Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hold it, There's Fire In Them Thar Rocks

Monday, April 23rd: Having enjoyed dinner last evening catching up with our A2 friends Janet and Jeff, we met up again this morning at the Arches NP Visitors Center for check-in prior to our morning ranger led hike into the 'furnace', Fiery Furnace that is.
The walk scheduled to run between 2-3 hours into canyons and unmarked trails weaving in , out, up, and thru rock walls. A veritable maze with no view of either the horizon or a way out. Caution, don't get lost, remain in single file, and don't, don't lose eyesight of the person in front of you!

Excited we had arrived. Deflated ashen faces sulked when our guide for this walk arrived, the same ranger who had led a campground program two evenings prior.   Oh my, I can't recall the last time I had wished for an evening thunderstorm, mosquito swarm, maybe a power outage?

The trail started off on familiar sand, slickrock, and easy rock climbs.  Rapidly the terrain transformed, steep steeps up rock ledges, equally steep decents on slickrock, wedging body and soul between rock walls, and a couple of opportunities to slide through low arches. considering the group size of about 15, we proceeded at a fairly consistent pace, entering side canyons, grabbing a distant vista, discovering hidden water stores in deadend canyons, and pondering the life if 400 to 800 year old juniper trees.
Above, 'Ghost Arch'. Yes, that is the sky on the bottom, the image being clearest when viewed 'upsidedown'.  To the right, Ron tests his skill at adopting a slighter profile as he slides through this arch.

Photos barely disclose the threatening heights, steep inclines - up and down, tight crevices, and ledges we jumped, 'hermit-crab' waddled, or close-eyed lept. 

Three hours later we were safely returned to the parkeing lot where we launched into this wilderness venture. 

And our ranger tour guide? Star of the show! With not a flagging moment he managed to successfully corral this goup into and out of the Fiery Furnace maze. Not one lost tourist, not one torn cuticle. 

Back to town with Janet and Jeff we grabbed a well deserved lunch at the Moab Brewery.  Yup, pints for Ron and Karen.  After all, outside temps are now breaching 90 degrees.
Petrogyphs along Kane Creek Canyon Road, a winding Colorado River road leading into 'back of beyond' canyons.


  1. you are indeed intrepid hikers. but what a reward -- those petroglyphs are delightful. i don't know if i would have made it through, over and under all those obstacles. your pictures made me so thirsty, that i'm having a pint in your honor!

  2. intrepid indeed! What was Ron doing!... brave man! and you two are fitter than me! Love Helen and Ken xx