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Arches National Park
September 26-30, 2021
by Junette Brock, Robert Plowman

September 26, Sunday, by Junette Brock

Day 1, A long day and journey for many. Getting situated was a race with time and a race with the setting sun!

Just before dark, we received an SOS. Three of our earlier arriving campers miscalculated their location into a neighboring campsite. A well-meaning ranger got involved. Our group quickly mobilized and within minutes, three fully intact tents rolled into their designated campsite.

Thank you all for pulling together and being helpful. This set the stage for the rest of our trip :)

We then enjoyed a relaxing campfire.

The longest drive acknowledgment goes to Chris, who drove in from Maricopa, Arizona.

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Devil’s Garden Campground, Arches National Park. [photo by Lin]
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Our Campground for next few days. [photo by Lin]
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A perfect location for our tents. [photo by Lin]
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A beautiful Sunset. [photo by Lin]

September 27, Monday, by Junette Brock
Delicate Arch

0600 – just before sunrise, newest member, and self-appointed camp security person (“Identify Yourselves” … umm… because I didn’t know anyone besides Kim) who is later officially appointed Trip Reporter, secures night vision monocular and bear spray.

TEN Hut! Ten Huts? No, there were 15 tents. 15 campers, Check. Check.

2 hours to departure – 0800.

Latrine visits for all.

Many camp stoves simultaneously boiling water for caffeinated beverages and such.

Arizona Trailblazers beat the crowd and found ample parking at the Delicate Arch Trailhead. A beautiful hike and many pictures were taken. This hike was about four miles with a side hike for petroglyphs viewing.

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A perfect early morning hike. [photo by Lin]
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Our hikers are on the move. [photo by Lin]
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Delicate Arch. Look who is there. [photo by Lin]
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Group Picture at the Delicate Arch. [photo by Lin]
Michael, Carol, Chris, Lin, Ken, Karen, Terry, Kim, Gail, Junette, Joyce, Barbara, Nicole, Rudy, and Robert

September 27, Monday, by Robert Plowman
Fiery Furnace Trail

After completing the sunrise hike to Delicate Arch, nine Trailblazers set out for the Fiery Furnace Trail. Monday was the warmest day of the trip, with a cloudless sky rising temperature. Fortunately, we were in shade much of the time, with a cool breeze between the rocks.

We entered the Furnace in a counterclockwise direction. We started off with a short exploration of a small side canyon before returning to the main trail, where we met a ranger intern, who was on her second trip through the maze. She advised to watch for the dead end signs and explore beyond them, as there was usually something interesting to see.

We all agreed that trail finding was more difficult than the orientation video had indicated. The directional arrows were small and easy to miss. Following footprints was no help, as many led in the wrong directions. Many times we started down a path, only to backtrack. Without the phone map app, we would have had great difficulty.

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Group Picture at the Fiery Furnace Trailhead. [photo by Lin]
Lin, Nicole, Joyce, Chris, Robert, Terry, Gail
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This is the Fiery Furnace. For next few hours we are going to this maze. [photo by Lin]
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Found our first arch. [photo by Lin]
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What is on the other side of the arch? [photo by Lin]
Joyce
Joyce is post for picture. [photo by Lin]
Chris
Chris is on top of the arch. [photo by Lin]
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One more group picture. [photo by Lin]
Terry
Terry is exploring the gap. [photo by Lin]
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Where is the trail? [photo by Lin]
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“Robert, this way,” say Terry and Chris. [photo by Lin]
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We found the Skull Arch. [photo by Lin]
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Is it beautiful! [photo by Lin]
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So reflective to find water here. [photo by Lin]
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What is the other side of those rocks? [photo by Lin]
Robert
Rock, Arch and Robert. [photo by Lin]
Barbara
Barbara is having such fun! [photo by Lin]
Robert
Be careful, Robert! [photo by Lin]
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“Follow me, everyone,” Gail said. [photo by Lin]
Robert
Robert found the arrow. [photo by Lin]
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Gail is leading the hike. [photo by Lin]
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Follow Joyce. She knows the way out. [photo by Lin]
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Finally we found the Surprise Arch. [photo by Lin]
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The rock is not going to move today. [photo by Lin]

The scenery in the furnace was even more spectacular than the video, and far exceeded our expectations. We were always surrounded by towering red rock columns, separated by sandy washes, narrow slots, boulder tangles, narrow ledges, and one patch of poison ivy. We found several interesting formations, including Skull Arch, Surprise Arch, and more.

After our first chance encounter with the ranger, we bumped into her again two more times. Other than the ranger, we saw only one more couple at a distance. After three hours, we emerged from the maze.

Lin, Gail, Nicole, Joyce, Terry, Chris, Robert, and Barbra participated in this hike.


September 28, Tuesday, by Junette Brock
Devil’s Garden Trail

Day 3. Departure time 0730. Platoon Leader Lin Chao kept us flying straight.

Our schedule was switched around because of rain prediction, so we all hiked the Devil’s Garden Trail together, then broke off to smaller groups according to mileage and “scary” endurance. One group hiked about six miles and the other group, about nine miles. Hiking continued later in the evening as well. People reported having “A Great Day”.

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Devil’s Garden Trail is ½ mile from our campsite. [photo by Lin]
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Devil’s Garden Trailhead. [photo by Lin]
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Group picture. [photo by Lin]
Kim, Chris, Karen, Carol, Terry, Joyce, Ken, Junette, Robert, Gail, Michael, Nicole, Barbara
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A flat, wide trail before getting tougher. [photo by Lin]
Rudy
First arch on Devil’s Garden Trail, the Landscape Arch. [photo by Lin]
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Landscape Arch. [photo by Lin]
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Trailblazers at the Landscape Arch.
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Just follow Carol. [photo by Lin]
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Traffic Jam. [photo by Lin]
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Nicole is marching on. [photo by Lin]
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Karen and Kim enjoy the hike. [photo by Junette]
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Carol is leading this group of people. [photo by Lin]
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Partition Arch. [photo by Lin]
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Chris and Carol at the Partition Arch. [photo by Lin]
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Are you sure this is the right trail? [photo by Lin]
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We are at the Navajo Arch. [photo by Lin]
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Barbara is enjoying her hiking. [photo by Lin]
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Rudy called it “Mexican Grandma”. [photo by Lin]
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Double O Arch. [photo by Lin]
Junette
Junette is enjoying the view. [photo by Lin]
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There are few sections need your arms and legs and pole too. [photo by Lin]
Rudy
Close your eyes, just touch the sandstone. Can you hear it? [photo by Lin]
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Group picture at Navajo Arch. [photo by Lin]
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Double O Arch. [photo by Lin]

More excellent food for dinner followed by a big warm bonfire. S’Mores, anyone?

Huge lightning storm arrives in the middle of our 3rd night, as predicted.

Person in red tent reports seeing red lightning!

Person in a new tent reports tent survived and pretty sure – 34 MPH winds through the little canyon. Good thing tent warrantees for 35 MPH wind, you know, just before collapse. Whew!

Structural integrity of all tents prevailed.

Little lake forms in the middle of Juniper Basin Campsite. Where is the ferry when you need it? One muddy camper was spotted swabbing out her tent with her sweat suit bottoms. Damp clothes and compromised sleep. Everyone is fine. No reported drownings. Relocation of a few tents to higher ground.

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A lake, created in one stormy night at our campsite. [photo by Lin]
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This is Terry’s tent, and he has beachfront property. [photo by Lin]
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Gail has water property at newly created island of our campsite. [photo by Lin]
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All vehicles are safe. [photo by Lin]
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Gail is telling Kim and Junette her midnight survived story. [photo by Lin]

September 29, Wednesday, by Junette Brock
Dead Horse Point State Park

Day 4, Road Trippin’ to Canyonlands National Park and then to Dead Horse Point State Park. We rocked out at more awesome views.

Three stayed behind to blaze more of the Arches trails. No reports of it having rained that day after all. Yay!

Dinner in Moab. Many people were schmoozed for their restaurant/food reviews and the consensus was...2 thumbs up for the chosen restaurant, Dewey’s Restaurant and Bar. The shrimp salad was loaded with Big shrimp, the steaks were quickly scarfed down/polished off, and the trout was a generous portion and looked like salmon. The local ale beer was smooth.

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Group photo. [photo by Lin]
Lin, Carol, Michael, Junette, Karen, Robert, Terry, Nicole, Rudy, Chris, Kim
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Water, blue sky, and clouds. [photo by Lin]
Robert
Robert is enjoying the view. [photo by Lin]
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Chris and Terry at the Canyonlands. [photo by Lin]
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Here is Robert and a Ranger. [photo by Lin]
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What a grand view of the Canyonlands! [photo by Lin]
Karen
Karen is smiling at Grandview. [photo by Lin]
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Grand view of the Canyonlands! [photo by Lin]
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Is it beautiful? [photo by Lin]
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A high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle is required for the White Rim Road,
there are more than 100 miles! [photo by Lin]
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A beautiful view. [photo by Lin]
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Such a beautiful park! [photo by Lin]
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A storm is moving in. [photo by Lin]
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Dead Horse Point State Park. [photo by Lin]
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A perfect moment for a cute couple. [photo by Lin]

Day 5, people slept in if they wanted to and/or had a good breakfast, then packed up for their journey home. New friends were made. Good times had by all.

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updated October 26, 2021