Sunday, December 2, 2012

Delicate Arch...

Our dear friend Susan had told us months ago that we should try and walk the Fiery Furnace hike inside Arches National Park. This is a very popular hike and you require a permit as the park limits this terrain to only 70 people per day. You are advised to attempt this hike with as guide as it is very easy to get lost. So the first thing we did when we entered the park three days ago was to stop at the Ranger Station and enquire about this hike - and a good thing we did because the first hike we could book was on our last day! Today was the day we had been looking forward to, but we were due to meet at 1pm in the afternoon, so we had time after breakfast to visit Delicate Arch - possibly the parks most famous site.

We set off for our 3 mile hike full of energy. At the beginning of the hike we passed The Wolfe Ranch. The Ranch was settled in the late 1800's by John Wesley Wolfe and his son. John moved west from Ohio looking for a drier climate, due to a nagging leg injury he received in the Civil War. John selected a tract of 100 acres of land along Salt Wash for its water and grassland - enough for a few cattle. The tiny cabin was tiny and sparse - how they survived in this harsh terrain I can't begin to imagine!

 The hike was all up hill though soft sand and over slick rock. I started to worry that such a big hike in the morning and possibly a four hour hike after lunch might be to much for the kids?

We knew when we started that the best pictures were taken at this location were shot in the afternoon. However, if we were going to see Delicate Arch it was now or never - so Yasemin and I practiced our sun start photography and drank up the beautiful view. Our photograph does not do any justice to the amazing view.

Our walk back to the car was all down hill and much faster than the way up! We took a minor detour and saw examples of Ute petroglyphs.  This petroglyph panel is believed to be comprised of historic Ute images since it shows people on horseback, and horses were adopted by the Utes only after they were introduced by the Spanish.

We arrived back at the car with an hour to return to camp, eat, rehydrate and meet at the Fiery Furnace hike!

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