It was a beautiful and sunny late afternoon. My friends Hayley, Sarah, and I were about to leave Moab. We had talked about just doing one hike before we left. I hadn't been back to Moab since 2002 so hiking sounded fabulous! I didn't know when I would be back so I wanted to sieze the opportunity! We decided to do the Delicate Arch hike. It's not too hard or too long and the end result is magnificent!
(Photos courtesy the lovely Sarah Knight)
So we began our hike. Gorgeous and Sunny right?
3 photographers plus one hike equals stopping every 5 seconds to take a picture of something. Sarah joked that this picture that she took made it look like a Lands End advertisement and that you should "Buy these sunglasses, and you will be cool." haha
We hiked alongside this darling older man who would stop and take a picture of whatever we were taking a picture of and say "Oooh! Nigh shot!"
The clouds started to roll in a little bit. We suspected rain. Maybe just a drizzle or a slight pour but nothing too horrible cause it was nice and warm out and we would be fine...so we suspected.
I joked with Hayley that "Survivorman" Les Stroud always says "If it looks like rain, it'll most likely rain so take cover."
The most amazing part about hiking to delicate arch is that you have no idea when you have made it. You can't see it in the distance. All the sudden you round a corner and like angel's singing it appears. It is so amazing.
Right when we got to the Arch, the clouds swiftly came in, and it got very very very windy.
Here's one of Sarah, her hair was blowing uncontrollably.
See the clouds? Dark and ominous is right. We were only able to capture maybe 2 or 3 frames a piece of the arch because we had to take cover. Here's one of Hayley taking a couple shots.
Out of nowhere the wind went wild. It was probably 60mph. It was blowing people over. I was so afraid of getting blown off a cliff. The wind was blowing so hard that it was picking up rocks and chucking them. I was so glad no one got hit in the head with one. This poor woman on the right had to be helped to this little makeshift wind blocker area where we huddled. I say she is a poor woman because one of her camera lenses got hurled off a cliff by the wind. Here I am trying to put my camera away as fast as possible.
At about this point, it started to DOWNPOUR. It was like God was dumping a bucket out of the sky. All the hikers were shielding their eyes from sand, wind, and debris and hugging the rocks to make it down. I looked ahead of me and saw a woman trying to help her two small children down. I ran to her as fast as I could and yelled over the hurricane like winds, "I'm a mother! Let me help you!" She gave me the hand of her sweet little daughter and I helped her down. It was so awful and scary. The rain was so swift and fast, and in such great amounts it was creating waterfalls off of the huge red rocks in the national park.
We made it down and thank the heavens above we were safe, everyone we saw was safe, our camera gear was safe, and we had dry clothes to change into in the car. This is what we looked like when we got to the bottom.
We look like drowned rats but we're glad to be alive!
I love you Sarah and Hayley!