Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Adventure in Moab, Utah

One of my ladies groups had gone two years ago on this trip to Arches National Park and I wasn't going to miss it this time. It contains the largest concentration of natural stone arches in the world- more than 2500. These sandstone features are also visible other places in the southwest.  We left early Saturday morning drove 5 1/2 hours to meet up at 1 pm to eat our lunch. At the end of my post there is a link to see us in action in a movie. Kelly had one of those nifty cameras she put ontop of her helmet.

Our fearless leader, Jonna, was the organizer and did all the planning for our group of 20. She booked the guide for our rappelling on Sunday, dinner reservations for saturday night, put together a hike for Saturday when we all met up at the visitor center in Moab. She also found us some lovely cabins in town where we slept in bunk and queen beds.

Here is the famous Delicate arch. The photo above some of us were standing underneath the arch. It is larger than you think.

The views were beautiful surrounding the canyons and the mountains in the distance with snow still on them.

Here is a view as we drove through the park to get to the Delicate arch trailhead.

Later we drove to the Windows section to hike out to see North and South window arch and pictured above is the turret arch.  This was my third time to the park. The first time we did some biking  which is also popular here.

This was the company that took us rappelling. I would recommend them. Our guide, Herb , was very patient with everyone as most had never done this.

On Sunday we met for breakfast and headed to the office to begin our rappelling instruction.  We were all given harness belts, gloves, and a helmet before we set off to the trailhead. We actually went outside the park and left our cars at our ending point (Negro Bill Trailhead) and jumped into our guides van to start the hike.  We took two large ropes with us for the rappelling. The group before leaves one rope and we use that and added ours to it so you were always on a double belay. Except when we did the arch but that comes later... This is a picture of midevil chamber, our first rappelling exercise. We hiked to the edge and each person rappelled down to the slot canyon below. This was scary for me since it was my first time. The second time on the arch was less scary since I knew what to expect.We rappelled 100 feet down that descended into a steep dark shaft and ended on a cool floor of the chamber.
In a short while we came to the top of the Morning Glory Bridge.  You can see the people top left who are getting ready to rappel down the side of the cliff.

We had two choices at this point. We could rappel down the side of the cliff or simul-rappel with another person. In this pic above you can see one person coming down on the right side of the arch with a red helmet on.

All but four of us opted for the Double rappel. The guide tied two ropes together and knotted in the middle of the bridge. I didnt look down when we walked out to the arch. I was pretty narrow only three or four feet wide at the top. We each eased down on either side keeping our weight at the same height as we rappelled down.There were many onlooker watching when we got to the bottom. It was alot of fun! The Arch or bridge span is 243 feet long one of the longest in the world.

We had a two mile hike back to our cars. We followed a river that runs all year. It begins out of a crack underneath the bridge. It was a nice trail with trees and shrubery.

A natural bridge differs from an arch since it spans a watercourse and was chiseled by water. There used to be a waterfall behind the bridge when there was more rain. Now only flows during a thunderstorm. A natural spring gushes through a crack below the left leg of the arch.

Heading back to our cars on the slickrock trail.

Here is a link to a movie Going down the arch together of our group.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Art Journaling at the Ladies Retreat

We were given a nice large room to use for an art area at our retreat.  One afternoon Kim and I taught some art journaling techniques.

People stopped by to see what we were up to and tried some art.

We had lots of magazines to cut out visuals .

Many different color paints were available.

Some people used scripture as inspiration.

Kim and Jen hung out and made art together.