Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Trail, part two. Like a giant head stone this fin marks the entrance to the Devil's Garden in Arches National Park. The name Devil's Garden seems contradictory to me, with "devil" implying a hot and arid environment and "garden" implying some sanctuary of green in an area otherwise covered in tumbleweed. I can't speak for the heat, as I always come here just at the tail end of winter when snow still falls, but the plant life really is unlike what you'll see anywhere else in the park. Junipers and Pinyon Pines are in relative abundance here enjoying the way that water lingers in the convoluted washes that form between the fins.

Parts of these washes can remain flooded for days after a heavy rain or even on a sunny day in my case when snow begins to melt rapidly. This renders some portions of trails impassable due to flooding, leaving you a choice to double back and try to find another route around a wide and deep puddle or accept a cold and squishy hike of the remaining miles after wading through. I was faced with this choice on one occasion and I chose to climb around the puddle. This course of action was complicated by conditions that I will detail in subsequent posts.

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