Ranger Kathryn's Arches

August 18, 2010

Overcast delight

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 7:19 am
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Within the Fiery Furnace at Arches NP

In a sunny desert environment, morning overcast is a welcomed contrast. Cloud cover keeps the temperature from rising too quickly, and also provides some additional photographic interest. I was accompanying Ranger Joel on his Fiery Furnace tour and he became positively gleeful in anticipation of remotely-possible waterfalls within the Furnace, should rainclouds park over us and drop their contents. While that scenario never developed, I did enjoy the new lighting; I hope you do, too.

"Clock Tower" -- perpetually stuck at 2:49

Ham Rock, Windows Section

The Organ; Courthouse Towers, Arches NP

Fiery Furnace, Arches NP

August 16, 2010

Tapestry Arch

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 11:41 pm
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Tapestry Arch, Arches NP

The air was still, the heat oppressive. It was my first day back in Arches NP after living and working on the cool of the 6000-foot mesa that comprises Island in the Sky, Canyonlands NP. I was sticky, sweaty, and ready to hike somewhere away from people.

It’s a mystery how I managed two seasons here without ever getting to Tapestry Arch. This lovely span is not on the park map, and visitors rarely find their way to it. PERFECT. Just my kind of hike. I would do trail monitoring — repair cairns, erase social trails, put up juniper log barriers to stop off-trail traffic.

The desert was as silent as I have ever heard it as I made my way to the shade underneath the arch and shed my sticky backpack. Water — that’s what my body craved. I sat in the cool of the massive rock beam overhead and drank a half liter, and then just sat and listened, and sat and thought, and sat and watched, and sat just to sit.

And, after a little while, a new sound began to make itself known in my ears. Putting two fingers to my wrist, I compared it to my pulse; it was a perfect match. It was my heartbeat. My heartbeat! The desert was so silent that I could now hear my own blood flowing through my veins.

Now THAT is quiet. Welcome to my desert world.

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