Monday, October 10, 2016

Arches, Anniversaries, and Accident


P1050541                                                                       Tower Arch

Being parked near the back door to Arches National Park, Mark and Bobbie wanted to take us to see a couple of arches we had not been to before. They called it their secret trail, and talked about how they’ve never seen anyone else out there. Of course they haven’t been there on a Saturday of a holiday weekend, either. To get to the trailhead, Mark drove their Subaru down a Jeep road off Klondike Bluffs Rd that we wouldn’t have driven ours on, but made it just fine. There really isn’t a trail from where we started, but we just had to walk over slickrock mounds working our way towards the fins.






As we neared Tower arch we heard voices behind us and stopped to let them go by. Turns out it was a group of 18 senior citizens like us, and they proceeded to sit down under the arch and eat their lunch. Not good for those of us who were trying for photos without people in them, but as Jim said they do give it perspective for how huge the arch really is.


So we detoured over to nearby Anniversary arch to try and wait them out. It was hard to get a good photo of it.


So I got underneath. A fitting place to visit on the day before our 34th wedding anniversary. Also October 6th was our 8th anniversary of being fulltime RVers. Time really does fly when you’re having fun.


The lunch eaters were still under Tower arch, so we just walked around them and took our photos. Then a group of about 10 teenage boys showed up. Not such a secret hike.


Everyone finally left when we were a good distance away.


The rest of the hike took us through sand dunes, mini slot canyons, more interesting rock formations, and no other people.









It was a good day. Mark and Bobbie must have still been recovering from his son Caleb’s wedding since we only hiked four miles. We joke that Bobbie won’t even put her hiking shoes on if she isn’t going to walk at least 6 miles.


Yesterday, on our anniversary, we rode our bikes a mile and a half down the road to the Klondike bike trails. We took one of the easier trails out, since we haven’t ridden single track in awhile, and we were having a great time for a few miles until Jim got tangled up in some big rocks and went down. His neck was very painful from the fall, but luckily he didn’t hit his head, and just had some scrapes on one leg. We told Mark and Bobbie to go on, and Jim was able to ride his bike back home. His neck pain was getting worse so I thought he needed to go to the ER to be sure nothing was broken. We picked the perfect time, as nobody else was there, he got seen within a couple minutes, and was then taken back for a CT scan. Fortunately there were no fractures, but they did find that he had a sinus infection, still lingering following his recent cold.

Although we usually go out to eat on our anniversary, this year we had just planned to have a quiet dinner at home. As we were about to leave the hospital Mark and Bobbie showed up, and kindly invited us out to eat if Jim felt up to it. Since we hadn’t eaten lunch and it was after 3:30, we took them up on the offer. The Valium they gave Jim at the ER made him feel a whole lot better. And it helped him sleep last night, in spite of a very stiff neck, bruised butt, and scraped up leg. It could have been a lot worse, so it didn’t turn out to be such a bad day after all. I think Jim is seriously considering giving up on mountain biking, since he seems to have to fall about once a year.

This morning Jim’s neck was feeling somewhat better, but he was told to take it easy for a few days, so I joined Mark and Bobbie for a hike on the Klondike trails to check out the dinosaur tracks.

Walking where the dinosaurs once roamed.


Although I’m skeptical, Bobbie assured me these were dinosaur footprints. I should have put my foot next to them for perspective.



It was a lovely morning for a 7 plus mile hike, and we only saw three people on bikes when we were almost back to the car.




If Jim is feeling up to it, tomorrow we’re heading towards Virgin.


  1. It killed my soul when I gave up my bike to my son last April. But the last fall I had was enough to convince me that I was better off staying on foot. I have since then become even more convinced that I made the right choice at that time. Age does have to be accommodated.

  2. Bummer Jim! Happy Anniversary though! Love the red rock pics.

  3. So sorry to hear about Jim's fall. My Jim and I have cut back on the kind of trails we're willing to ride. No one is getting younger, and it just takes so long to recover. Hope the neck is better very soon.
    Allison (on Jim's laptop)

  4. Not a good way to celebrate your anniversary but glad he is feeling better. You got some awesome pics on this hike. Can you imagine how many people would have been sprinkled through the pictures had it been a well known location?!!

  5. We did your first hike also. We loved it. It does have such a variety of scenery.
    So glad Jim is doing fine. I am sure that was a bit scary.
    Happy Anniversary! and safe travels.

  6. Happy Anniversary, Jim and Gayle!! What a perfect hike:) Mark and Bobbie's route may be secret, but these arches certainly aren't. Tower Arch is less visited because of how far out it is but there is usually someone there. We arrived fairly early for our last visit and had the arch to ourselves. After crawling up the fins to venture further, we returned to find the arch floor crowded with people having lunch. Glad we got our photos early. This is the first time I've heard the name of the other arch. I agree that it is hard to photograph. You got a great shot:) This is an awesome area. What a fun time for the four of you:) Sorry to hear about Jim's bike accident but good he wasn't injured too badly. Yes, might be time to keep the feet on the ground:) Thanks for sharing one of my all time favorite areas of the country:)

  7. Happy anniversaries! I hope Jim takes it easy for a few days.

    We rode at Klondike and took a short walk up the dinosaur trail but never saw those prints. Yes, those are dino tracks...I know because they look like others I've seen elsewhere in UT!

  8. Gosh, what great lengths Jim goes to just to refill a Valium prescription :)
    Box Canyon

  9. What a beautiful hike in the red rocks! Love the keyhole slot and of course the stunning arches. Happy double anniversary. Always good to make the ER trip when the neck is involved. Glad it wasn't serious and that Jim is fine. Wonderful to walk where dinosaurs once did :-)))

  10. I was holding my breath after reading the title and admit to skimming for the word accident. So glad it wasn't more serious. Neck injuries are nagging at least they have been for me. Hope not fir Jim. Went back to read and enjoy your fabulous pictures. Arches are just among the most marvelous of nature's wonders. Thanks so much for the beauty. Happy anniversary!

  11. This red rock post brings back fond memories of our hikes back in Nov. 2014. Always fun to get out and hike with the gang. Happy Anniversary! Jim can still enjoy the bike, just stay off the black diamond trails.

  12. Happy Anniversaries! Such a beautiful place to celebrate. Not sure that there are any "secret" places left near Moab, but at least you didn't encounter the Disneyland-like mobs that the popular hikes within Arches now attract. Hope Jim is feeling better. Those red rocks make for a rough landing. :-(

  13. Happy anniversary on both counts! Glad to hear that Jim's neck is feeling better. Can we partner up with the two of you for a Utah adventure? You seem to know all the good places to hike.

    1. We would love to show you around southern Utah. And it doesn't even require an airline flight!

  14. Well, happy anniversary! Are you sure you don't want to trade Jim in on a less accident prone model?

  15. We must be telling too many people about these "secret" places but you did find some solitude. Bummer about Jim. Hope he's feeling better. Happy belated Anniversary.

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  17. Cheers to your 34th anniversary and 8 years of full timing. When we hiked to tower arch early morning there were only two other people, we enjoyed that hike too!
    Bummer on that little accident and glad Jim is doing fine.

  18. Cheers to your 34th anniversary and 8 years of full timing. When we hiked to tower arch early morning there were only two other people, we enjoyed that hike too!
    Bummer on that little accident and glad Jim is doing fine.