Where do I begin? Yes, I snugged up my Haggard™ no tie elastic shoe laces, but you already know that. So, let me start with where I am at, Moab Utah. It is a close friend’s birthday and we wandered the families south for a bit of R&R. Today we visited the Dinosaur Museum north of town, well worth BTW and a future subject for the blog. We had lunch at Pasta Jay’s, again totally worth and a future blog subject. However, my favorite part of the day was a quick walk to Corona Arch, a fitting trek for all ages and most levels of fitness. You may need a rock anchor if you want to hang your Haggard double camping hammock..
Corona arch, also known as Little Rainbow Bridge, is a popular arch for tourist visits as the walk is easy, short, and picturesque. Approximately 1.5 miles from the parking lot and only elevating about 450ft, the arch is sizable and handsome, as my boys would say. The trail is well marked and easily followed, you could probably pack your small Dutch oven and dinner if you really wanted to. Our crew included a four-year-old younker and a ten-week-old spaniel, neither of which had an ill word. As an added bonus nestled in the slick rock setting and just adjacent to Corona is Bowtie Arch.
Red, gray, and sandy brown cliffs rise from the valley floor adding depth to an already vibrant view as the landscape contrasts against an electric blue sky. The view is representative of the area I describe in “Saving Time.”, it is Trent and Sarah’s playground. Encroaching on the clifftops, giant billowy masses of cotton white clouds roll in, their black bottoms threatening and menacing with faint signs of rare and welcome moisture. There are no puddles to use your straw filter at this time of year, pack your water in. Tufts of cactus and cheat grass speckle the trail on either side like guide rails funneling us forward. The adventure not at all unlike what one might imagine in a nature-themed amusement park. My son’s voice echoes off tall walls and canvas the canyon, he and his friend with endless energy and no thought for reserves run forward of the group. It is an outing worthy of the drive.
Once at the arch, the cameras begin clicking. Just a bit beyond you can hike up to the top of the arch. This is where adventurers used to tie off and swing on ropes. There were a couple of accidents once upon a time, and thus “the man” has put an end to any such adventuring. Myself, being not so fond of heights or swings was never in danger of being charged with any such crime. I do understand the attraction and had I brought a couple hundred feet of rope, would have been tempted to hang a hammock.
A drop of rain, a slap of thunder off the cliff face that reverberates across the ground and slithers up my leg, wrapping me in its grip like a constrictor, and we are heading back down the trail. Cool air this fall is a welcome friend, mid-summer the temperature leaves little to rejoice about. A small break in the clouds lets the cat out of the bag, there will be no rain. The hefty moisture soaked clouds move on giggling at us, we have been trolled hard, but the fiction was pleasant.
If you find yourself in southern Utah anywhere near Moab, take the time and make a small excursion to this well known and loved arch, it will leave you wanting more, and there are plenty in the area. As you drive along the highway approaching the trailhead, keep an eye on the cliff face for climbers, their cars and support crews dotting the side of the road. It is a grand site from every angle and a great opportunity to stretch your legs. Back in town, grab a bite, a beverage and talk to some fellow travelers. Small adventures like this are an opportunity to bond with family, share with friends, and strengthen our faith in humanity, all it takes is a smile, a “g’day”, and a willingness to chat.