Ranger Kathryn's Arches

March 1, 2010

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


  1. oh my oh my…….. if only there was a device to accurately track miles hiked, elevation changes, current time and temp, routes, waypoints, time in transit, average MPH walked,. oh wait!! it’s coming to me. wait for it…..wait…. Hey! you should purchase a GPS. I’ll bring mine out in May and we can have some fun with it.

    Comment by john — March 2, 2010 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

    • If you only knew how loudly I laughed. Thanks, John. That’s what brothers are for.

      Comment by kath56ryn — March 2, 2010 @ 7:47 pm | Reply

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