Moab: Day 2
I don’t think there’s anything quite as satisfying as waking up in a tent to the early morning wilderness. Don’t get me wrong – marshmallows, a decent burger and cider after a long hike, and petting fluffy things are all close runners up; but there’s something more to witnessing and existing in the dawn’s ambiance. Sometimes I think that if I’m still enough, I might actually be able to hear the earth breathe, to see the ripple of its pulse move through everything around me.
I think that’s why I dig solo hiking so much: my brain finally stops rambling and I can just…be.
Our primary purpose for going to Moab was for boys to ride bikes. That’s how it started anyway. But I ended up solo hiking Devil’s Garden in Arches National Park; and when I say solo, I mean alone. Mine was one of three cars in the parking lot, and beyond beginning the trail with a couple of other hikers, I didn’t see another person for over an hour.
The presence and energy of that place is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I was overwhelmed by the connection and clarity I felt in that first hour; even now I feel more grounded than I’ve felt in years. Two words: Mind. Blown.
When hiking solo, I also really enjoy making trail friends, even if I only walk or talk with them for a few minutes. Toward the end of the morning, I met a couple from FoCo who ended up being our camp neighbors (and consequently our drinking buddies). By the time I had finished hiking, Mountain Man was ready to meet me to go jeeping and meet the other gents for beers. Solid day for sure.
(I do have one question though: whether Garden of the Gods or Devil’s Garden, why do deities grow rocks?)
Trail Description: Devil’s Garden trail was fantastic and I would go again in an instant. The first mile is an easy gravel highway, but the remaining trail leads up large rock bridges, over formations, and through the landscape marked with cairns. I believe the trail provides access to seven different arches, so its a good arch-to-time-spent-hiking ratio. Honestly I loved the place in its entirety; the spaces and formations around the arches beckoned every bit as much as the arches themselves. Tips: try to be on trail before 8AM. The TH is about 20-30 mins from the entrance of the park. Bring water.