July 14, 2010

A Night in Arches National Park

Arches National Park is in the Moab Desert, and is really hot. We decided to stay in the shade during the day, and wait until after dinner to head out to see the beautiful Delicate Arch. We left the RV around 8pm on a 3 mile round-trip hike to the arch. We were hoping for a couple of shots of the arch, and maybe a little bit of star gazing. We ended up biting off more than we could chew.

The hike up to the arch was super difficult. It was almost all uphill. The only markers to follow were occasional piles of rocks that weren't exactly easy to see. It was already getting dark and the only people we saw were hiking down from the arch. Mallory and I decided to run to the top to get some shots of the arch before the sun was completely gone. We were able to sneak out a couple shots between the huffing and puffing and gulping down water.

Danielle and I

The Delicate Arch lived up to its hype, and the star gazing wasn't too shabby either. Unfortunately we didn't really notice the time passing us by, and it was 10pm before we knew it. Searching through the backpack for a flashlight was tedious... and did not end with us finding a flashlight. At this point we realized that we were in trouble. Well, that and also the fact that the trail was almost impossible to follow, we only had 3 granola bars to eat, not one of us packed a jacket, and we had a mere 2 inch blade on a pocket knife to make us feel safe.

We decided to try to hike down from the arch using the only cell phone we brought and our camera as flashlights. That worked for about 5 minutes before we realized we had no idea where we were going. We thought it best to stop and stay where we were, and enjoy a wonderful night of star gazing and sleeping on hard rock. Luckily the tempurature stayed around 70 which was really comfortable. We each probably got 2 or 3 hours of sleep max, and always kept at least 1 person up as a "lookout". Most of the time the 4 of us were up looking around and praying that no hungry mountain lions came our way.

The time slowly passed and eventually the black sky started turning more of a blue again. We hiked back up to the arch to get a final few pictures.

The hike down was soooo long. We were tired, hungry, and grungy. I wasn't really looking forward to seeing the ticket on the window or any mad rangers since camping in the park is illegal unless in a specified campsite. Luckily for us our RV was still sitting there without any tickets or mad rangers around, and nothing broken or stolen! We praised God for a while as we unwound... and talked about what had just happened (we were able to convince each other that it wasn't simply a dream). This night is definitely one of the most crazy, scary, fun, exciting, unreal, unique nights of any of our lives. Thank God for watching over us and getting us through it safely!

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