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Posts Tagged ‘Arches National Park’

It’s a Matter of Balance

“A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and woried to death by a fown on the right man’s brow.” — Ovid

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Balancing Rock in Utah’ Arches National Park. You can see it in the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. — Photo by Pat Bean

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“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir

Balanced Rock, Arches National Park, Utah 

Mother Nature's arrangement of rocks was used in the opening scenes of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." -- Photo by Pat Bean

Bean’s Pat: Ummm, really? http://tinyurl.com/6t3vgps Start your day with a song.

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Balanced Rock in Arches National Park in Southern Utah was shown in the opening scene of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." -- Photo by Pat Bean

 

My Favorite Places

The Three Gossips at Arches National Park

 

“What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.” – Logan Pearsall Smith

NaNoWriMo Update – 10,313 words

It feels odd to be writing by the seat of my pants, so to speak. While I have a vague, and I do mean vague, plot line in my head, there is no outline. I’m just writing from one scene to the next, filling in all the blanks about the characters’ lives as I go.

I find I’m taking a piece here and a piece there of myself and people I know to bring the imaginary people I’m writing about to life. One of my minor characters, the wife of a more major character, is a university professor at Rice. I was pondering on what to have her teach and came up with English literature, and then thought of the professor at Weber State University who taught a class on Sherlock Holmes, and suddenly that was what she was teaching.

Another example is that I belonged to an informal group of friends in Utah, all uppity old broads like myself. One of the member’s son’s called us the Murder of Crows, and we were so pleased with the name that we adopted it. So suddenly I find that three old broads in the book called themselves The Murder of Crows. A murder, by the way, is what a flock of crows are called.

Perhaps all of this will change when I get past the month and 50,000 words and start rewriting, but pulling these bits from memory is certainly helping the work flow. Just about 2,000 more words today. Whew….

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Delicate Arch at sunset. -- Photo courtesy Wikipedia

 “It is foolish to postpone enjoyment of your ordinary life until you are more successful, more secure, or more loved than you are today.” Timothy Ray Miller.

Balanced Rock can be seen in the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Red Rock Wonders  

I’ve taken the short hike around Balanced Rock in Arches National Park every time I’ve visited this fantastic land carved by Mother Nature. The red-rock formation of a 55-foot tall egg-shaped object sitting off-balance on a 100-foot tall pedestal intrigues me.

I guess it also intrigued Steven Speilberg because he used it in his opening scenes of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” which is my favorite of the four tall Jones’ tales.

When I lived in Utah, Arches was only a four-hour drive away from my home. Often, on early Saturday mornings, I would throw an overnight bag together, and just take off down the road. And it wasn’t unusual for that road to end at Arches.

Almost always, the first order of my visit would be to take the short loop around Balanced Rock before choosing another trail or two to hike.

Delicate Arch was occasionally one of these. It’s a three-mile round-trip hike that starts out on a well-worn trail that dissolves into a mild scramble over slick red rock and ends beneath a formation that looks sort of like a pair of cowboy chaps.

This free-standing arch might actually be the most photographed one in the world. I was fortunate enough to stand beneath it for the first time in the early 1970s, when I had the trail and the view mostly to myself.

Landscape Arch -- Photo courtesy Wikipedia

The arch’s fame, as Utah’s own personal symbol, however, has made it a very popular hiking venue.

Another popular trail in the national park is the one that takes you to Landscape Arch, the longest natural arch in the park. You can’t stand beneath this one as you once could, however. The Park Service only allows you to ogle this arch at a distance because three huge slabs have fallen from it in recent years.

The truth is all three of these formations – Balanced Rock, Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch – will one day be overpowered by gravity, just as New Hampshire’s “Old Man of the Mountain” fell from his high perch on Canon Mountain in 2003. I missed seeing him by three years.

Hopefully Arches National Park’s wonders will still be around for many years – although if seeing them is on your bucket list, sooner might be better than later.

 “You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin

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The Three Gossips at Arches National Park -- Photo by Pat Bean

 “Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye … it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.” — Edvard Munch

 Day 21

At this point in my journey, I had traveled 1,546 miles toward my destination – plus several hundred more miles in side trips. As always seems to happen to me in my dawdling journeys, I was now faced with a deadline. Because of commitments, I needed to be in Ogden, Utah – 260 miles away – today. It left me with too little time to visit Arches National Park.

I did so anyway.

Even if it was to be just a quick run-through, there was no way I was going to miss this spectacular place where wind, water and time have carved out a fantasy landscape. Just from the road, one can see arches, bridges, potholes, hoodoos and precarious balancing rocks. This day, roadside wildflowers added yet another dimension to this red-rock

Roadside flowers added yet another dimension to the wonders of Arches -- Photo by Pat Bean

 architect of nature.

Arches is a place I visited many times when I lived in Utah. It was where I always took visiting friends and relatives, knowing that they couldn’t help but be awed – as once again I was this day. When it comes to fantastic scenery, this braggart Texan is always forced to admit that in this category Utah wins the Oscar, Pulitzer, America’s Cup and all the other awards out there rolled into one.

 My few hours spent this day in Arches stayed etched on my senses all the way to the Wasatch Mountains, which cast their pleasant shadow on my life for the 25 years I lived in Ogden. I was eager to renew my acquaintance with these serene giants; and because my trip would include a 10-day stopover in Ogden, I rejoiced that I would have time to do just that.

 I have a fickle heart when it comes to Mother Nature’s wonders.

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