Ranger Kathryn's Arches

March 7, 2010

Roving at Devil’s Garden

Filed under: 1 — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 8:08 am
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LANDSCAPE ARCH, 3/6/10

I had neglected to check my duty assignment when dressing; Devil’s Garden in the far north of the park is 1100 feet higher than the Visitor Center and still has plenty of snow. 34 degrees and windy. Jumped in the park vehicle, drove straight to my house to put on my wool leggings and two more layers beneath my fleece jacket, plus a hat with ear covers. I’m to “rove” in the coldest, windiest corner this morning. That means greeting and chatting with visitors, repairing cairns that have fallen, keeping an eye out for trouble spots on the trail, snagging garbage, reminding folks of rules they’re not aware of, and in general being a park presence. I absolutely love roving.

Visitors are sparse. I recalled this trail last summer, with its crowds of entitled, selfish “I can write on the rocks if I want to” types. This is much better. A couple from the Czech Republic is photographing Landscape Arch; a couple of German students are hiking out to Double O. Sweet. We engage in animated conversation, and the Czech couple (extremely widely traveled) politely expressed their dismay at the undisciplined and disrespectful way that Americans behave. I sadly agreed, as far as a generalization goes. “Especially the children!” she added.

And then I turned and looked at the sun glinting off of Landscape Arch, the longest in the world, and I thought… as long as parents keep bringing their children to places like this, there is hope for them.

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