Thursday, August 26, 2010

I had the WITS scared out of me today...

We were up bright and early this morning for the Fiery Furnace hike. It is a three hour guided tour into one of the most amazing places in Arches NP. It did NOT disappoint! WOW and WOW again. The kids were troopers, they attacked the trail as well as the rock climbing opportunities and NOT one complaint! We saw some amazing configurations and even Surprise Arch (yes, it was a surprise and it was grand!)

The day completely quickly slipped away. It sure didn't seem like three hours, I can see how easy it would be to spend an entire day in the awesome splendor of this area. I believe it would have been amazingly peaceful had it not been for a VERY TALKATIVE little toddler! All I can say it is a good thing he was cute; Sparky and BS kept saying, "Mom, when is that kid gonna fall asleep?" Funny, this is what I kept asking their father on the way out here!!!!

We lunched at the entrance to Park Avenue and although I really wanted to hike it (only 2 miles round trip) I was out-voted. We headed to the Visitor's Center for the 3rd badge. I also wanted to hike Aztec Mesa and again, no one wanted to. We headed down Pot Ash road in search of more Rock Art. We found it and yes, it was cool!

We were in search for more when we found this trail. A man, his new Dodge Dually, and a 4x4 road=scary! I was ready to turn back when it was clear we had missed the mark. We kept going, and going and going; up, up, up. At a very high point I turned to Chad and asked to walk! We were inching along a road with a 100 ft drop, very near MY SIDE of the truck.

I glanced at the gps and noticed another switchback coming. I protested. Chad hiked on up the trail (I will not call it a road) and thought we could make it, although one dual would probably hang over the edge!!! Oh goodness! NO WAY! I'd take my chances walking in the desert.......He relented and agreed to turn around. I did get out and helped to navigate the turn-around. I didn't breathe until we were back down in the bottom of the canyon. Enough adventure.

We drove around in the canyon a bit longer and then headed back to the 'ol Big Horn Lodge for a swim. (That's all we've heard about since the end of the Furnace hike.....)

Soon it will be time to pack up. We leave at 5 am. Chad has a rodeo tomorrow night and one Saturday night.....the fun just doesn't end! Actually for me the fun will end when I begin washing all of this!

I have absolutely enjoyed every minute. I am in my element! I love being outside, in nature. As much as I enjoy having a garden, goats and our ranch, I totally DIG hiking! I realize that we have plenty of land that I could hike. Chad offered to let me hike while checking pastures and windmills but that just doesn't quite get me there! I may do it to stay in shape but it doesn't quite have the appeal of "unseen territory" that mountains have.

I'm a little sad to be leaving, although all of my "beloved peeps" are back home and I miss 'em like crazy! We will be back though, we've already spotted campgrounds and have marked the trails we want to hike next time. We also want to rent a jeep and take the 15 hour road through Canyonlands! We only saw the Island in the Sky District. This is just a fabulous location!

I've enjoyed hiking and exploring since I was little. My parents introduced me beautiful places and for that I'm deeply grateful. I hope to pass the love of nature and outdoors, hiking and exploring on to my children. Who knows, we may have future Park Rangers, geologists, anthropologist or avid hikers in our midst? Or we may have children that grow up to scare the wits out of their spouse.....just like their Dad did to me today!

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