The alarm started ringing. I switched it off ‘temporarily’. It rang again after 5 minutes. I hate these snooze alarms. Well, to be honest, I don’t hate them that much – they give me enough buffer time to get out of the bed, also ensuring that I don’t sleep till evening. I looked at my watch. Oh no, its 4.30 in the morning!
Most of the Saturdays, I sleep at this time. Whats wrong with me, why am I getting up so early? Oh, I remember now! I am supposed to go to Arches National Park today. Pramod gave me a call to make sure that I had not tricked the alarm to sleep for some more time. By 5.30, I was ready and Pramod picked me up from the apartment.
We crossed the State Street and headed south on I15. It was still pretty dark and I was confused if I was feeling proud or stupid about myself for getting up so early. I took out the camera from my bag and started experimenting with it. All I could see was desert, mountains, and of course, cars. By 10.00, we were in Arches National Park.
We visited the information center, where they played a movie on Arches. They explained about salt beds, flood residues, earth layers – most of which went right over my head. Yes, even now, I don’t understand geology. I am as pathetic as I was in class tenth. All I could understand were simple things like rock, water and erosion.
We took the map and headed towards Arches. Near each viewpoint, there was a board explaining about the viewpoint. One of them was very funny. It said something like this.
There are mountain lions in some places here. So, don’t jog alone and walk in groups.
If you find a lion,
1) Don’t panic and don’t run (What are we supposed to do? Smile and ask the lion, “Here or to go?”)
2) If you have children with you, pick them up (Tell the lion, “Why eat children, eat me. A ‘foot-long’ sandwich is better than a ‘six-incher’!”)
3) Stand tall (How am I supposed to? I need to get at least half-foot high-heeled shoes :))
4) If the lion attacks, fight back. (Yeah, protect yourself, but don’t hurt the lion too much!)
The place was very good. It was full of arches, fins, faults – as if every rock is telling a story as to what Colorado, wind and that amazing artist called ‘time’ have done to them.
We reached the Double O Arch and climbed till the arch. (The arch was not too high – a very important information, in case my parents read this :)) Trekking is so different compared to life – so easy to go up, but so hard to come down. Young kids were climbing up and down faster than me. May be they don’t have vertigo! Or may be their parents never said ‘Putta, hushaaru!’ to them anytime. Finally, with sheer determination and some help from Pramod, I came down.
After that, we saw Balanced Rock (I renamed it as ‘Geological Middle Finger’, as per the ‘Name the rock as you see it’ theory), North-South Window, Fiery Furnace and Delicate Arch. And like any other desis, we took some ‘Patel-shots’ as well.
After a tiring day, we had vegetable omlettes on the way (yes, you read it right, vegetables in egg omlette is called vegetable omlette!) and reached Salt Lake City.