Day 2, March 2nd, 15 miles?
It was very chilly last night. My body was warm enough but my stupid toes were cold. I think I’ll buy an extra pair of warm socks in Moab. I thought the down booties would do the trick but it ain’t so.
It had indeed gotten below freezing, Prana had left a nearly empty water bladder out and it has ice in it.
We reluctantly leave our pretty camp spot and are soon rewarded with more great scenery. We go up and over a ridge, pass the Marching Men, and make our way cross country to Black Angel, a rock monolith. Along the way we cross the ‘official’ Hayduke route for a few seconds. We think about taking a picture just for the fun of it (it’s a dirt road) but the cold wind makes us wanting to move quickly to keep warm. That wind is something else alright. I should have taken Greenleaf’s advice and taken my water proof over mitts, they would have kept the wind from penetrating my nice alpaca gloves and kept my hands warm.
A word about the Hayduke trail. It’s basically a route described in a guidebook. Sometimes it follows a trail, sometimes a dirt road and sometimes it’s cross country. Over the last few years people have come up with alternate routes which are oftentimes more scenic or more convenient. Yesterday’s route starting at the airport was an alternate thought up by Buck30 and Skittles and super convenient. Tower arch was on an alternate as well and today we’re doing an alternate basically doing a half circle through Arches NP instead of following a dirt road in valley.
The latter is the road we cross when heading for Black Angel. We pick our way up a gully and some rock bands and arrive at the big rock pillar. We’re loving it!
We then pick up a trail and head for Double O Arch. We’re now in a busy tourist area and start seeing many hikers. The arches are so cool and walking on the so called fins is a lot of fun. We see five more arches on this section before we end up at the Devils garden parking lot. A short road walk gets us to the Skyline arch trail where we walk another loop to Tapestry, Broken and Sand dune arches.
It has warmed up considerably and I’m now in my summer dress with just a thin long sleeve shirt over it. Much nicer.
After our grand tour we’re heading back across the Salt Valley via a dirt road and cross country following a pipeline. We walk to the park border, crawl under a fence and find a spot to camp under an awesome juniper. The duff is so much warmer than the sand around us. Prana and Haiku are on one side of the tree and I’m on the other. It’s pretty cozy. Let’s hope my feet stay warm tonight.