Greetings from Arches National Park

In 1965, as part of a summer visiting parks, we were at Arches, then only a National Monument, and Canyonlands which had been designated a Park the previous year. We camped and the first full day joined a ranger hike, walking at the rear with another ranger for company. We chatted as we walked when not listening to the lead rangers descriptions. We enjoyed the conversation enough to invite the (summer) ranger for supper. His name was Ed Abbey and he did not have a lot to say and my sense was that he must be doing accounting because he did not seem particularly nature oriented.

He did come for supper the next night and it was a good evening of conversation. Another day we got together and did some crazy things like riding the rushing water through highway culverts. And then he invited us to hike Mt. Tukuhnikivatz. The would-be hikers were all under 30 and that seemed like a great idea. So the next day Ed drove us to the mountain and we hiked up, finally reaching the snow at the top. (It must have been a cooler summer) We then “sledded” down the upper part of the mountain using flat stones that were everywhere.

While at Arches, we explored Canyonlands where we took the picture of our group on what must be one of the smallest natural bridges. We also drove down the Shafer trail, praying there would be another way out, without having to drive back up the narrow trail.

51 years later I have no memory of how we discovered that Ed Abbey when we met him was finishing “Desert Solitaire”, a book of the southwest about to be published, that would endear him to so many. Of course my favorite chapter was of hiking Mt. Tukuhnikivatz.

In August, 2016, I was planning to return to Arches to celebrate the Parks, but my friend broke her hip and we spent the month in LA getting used to a new one. Someday, I shall return.

Sincerely,
Russ

Arches National Park

With more than 2,000 natural stone arches, this landmark park offers more of these distinctive rock formations than anywhere else in the world. Wind and water, extreme temperatures, and a shifting underground salt bed sculpted the red rock over time into the area's spectacular and often delicate shapes. These arches can be large and impressive like the famous Delicate Arch, or just slivers in the sandstone.

State(s): Utah

Established: 1929

“of so many happy visits over the years.”

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  • Greetings from Arches National Park

    This park is so magnificent. We hiked, climbed and took in the incredible beauty. The Delicate Arch was a joy to see up close and enjoy the natural wonder. The parks are a true gift from the US Government to its people! This is a treasure for all to share.💕💕💕

  • Greetings from Arches National Park

    I have spent most of my life living in suburbs of large cities in the eastern part of the U.S. One summer my wife and I ventured west and spent some time in Arches National Park. What impressed me the most was "silence". It was so quiet! "Quiet" is something…

  • Greetings from Arches National Park

    No story -- just to say what is left of our unspoiled national parks and wilderness areas must stay absolutely protected. Should they be spoiled there will be no replacement.

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