Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Fiery Furnace...

We had spent the last few days driving backwards and forwards past the area in Arches known as The Fiery Furnace and each time I was captivated by the amazing landscape.

We gamely set off on a Ranger Guided tour of The Fiery Furnace! I was slightly apprehensive because when I booked the tickets for this tour the Ranger was very clear that Everyone attending the tour should be aware of the demanding nature of this hike and properly equipped for current conditions. During the hike, participants must walk and climb on irregular and broken sandstone, along narrow ledges above drop-offs, and in loose sand. There are gaps which must be jumped and narrow places that you must squeeze into and pull yourself up and through. In some of these places, you must hold yourself off the ground by pushing against the sandstone walls with your hands and feet. Due to the maze-like nature of the terrain, all participants are committed to completing the hike once they enter the Fiery Furnace. She was particularly concerned about Max's age as five is the youngest they allow and even this age it is with hesitation.

Max was entranced with Ranger Mike from the start and became his shadow.

Walking through these formations was fabulous. At times the light was also perfect.

I am not sure what all the worry was about, because even though we experienced some tight squeezes and walked on some high ledges we all found the walk very non-threatening.

We were on the walk for roughly three and a half hours and at the end I was tired but the kids handled it really well. It was lovely sharing the walk with them and our dear friend, Susan.

 A great end to another perfect day - we returned to our campsite as the sun was starting to set. I'm not sure if its because this is was to be the last National Park we visit or  if its simply watching the colour on the rocks as the sun sets, but we all agreed that Arches is one of our most favorite places.

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