Ranger Kathryn's Arches

March 1, 2010

Red sun, red rocks

Filed under: 1 — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 11:50 pm
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March 1, 2010, Park Avenue

Took my two new housemates up to Park Avenue, a favorite canyon, for an introductory hike. It was half hour ’til sunset and the red rocks glowed from within.

Tower of Babel, minutes before sunset

Spring's first waterfall, 3/1/10

Because it has been in the 40s yesterday and today, we now have running water in the park. This is a feature I saw only once last summer, after a rare rain. It makes everything much more interesting, audibly as well as visually.

Exploring unnamed mesa, sunny 43 degrees

Filed under: 1 — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 10:46 pm

Mesa-climbing in February -- fun!

Ranger Victoria and I have only one day off together this spring. We drove 23 miles south of town, parked and locked the car, set our sights on a mesa top, and started hiking. The day was mild, but the snow was DEEP on north slopes; we post-holed through the crust up to our knees for a good portion of the trek. We discovered how little we know about IDing the many varieties of scat. When we got hungry we dug in our packs for Clif Bars and trail mix; when we got thirsty we ate pristine snow and hoped for no disease-causing pathogens.

Eating snow -- CLEAN snow

We were very grateful we had put sunscreen on our faces on the last day of February at latitude 38 degrees north, as the snow intensified everything. 3 hr 15 min after setting out, we found our car again, and wondered whether we had done 4.5 or 6 miles. No way of knowing, except that we were exhausted and couldn’t feel our toes much. It is fun to go on an “Explore,” without map or timeline or a care in the world. We discovered what I think were Moki marbles, or some kind of sandstone accretions that looked like old-fashioned candy dots on the strips of paper. Differential erosion is a crazy thing!!

Victoria post-holes past kneecaps

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