June 4-9, 2015
Our adventures with Dee, Kathleen, Jim and Erja continues. On June 7th, our destination was Top of the World. Ronnie and Carol pulled into Portal the day before and we were thrilled to have them join us.
Weather has not been kind to this 4-wheel drive trail as it has steadily increased in difficulty through the years. Several places were very eroded leaving steep ledges to climb.
When we stopped for a break, the designs in this dead tree caught my eye. As I was making my way around to see the other side, I had quite a surprise!
|A gopher snake was slithering toward the dead tree as well.|
Alot of the trail twists and turns thru a pinyon pine and juniper forest...
We had lots of threatening clouds all around, but only a few drops of rain came our way.After almost 10 miles, we reached the end of trail which just happens to be one of the most dramatic overlooks we have seen.
|This was the first time Dee had driven Blanche on Top of the World.|
|Jim and Erja take in the view...|
|Fischer Towers to the west...|
|Looking down into Onion Creek area.|
Kathleen gets a few pictures...Dee and Erja enjoy lunch with a view!
|Our team L to R...Cooper, Jim, Dee, Erja behind Dee, Ronnie, Kathleen, Joe and Carol|
|Picture taken near Dewey Bridge at the trailhead for Top of the World.|
The next morning, June 8th, Kathleen, Erja and I were up early and eager to do some hiking in Arches NP.
Our first stop was the Windows Arches area.
My favorite here is Double Arch.
|This area was used as the opening backdrop for the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.|
|There are no fences or guardrails...it's way fun to climb!|
According to information I read, Double Arch is a pair of natural arches that share the same stone as a foundation for both the outer legs. Unlike most arches it was formed by water erosion from above (rather than the more typical erosion from the side) making it a pothole arch.
The largest of the two openings has a span of 148 ft. and a height of 104 ft.
Just across the road is the The Windows area. The trails here meander all around and even through the arches...three all total.
In the picture below, only one window is visible, but here are two windows (arches) which were formed in the same sandstone fin.
Within walking distance is Turret Arch. It is fun to climb as well. This fin is over 100 feet wide. The arch is "young" and small. Just to the left in the picture below is a very small opening and it is predicted that within a few hundred years or so the two of them will join to create a much larger arch.
The picture below shows our next destination...Delicate Arch.
|Erja shows the magnificent size of this beautiful work of nature.|
|I think I heard a "WooHoo".|
Delicate Arch hike is rated a strenuous hike in the park's brochure. It is a 3 mile in and out hike which includes a steep incline on slickrock.
Coming up next is part 3... the biggest adventure of all...flying!