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Devil's Garden - Arches

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  Introduction
  Arches National Park
      The Great Alcohol Search
      Camp
      Devils Garden - Arches
      Devils Garden - Hiking
  Grand Canyon
      Preparation
      Pre-Hike
      The Plunge
      Bright Angel Campground
      Clear Creek Trail
      The Ascent
      Indian Garden Campground
      Tonto West Hike
      The Great Snake Battle
      The Final Ascent
  The Narrows
      Gearing Up
      The Awakening
      The Hike In
      Pee / Poo
      Camp
      The Hike Out
  Sedona
      Places We Missed
      Meteor Crater
      Airport Mesa
      Thunder Mountain
  Farewell

Monday, September 15, 2008

Within walking distance of our campsite was an eight-mile hike called Devil’s Garden that wound through a plethora of stone arches.

Fallen Arches (and I’m not talking about feet)

Landscape Arch - The first arch we came across often adorns the literature for the park. From a sign, we learned: On September 1, 1991 - Hikers thought they heard cracks of thunder from distant clouds. Visitors resting under Landscape Arch noticed loud cracking and popping noises overhead. They fled as small rocks tumbled from the slender 306-foot-long span. Moments later, a 60-foot-long slab peeled away from the arch's right side. When the dust settled, 180 tons of fresh rock debris lay scattered on the ground.

What caused this cataclysmic event? Water had been slowly shaping the arch for countless centuries, dissolving cement between sand grains, seeping into tiny cracks, freezing and expanding. What had finally upset the delicate balance?

Unseasonably heavy rains the preceding ten days may have filled pore spaces within the sandstone. The added weight may have finally overwhelmed the rock slab in its timeless struggle with gravity.
Landscape Arch Photo of the Collapse The segment of the arch shown in photo
Landscape Arch as it looks today Photo of the collapse (from the info sign) Current view of that section of the arch


Wall Arch - Once the most photographed arches in the park, fell in August of 2008.
Wall Arch   Wall Arch - Broken


Other Arches

Tunnel Arch Tunnel Arch - As we traversed through the park, I was fascinated at the sophisticated naming technique for the arches. This arch is named Tunnel Arch because it’s like a tunnel through the rock.  
  Pine Tree Arch - With a pine tree growing under the arch it must have taken a creative genius to name this arch. Pine Tree Arch
Partition Arch Partition Arch - This arch is named Partition Arch because it’s an arch with a separating wall, almost like a partition. I bet I could get a job naming arches.  
  Private Arch - Although tucked away down a side path, we didn’t find it extremely private. Other tourists had the nerve to visit it at the same time we were. Private Arch
Navajo Arch Navajo Arch - My favorite arch with it's own back room.  
  Double "O" - I think they could have done better on this name. Although there was one arch on top of the other, the top arch was more like a squished "O" - perhaps they could have called it the Double Arch or when the sunlight hits it, the "Golden Arches" (or has that already been taken). Double-O Arch
Delicate Arch Delicate Arch - This arch was outside of Devils Garden. After a long day of hiking, Elaine and Robyne headed out to see the sun set. I, being more wise, napped and read at camp in our rock nook. I wasn't there, but this arch doesn't look all that delicate to me!  
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