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Deer at dawn in my campsite, Arches national park, UT
6th May 2008
Arches national park - 2nd day

My morning hike was a good 7 miles in hot weather, over sand and dunes, flat rock, gullies, over the top of the thin fins I mentioned, through arches, down crags.  Very challenging, and hard on my feet as my shoes were full of sand for most of the time. This was around the Devil's Garden.
I took a well-earned lunch break, making more DIY sandwiches for about $2 total, and then took the famous Fiery Furnace tour.  This is a ranger-led hike around a reserved area not open to the public.  This was a very challenging hike, involving walking sideways between two vertical cliff faces for example.  I had no trouble but the fatties and the oldies made the progress quite slow.  I had laughed silently when I purchased the ticket for the tour, as I was asked whether I could lift my knees to waist-high. Evidently these fatties had lied.

Several times now I have felt like something from one of my childhood books.  I can't remember the name, just the image of some scared travellers walking the narrow path along the side of the valley, with the forboding mountains looming over them and the sheer drop to their side.  It's a very cool feeling.  I felt like that today again, after first feeling it on the way to Delicate Arch.

On the way to a campsite I had a lucky break and stumbled apon a hostel.  It's just $9 a night, and features four walls, a roof, and - ahhhh - hot showers.   I can't believe how expensive a campsite is - $25 for a space on the floor.

I ate my first hot meal since Saturday (I'd been eating home-made sandwiches for lunch and dinner, and the occaisional cold tin of beans), which was very welcome.  This is another cool hostel, filled with mountain bikers and rock climbers, and (despite not being so sporty) I felt very at home.   Rather than the cold soup and early night in a tent that I had anticipated, I spent the evening doing tequilla shots in the hot tub with some travellers (yes, $9 a night, with a hot tub).

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Diary Photos

Deer at dawn in my campsite, Arches national park, UT

Skyline Arch, Arches national park, UT

Devil`s Garden, Arches national park, UT

Double-O Arch, Arches national park, UT

Skull Arch, Fiery Furnace, Arches national park, UT

Poison ivy, Arches national park, UT

Chemical erosion, Arches national park, UT

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