Saturday, February 2, 2013

Look up

Moab Heidi is friendly.

And ditzy, but Utah County Heidi is too, so that's nothing special.

So, this a.m., I'm schlepping through Negro Bill Canyon, on the lookout for Morning Glory Arch, the sixth longest arch in the world. (Size matters.) That should make it incredibly easy to find, right?

Anyway, I come to this pool that's totally iced over and am checking it out when I realize I'm at the end of the trail. It's a huge alcove. No arch in sight. I start reviewing it in my mind, wondering where I'd taken the wrong turn. I sit there for a minute, then turn around. I want arches. I'm finding this rocky erection. A little distance away, I turn back to scrutinize it. The alcove looks like an arch, just attached to the rock behind it. I debate trying again, but decide to keep going back to find the fork in the road that I'd missed.

A third of mile back, I meet up with a group I'd passed on my way in. On a whim, I ask if they've ever hiked this before. None have. I confess that I hit an archless dead end and am wondering if I'm on the right trail. They look it up on GPS; the answer is yes. I must have walked right under it, they joked.

So back along the trail we all go. They all introduce themselves, ask where I'm from, don't need the explanation of where Provo is because they're from this area, tease the only other person my age because he keeps commanding his dog to speak and she keeps not speaking.

And then we get to the archless dead end. Guess who was in fact standing right under the sixth largest arch in the world and missed it because she didn't look up? They all agree it's hard to see -- but there's also a lot of teasing about my arch that wasn't that actually was.

Then we all ate lunch together. The conversation is peppered with, "Tell Heidi about the time that we ...," "Heidi, ask Lisa about when she ..." and "Heidi, you should try this hike." I felt almost as popular as the time my nephews argued over who got to sit next to me at lunch.

Do you know one of the primary reasons I want to get married? It's so I have a built-in hiking partner -- someone who can go on the scary hikes and make sure that I never get lost alone.

I hiked about 11 miles today, including a gruelingly worth it 1.5-mile stretch in which I climbed 980 feet. But now I know where the Colorado River goes after I drive over it coming into Moab. From the overlook I could not only see Arches, I could actually see an arch. I don't think I'm going to make it to Arches this weekend, which is OK because I've already been there and I'm sure I'll go again, but sad because I really like Arches.

Anyway, Moab Heidi is also pretty tired. She did some butt slidin' coming out of Negro Bill Canyon and in the process slightly cut myself open and drew blood, which she didn't notice until much later. She didn't sleep well last night -- likely a mixture of caffeine, unfamiliar surroundings, loud people at the bar across the street and excitement. She doesn't anticipate that being a problem tonight.

980 feet higher than I had been 45 minutes earlier.


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