July 15, 2011

hiking in the heat of moab.

Corona Arch
     For the second part of our Utah trip this past 4th of July weekend, Jason and I went back to Moab. We also took our friend Ryan, whom we picked up in Provo on our way. Like before, we woke up and left early in the morning to get started for our 3 hour drive. The drive to Moab is just gorgeous. I’m from Michigan so I absolutely love driving next to the mountains because we don’t have any where I live.

     The arch that the 3 of us decided to go to this time was Corona Arch which isn’t in the actual National Park, but just a little outside the city of Moab. The hike to Corona Arch was definitely more difficult than our previous hike to Delicate Arch. The paths weren’t as clearly marked, so we struggled to get where we were supposed to go. The hike is about 1 ½ miles long and 3 miles round trip. Normally, I would say that this isn’t too bad of a hike, but when we went, it was 104 degrees out and there weren’t many shaded areas. It made me feel like I was really out of shape.

     The hike physically wasn’t too bad, but there were parts that had guides such as wire ropes to grasp for safety and a metal ladder to climb to the next layer of rock. Along the path we saw Bowtie Arch, a railroad through giant rocks below, and petroglyphs— engravings of motifs that Anasazi Indians etched into rock hundreds of years ago.
Hiking to Corona Arch
     After taking a break beneath an overhanging rock to sit in the shade and apply more sunscreen, we made it to Corona Arch. This arch is really beautiful and an impressive 110 feet tall. We read on some websites that people can actually (and do) repel from the top of this arch. While we were there, we only passed maybe two other small groups of people. It was really nice compared to Delicate Arch where it was much more crowded. Jason tested the echo of the canyon by yelling to the world: “I love Danie Garber!” It was incredible how long it lasted.
View of Corona while taking a break in the shade
     We spent some time sitting under the arch, taking pictures, and climbing around. I was so hot and worn out that I couldn’t even eat my sandwich I had packed. Jason had no desire to eat his either. The hike back was a little more difficult because we had been in the heat for too long. I had hoped for the wind to pick up the way it had when we went to Delicate Arch, but there wasn’t even a cloud in the sky. I had to take frequent breaks just to breathe. Is it possible to drink too much water? It was hard to stop drinking it because of how much I was sweating, but I could feel it sitting in my stomach. I got to a point where I thought I was going to throw it up. I just wanted to cry, but I was too exhausted. Ryan didn't have as much trouble with the hike, well, at least as far as I could tell, but Jase and I were struggling.

     The worst part is we kind of got lost. Ryan hiked ahead to figure out wrong turn we made and what to do to fix it. Our hike back was about 30 minutes longer than it should’ve been, but what a relief it was to see a large rock that looked familiar from the beginning of the trail. When we finally got back to the car, we drove into the city of Moab. It was a cute little town that I would’ve liked to have spent more time in, but we just wanted to get to our next destination— Mill Creek. Before we left, Jason got me ice cream like he promised me when I finished the hike. None of us had an appetite for anything heavier.
No place to hide from the sun
     Our next adventure was to drive to another part of Moab where there was a waterfall. We thought we made it when we parked where all the other cars were, but Jason didn’t think the waterfall was supposed to be man-made. So he and Ryan asked around and found out we had to walk further to get to it. The first waterfall we were at was way too crowded anyway and it smelled like beer.

     Although I was not looking forward to another hike, this one was actually amazing! It was totally on flat ground and through shady trees. It felt like we were walking through a rainforest (minus the rain). Truthfully, I’ve never been in a rainforest, but it looked like what I would imagine one to be like. We had to cross the river a couple times. The pointy rocks on the bottom hurt, but the water felt so nice on my hot and tired feet. Along this path we saw more petroglyphs. Oh! And Ryan and I even saw a small green snake! Good thing Jason didn’t see it because he is terrified of snakes.

     When we made it to Shangri-La (the nickname given to the waterfall by the locals) we knew we were in the right place. It was pretty great. The waterfall wasn’t too high up. You actually had to climb up it to jump off. The funniest thing was at the top of the falls there was this group of people that looked like some kind of waterfall cult or something. They were banging bongos in a tribal Indian rhythm and at the climax of their banging someone would jump off the waterfall into the water below. I thought the bongos kind of added to the experience, so I liked it. We were also happy that they were there because one of them showed the boys how to climb up the waterfall (which required a certain footing to get up) and where to jump in the deeper water.  
Mill Creek
     I think the boys had a blast jumping into the water. I just hung out in the pool below. I have a fear of the water that I’m working on getting over. It was just really nice to be able to cool off in the water. While Jason and Ryan were on top of the waterfall, they noticed some darker clouds coming in and decided we should get going in case it rained.

     Overall, this was such a great trip! I really enjoyed getting to know Ryan better and it was fun watching Jason and him catch up. There were some difficult things to get past, but it was worth it. Like Jase and I always say, “It just adds to the adventure.”
We had so much with Ryan

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