Hiking Boots Are For Sissies
Though we got a bit of a late start (by desert standards) and didn't get to the trailhead until 7:30 AM, we decided to tackle the most famous and popular hike in Arches National Park, Delicate Arch; when we arrived, the parking lot was already half full and there were a fair amount of people walking into the red rock desert . . . we were well-prepared for the heat and the slickrock, with our sun hats and hiking boots and plenty of water-- the hike is over three miles, with a strenuous steep ascent without much shade, but apparently-- if you're really tough and Asian and came by tour bus-- then you make the hike much more difficult by wearing completely inappropriate clothing and footwear; we saw Asian folks wearing heavy jackets, jeans, flip-flops, dress shoes, wedge heels, carrying umbrellas in one hand and cameras in the other . . . and despite these encumbrances, they moved along at a decent clip; in order to embrace this challenge and do America proud, I am going to do my next Arches hike in sandals, long underwear, sweatpants, and a sweat-shirt, while carrying a laptop computer and a lit sparkler . . . and I did harness my inner-Asian when I descended low on the slickrock bowl below the Arch to take a picture of my family-- my wife said I was making people nervous because I was close to the rim and not looking at my footing and she reminded me that many people fall while snapping pictures, a fact I did not know . . . anyway, despite the late start and the biting gnats that only swarmed Catherine (a very rare occurrence, according to the ranger) and the line of people waiting to get a picture inside the Arch, it was still beautiful at the top (and quite cool, I guess because of the shade, the desert, breeze, and the altitude) and it was a fast walk down (with an excellent side trail to see some petroglyphs) and then we stopped for lunch at The Moab Brewery, which now serves full strength beer . . . the last time Cat and I were there-- twenty years ago-- they only served 3.2 beer, so that's a major improvement, but we still heard the waiter give a long, apologetic explanation to the table next to us about why they couldn't order a flight of beer . . . in Utah, you can't order more than two drinks at a time-- even if they're just shot glasses of beer-- and the two drinks can't both be liquor drinks, so you can order a shot and a beer, but not two margaritas (according to this waiter, who sounded like he'd done this spiel a million times before) but he told them once they chugged their two shot glasses of beer, they could order two more . . . and then drive 80 mph to the next bar . . . and if you need more visuals to understand all this gibberish, head over to Captions of Cat.