We got up and were in Arches National Park (our 100th unit of the National Park Service!) before dawn to take pictures of the sunrise, which was obscured by clouds.
On a personal note, I generally never have a problem with other photographers. Whoever gets there first has dibs and you don’t get into another person’s shot. In the morning, you don’t get loud.
This morning was just the opposite. Apparently, Arches was the destination of the large group of Asians we ran into yesterday. It was so very loud and so very… Squirrel! Seriously, it was like being in a pack of ADD golden retrievers.
After it became apparent the sunrise shots were going to be a bust, we headed to the Delicate Arch. We decided to take the trail, a 3-mile strenuous hike. It wasn’t bad until the trail took a 5-foot ledge with a 30-foot drop below. These kind of heights really bother Bonnie, but the view at the end was worth it!
The sun finally came out and I got some great shots with my SLR. I took out my iPhone to grab a panorama… Dead. We have discovered our iPhone batteries do not like the cold. We each got one picture before the battery “died.”
The hike back… Well, it was bad. I (Grant) slipped and landed on my back… Which still hurts, though thankfully no major bruises… Yet. The camera, not so lucky. The preview screen is busted and it does not appear to be auto focusing properly. When I get home, I will double-check to make sure the lens is not damaged.
We continued on to several other sites in the park, using our recharged iPhones to pick up the slack, camera-wise.
We are so glad to make time on this trip to see five NPS sites. I know a lot of folks think it is just about seeing pretty places, but it is so much more than that. In three days, we have seen ancient fossil beds, an internment camp for the Japanese during WWII, where the transcontinental railroad was joined and two diverse desert canyon areas with amazing, unique landscapes.
After Arches, we drove to Pagosa Springs, Colo., where we visited with Bonnie’s uncle, leading to a late night.