Ranger Kathryn's Arches

March 19, 2010

Eye of the Whale Arch, Part 1

Filed under: 1 — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 10:25 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Eye of the Whale, as seen approaching from the NE

It’s spring break. I don’t care for the crowds, so I’m trekking to an arch that is a bit harder to get to unless you have a 4WD vehicle. Into my pack I throw the usual accoutrements: a liter of water, chapstick, hat, granola bar, tupperware of peanut M&Ms/cookies, an apple, my camera, a good book, a light jacket, and my purple practice rope.

Cetaceans (my favorite order of mammals) are found in this desert, frozen in sandstone. Ahab-like, I will hunt down the biggest and most well-known of them all.

I drive past Balanced Rock to a remote parking area, smiling amusedly at the 3500 tons of slickrock teetering gracefully on the eroded neck below.

A rutted, rocky 4WD track scars the desert. It saddens me to see what these tens of thousands of tires have done to the landscape, but I remind myself that these are multiple-use areas and I must share them with the jeepers. This is a difficult but useful exercise. I see large four-toenailed footprints in the sand — tracks of a coyote, I think, loping off into the blackbrush.

Not a sound exists out here except the rub rub rub of my pack against my back. Not a bird, not a car, not a voice. This is the way I like it.

From the back side: Eye of the Whale

March 1, 2010

Red sun, red rocks

Filed under: 1 — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 11:50 pm
Tags: , , , ,

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.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.