Grand Circle Day 5-Arches National Park

April 12, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

***Chinese Version at the bottom***

Day 5 First go to Newspaper Rock in Canyonland National Park
While getting breakfast at the cafe near the Visitor Center, we did some last minute souvenir shopping. Then we rushed back to the car because we got a long way to go today. Through US-491 North, 2 hours later we passed the state border back to Utah. Newspaper Rock is inside Canyonland National Park. It is a large piece of Rock that has some rock etchings from several hundred years ago. Rock art of match stick figures, foot prints, goats, horses, hunting, sun and calendar markings recorded the daily lives of the natives hundred of years ago. On this ancient rock wall, the natives recorded important things for their tribesmen. The wind and rain of all these years hasn't erased these marks. If someone today can read those symbols, we would know what happened then. Think for a moment if what you wrote can be seen by people hundreds of years in the future, how would you feel? I did not expect to see a dozen or more people gathering around the rock to view it. I realized that we are not alone in driving a long long distance to come see a piece of rock. 

Getting to Moab, UT
A piece of rock can't keep us here for long. We continued on US-191 North to Arches National Park. We needed to finish all the viewpoints in Arches and reached the peak to see the Delicate Arch before sunset. We figured out how much time we need on each trail. We were here a few years ago, so it is easy to plan ahead. 

Arches National Park
Starting from the entrance, we took a quick look at Park Avenue, Three Gossips, The Sheep Rock, The Organ. We got to Balanced Rock around noon. We walked the small loop to the back of the Balanced Rock. It was very windy and I could feel the strength of the wind that eroded these rocks. I couldn't help but climbed on a rock and did a balancing one leg pose. North and South Windows are centrally located viewpoints. It looks like a pair of spectacles. This is a popular location for taking sunrise pictures. Across from the Windows is the Turret Arch. Double Arch is on the other side of the parking lot. It is easier to drive to the other side because the parking lot is big. We needed to save energy for the hiking trails. The Double Arch is a great place to hide in the shade under hot midday sun.

Devils Garden
Next stop was Devils Garden at the far end of the park. The parking lot was very full. Lots of people here. Near the trailhead is a narrow passage between stone fins. It has a mysterious feeling like entering a different world for exploration. Along the sandy trail not too far inside we saw some deer feeding on leaves. There is no grass in the desert. The deer was not shy of people and continued feeding on leaves. As long as you keep a good distance of 20-30 feet, you can take a lot of pictures of the deer. But it is just a plain deer that is similar to those I saw from previous trips. So I just took a few pictures and moved on. Further along I remember a strange rock face that looks like a head that has a nose and brows and forehead. Compared to what I saw a few years ago, the nose is flattened a bit and the sharp edges are dulled. Not too far from here I thought there was a stone arch but I couldn't find it this time. Later on I found out from the information that it collapsed a few years ago. So you see, these landmarks will not last forever. They will continue to change, eroded by the elements. If I come back here again in the future, I will find something different. 

Landscape Arch
Dark clouds were moving in and I felt a few drops of rain. Normally the bright desert sunlight reflected on the rocks is very glaring. The pictures would come out too contrasty. Now the cloud was like a soft box. The lights were reflected from the side almost like sunset. The color and texture of the rock could easily be seen. Of course it was a good time to shoot away. Then we reached Landscape Arch. This is a long thin ribbon of rock arch spanning a wide distance. Very elegant looking arch. The dark clouds moved right over us and was dropping a light rain. Unfortunately, we could not take good pictures of the Landscape Arch because of the rain. 

Double O Arch and Navajo Arch
It was time to return to the trailhead. This trail continues to go up to the top. Last time we hiked up to Double O Arch which looks like a figure 8 and Navajo Arch. I remember there was a short stretch of trail along the top of a narrow stone fin.  The width can only fit two people passing sideways. Very scary if you are afraid of heights. Very windy too. To bad we didn't have enough time to go this time. We needed to reach the Delicate Arch before sunset. So we rushed back to the parking lot. 

Delicate Arch
The Delicate Arch trail roundtrip is 3 miles. Elevation is 480 feet. We plan to stay till after dark so we must carry water and food. At 5 pm we started from the trailhead. Going up took almost 2 hours. Sunset is about 7:30 pm to 8 pm. I wanted to do some different poses under the arch so I did the Kung-Fu eagle and Tai Chi poses. Some women said I am crazy after she saw me did those poses. After shooting sunset views, we stayed behind for the night sky. While waiting we ate some snack bars. There were only two other people staying on the top. Shooting night scene is tricky and we realized the arch is really big. Our flashlight was not bright enough to light up the arch. I had an inspiration and used the flashlight to draw my name on the arch during a long exposure. We left around 9 pm as we saw too much cloud so no starry sky to shoot.  It took an hour to descend the mountain. When we first started the sky is dark inky blue and we could barely see the trail. About 10 minutes later, the sky was all dark. About half way down we got lost for about 10 minutes on the far side of a big rock top looking for the way down. Luckily we had a hiking GPS that marked the trail we came up by. We were only off by 10-20 feet and it was so dark we couldn't see where the trail goes down. I looked at the ground for footprints but the rock is very smooth with no sand so no footprints. I finally found where the rock is extra smooth where people have walked on that rubbed it smooth. We followed it and reconnected with the trail. I recognize some rocks with crystals that we saw on our way up. By the time we reached the parking lot it was 10 pm. Now that we are back to our car, we are much more relaxed. The clouds parted and stars appeared overhead. We couldn't help but pull out the camera again to shoot the polar star and Ursa Major (the big dipper). About 10 minutes later the other two people came down. They asked us where we are shooting next. Too bad we still have to drive an hour to the hotel so we packed up and left. By the time we reached the hotel it was 11 pm. We used the microwave at the lobby to heat up the canned sausages and made cup noodles for dinner. We got to sleep by 1 am.  

***Chinese Version below***

第五日 First go to Newspaper Rock in Canyonland National Park

一早八點去買紀念品和早餐,速速上車今日又有很多路要走,經US-491 North, 2小時後越過州界回到Utah. 報紙石Newspaper Rock在Canyonland 𥚃面 ,只是一塊大石上有土人幾百年前的石刻,像火柴公仔似的人,腳印,羊,馬,打擸,太陽,百足似的曆記等等記號,刻劃著土人幾百年前的生活,在這個遠古的石牆上, 土人把生活重要的事記錄下來,讓族人都看到,風吹雨打也不能磨滅,若現在有人能解讀當時的符號圖像,就可以知道發生過甚麼事,想想如果你寫下的文字幾百年後被他人看見,會有什麼感覺呢?想不到石頭前面有十幾二十人圍觀,原來有不少人似我們一樣駕老遠車子來這裡看一塊石頭。

Getting to Moab, UT
一塊石頭當然不能留我們多久,繼續出發經US-191 North 去Arches, 今天日落前要走完Arches景點上到山頂Delicate Arch, 我計算好每一條trail要多少時間,幾年前已經來過,所以駕輕就熟,

Arches National Park
近入口處Park Avenue, Three Gossips, The Sheep Rock, The Organ, 看一看就走,然後Balanced Rock, 這處背光,繞到後面,當時非常大風,可以感覺到風沙侵蝕的厲害,North and South Windows 係主要景點,像一對眼鏡,係很多人影日出嘅地方,Windows 對面係Turret Arch,駕車到停車塲另一邊就係Double Arch,係呀,停車塲大丫麻,慳返D腳力行山,

Devils Garden
下個站Devils Garden ,在公園盡頭,停車塲很滿,人很多,入口處係峽窄的stone fins,已經有神秘探險的感覺,好像要進入另一個境界,沿沙路進去不遠就見有鹿兒吃葉,沙漠沒有草,鹿兒不怕人,在吃小樹的嫰葉,只要保持二三十尺距離就可以仼影,只是很普通的鹿,之前旅行見不少,隨便影幾張相就走,沿途有一個大石,形狀很奇怪像個人頭像,有額頭眉頭,鼻子,比上次幾年前所見,鼻子比較削平了,眉頭的尖銳磨滑了,過不多遠我記得有一個石拱門,今次郤找不到,後來看資料才發現幾年前倒塌了,這些地貌不會永恆存在,它一直在變化,將來再回到這裡的話,又會有其他不一樣的面貌,

Landscape Arch
這時天上飄來雨雲,灑下幾滴雨,本來眩目的陽光射在石上很刺眼,相片很容易過光,但雲層一擋,光線從旁反射,有點似日落的感覺,石的顏色紋理都顯現出來,當然要謀殺菲林,再不遠就是Landscape Arch,因為正下微雨,所以沒有好好拍照,有點可惜,

Double O Arch and Navajo Arch
到這𥚃夠鐘要回頭,本來條路繼續上山,上一次就一直行上頂的Double O Arch and Navajo Arch. 我記得之間有一段路很刺激在只夠一人行的stone fin 之上走幾十尺,二人要側身而過,可惜今次時間不夠不去了,要日落之前趕上Delicate Arch, 所以怱怱回停車場,實在依依不捨。

Delicate Arch
上Delicate Arch 來回三里,上下480尺,我們又準備留至天黑,要多帶食水和食物,五點從trail head上去,行二小時,約七點半八點日落,影一輪落日西照拱門,留到天黑,影夜景,可惜手電筒光線不足,效果只是一般,後來靈機一觸,用手電筒在拱門上照出自己的名字,差不多九點後才下山,下山要一小時,剛下山時勉強可以見眼前的路,約行十分鐘天就全黑了,走了一半有一處大石面找路口迷失了十分鐘左右,幸好有行山用GPS可見原本來時路線,走偏了十多尺,找回小路, 回到停車場已經十點,此時早已定下神,見天上雲層移開現出繁星,忍不住用腳架影北斗七星,約十幾分鐘之後,山上另外兩個人下來了,竟然問我們再去甚麼地方影相,可惜已經是晚上十時,我們還要駕駛一小時去酒店,所以就收檔了,到酒店已經十一時,用大堂微波爐把罐頭腸仔熱了,加個杯麵,就當晩餐,吃完去睡已經午夜一時。



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