Sunday, September 03, 2006

June 27

There is just so much to write about – things I’m learning, things I’m seeing, ways God is faithful, the scenery, the funny moments, the food I’m managing to make…

There are bunny rabbits here in this campground up in Arches NP. This very minute a rabbit came in sight just a few feet from our sleeping tarp and started to dig a bit. It looked at me, and then kept digging. Then it lay down and flopped its hind legs out from under him just like Lewie used to do. It waited a moment until it, seeing me laughing, self-consciously hopped away. Our camping neighbors are Czeck, I’m sure of it. I want to go say hi.

This morning we woke up in the most beautiful campsite – in a Colorado River canyon with high cliffs all around. I made us pancakes and tried to percolate coffee, but I didn’t care for it. Then we entered Arches National Park, and started the drive through. We got a camping reservation, stopped at the new, excellent and informative visitors’ center, then started up. We stopped at Courthouse Towers to see the Three Gossips, Organ and Lady Arch. We looked out over the Sand Dunes. Then we drive on up to reserve a good camp spot.

We started our hiking ventures at Devil’s Garden and hiked through to see the Landscape Arch, which just recently in 1991 got more slender;
the Partition arch, which had a fabulous view through it; and the Navajo Arch, where I got pictures of chipmonks. Then we went on to Double O Arch and this was the spectacular part of the hike. The walk was partly on a ridge which made me feel on TOP OF THE WORLD…insert Tom Petty song…

After replenishing water, getting Gatorade and a power bar, we began the “most rewarding” hike to Delicate Arch, as my book said. But I though it was ½ mile and it was a total of three more miles! We made it, but were hot and exhausted. Elizabeth was a good sport for forgiving my misreading – but as she said, we probably wouldn’t have done it if we knew how hard it was, and it was aweseome.

It’s amazing how clean you can feel when you wipe down your limbs and wash your face. Compared to how tired-dirty I was, I feel great now.

I did go over and talk to the Czechs. They were glad I came over and surprised I understood and could speak a little Czech. Surprised I lived in Slovakia. But they were fun to talk to – they left Prague in ’68 and ’69 when things were a bit crazy with the Russians coming and Prague Spring. They were surprised too that I knew that date was significant. We had a nice chat about where we had been and what we had enjoyed on the trip, and what animals we had spotted so far. They were pleasant, and when we pulled out of the site the next morning, he waved and said, “Na Skledano!” which made me laugh, because that is good bye in Slovak, and I was saying “dovidenia” in Czech. please correct my spelling….

This trip I’m having more thoughts than I can possibly record. I’m thinking about how much I love learning, and all I want to learn. And I’m thinking about different things I’d like to do – like spend a summer on a ranch in Colorado, or become a NP ranger, or just come live out in Silverton, working at a coffee shop.

Utah kairns in Utah

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