An Arch in Time

Rick Olivares




This was the place where tired really held some meaning to us—for me at least.  Needless to say, we were still beyond stoked. And we put that into practice during our time in that wondrous place. Everything there was very photogenic, few conversations happened throughout the drive in other than where our campsite was going to be.  We searched for campsites for about half an hour, until we found what seemed like perfection.

Our campsite was something like a warm summer's afternoon in the woods. You could hear the running water. You could hear leaves shift and can feel the force of the air through them. A few birds were always calling, and each footstep crunched in the dirt when tread on. It lied right off of the road parallel to the Colorado that sustained healthy and tall trees, in turn making the ninety-some degree weather cool down significantly when below them. Not only did the trees create a wonderful temperature, the strong, cloudless light made the shade glow light green. It was a great place to set up the hammock, slackline and a rejuvenating place to rest.

During our two days stay at Arches, we swam in the Colorado by a bridge that was a short walk away from a parking lot with signs that advertised river access. On that bridge, a person sat and painted the far off white peaked landscape that was in the other direction, using the view from atop the bridge as inspiration on their canvas. On the river, groups of rafters paddled their way through the murky water, and there were a couple of people water skiing in circles. There were trucks, hauling boats and jet skis in and out of the water, and there a several other groups of people just there to enjoy the water. It was our turn to do the same. The three of us jumped in together, and enjoyed the refreshing, cold water after so much intense heat. It was still, almost surprisingly very cold, so we didn't stay in for long and spent the majority of our time sitting by the river.

We saw many of the incredible structures littered all over the park. Every one was a sight to behold—from The Windows, to Double Arch, Landscape Arch, we hiked to and climbed in or around all of them. From a ridge just beside Landscape Arch, you could see snow capped mountains that jutted out miles off into the distance, or how one opening in Double Arch looked like a large gateway to the setting sun and desert. It was all brilliant. Photos speak to the rest.

I decided to watch the sunset on the second night. The scarlet and violet glowed with a depth that held power, and overrun the whole sky. I was hoping to practice my astrophotography as night stepped in. I brought my phone too; planning on recording an audio note, talking about what I was seeing and feeling that I was to show someone I really cared about when the trip was over. I spent the next hour after the sunset watching the occasional camper race by, taking terrible photos of the stars, and talking to someone that wasn't there. The night was warm, quiet, and the air was filled with comfort in those moments to myself. Once feeling satisfied with my voice recording, I took a few last moments to embrace the night, feel the moths bat their wings happily  in the summer evening warmth. I listened to the Colorado sprint, and the wind blow through the red sandstone—I let the space remind me who I am a little more. With that satisfaction in heart, I made my way back to my hammock, curled into my sleeping bag and fell asleep to thoughts of the next adventures.