Ranger Kathryn's Arches

August 8, 2009

Adieu to my offspring

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 8:15 am

It has been a most wondrous week with three of my children, and the only thing missing was Ilsa.  (London too far away.)  She will come next year, when we complete our list of all the things we ran out of time to do this trip.

Recap:  Monday — 5-mile hike to get the 1400 miles of travel kinks out.  I forgot how hard that was in my first days here, but they were troopers.  Then another 2-mile hike in the afternoon.  Oops.

Tuesday:  Canyoneering way off the beaten path, with a 120-ft rappel and a 42-foot rappel.  First time for the kids.  I finished my 11th rappel and couldn’t wait for more.  Swimming in local swimming hole.  Campfire, no s’mores.

Wednesday:  Dinosaur footprints, dinosaur bones, petroglyphs, and the tallest arch in Arches (Double Arch).  We are all tired out!  Our tents blow over in a large wind while we’re gone, bending the poles.  Full moon:  we begin the hike to Delicate Arch by moonlight, but complete the next 90% of it by two small flashlights since clouds take over the moon.  What excitement. 

Thursday:  Canyonlands NP — grand vistas and lots of photos.  We did not have energy for the treacherous False Kiva trek, so postponed it until 2010.  Our camera batteries are NOT doing well in the heat, but Evan got a panorama shot from a scary pinnacle.

Friday:  Break camp and head onto the Colorado River for what was to have been a float trip.  Serious headwinds made it a six-hour rowing trip instead!!!!  The current heading downstream was no match for the gusts blowing us upstream!  We got an upper-body workout AND major sunburns, but at least the views were unsurpassed…

Today, Saturday:  The dear offspring will head home and I will head to work, after photos at the entrance sign.  It has been wondrous to have them here and I treasure each memory.

Tomorrow:  my last day of work…   Monday, I check out and drive eastward, weeping…

I will add some photos to the blog and give it proper closure once I get home next week.

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