joining you here and seeing what you and Sinbad are gonna do next. Also can't wait to find some time and look over your past travels.

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  4. the first photo showing that trail and the drop-off would have had me shaking. my fear of heights gets the better of me so I'm not sure I would have been able to make this. what's waiting at the end of the trail is so worth it though. I'm glad Sinbad had no worries about you making it back safely. careful is smarter.

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