Linda was up bouncing around much earlier than usual. She was out the door and headed to town before 9:00 to do laundry and to pick up a couple items to make our stay in the cabin more comfortable.
I worked on financial stuff while she was gone.
She returned a little before noon. We had a quick lunch and then picked up Robbie & Alice for our planned afternoon hike to Tower Arch.
Robbie has been to Arches several times and the Tower Arch Trail is the only one he had not yet done. It's the trail we like when we want to get away from it all since it is one of the least used trails.
The trailhead is nine miles of good (most of the time), unpaved road from the main park road. The road is shown on the park brochure, but there is no sign on the main road pointing the way. Once at the trailhead, it is a 1.7 mile hike in to the arch.
From the trailhead, it is a steep climb right at the beginning providing nice views across the valley where we drove in.
Then it is over a ridge into another valley where we were surrounded by red rocks.
We hiked down to the valley floor and then started up the other side on sand dunes.
As we climbed higher, the La Sals peeked through the spires.
We continued on through the sand into a small canyon.
The highest rock on the right in the above photo is the "tower" that gives Tower Arch its name.
However, before we got that far, another arch came into view to our right.
Alice spotted it as I had forgotten about that one. :)
Soon we arrived at Tower Arch.
Here are a couple shots from underneath.
The gals found a place under the arch to sit in the sun ....
while Robbie and I scrambled up on the rocks behind the arch for more photos.
We hung out there in this peaceful spot for about an hour. Then we made the journey back. More red rocks. :)
Following the cairns (stacks of rocks used as trail markers) back down to the parking area.
It was the perfect hike for today. :)
Back at the campground, we made a round to see which campsites we would have available for tomorrow - our first official day on the job.
We radioed in the numbers to the entrance station so they would know how many sites to give out tomorrow. Actually, it was all of them since none of our current campers are staying past tomorrow and we don't have any reservable sites reserved until late next week. :)
Though Arches had record attendance in 2008 and we are seeing more people in the park than we did this time last year, the campground is off to a slow start. But we're not complaining. :)
The campground fees have been raised to $20 per night from the $15 last year. That makes things easier for us since we won't have to make as much change, but we'll have to see if it has any effect on campground occupancy - I doubt it will. :)
After dinner, Robbie & Alice joined us for a couple hours around the campfire. Fortunately, there was some firewood left behind the cabin for our personal use. We will scavenge left over wood from the campsites each day to keep us supplied.
It was a calm evening and we had a great fire with the smoke going straight up. We made plans to meet at 7:00 in the morning to do our first official round.
Robbie & Alice have the first shift, but we will stick around the campground to do training and make sure they get any questions answered.
We called it a night.
Linda & I were relaxing with the outside lights off. We should have put out our "off duty" signs because we got two knocks on the door after 10:00 p.m.
The first guy had his $5 for firewood and I took care of him. The second guy said he put $5 in the campground fee box and said I could check it. Sorry buddy, we don't have access to the metal fee box and you have to pay me directly for firewood. He quickly realized he just made a $5 donation to the park. :)
Here we go! :)