Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wall Arch

Hmm. Trying to link a web photo here and blogger seems to be all wonky. Sometimes my cursor just disappears, but if I type I'm in the right spot but with a time delay of sorts. Whatever.

Anyway. I noticed on the news the other day that Wall Arch in Arches National Park had fallen. And that reminded me of a story.

It was late June 1994 and we were traveling cross country from the seacoast of NH to Fort Ord, CA. This was a tremendous opportunity for sightseeing our way across the USA. When we had been packing up the household goods in NH every day had been hotter than the previous day. We started at 98, went to 99, and finally to over 100 degrees on the day they loaded our stuff on the truck. The heat and humidity we experienced in Washington D.C. followed us across the country. But when we reached the west, the humidity dropped off, but the temperatures soared. It hit 108 the day we arrived at Arches NP.

We checked into the Apache Motel in Moab and had pizza at Eddie McStiffs. The road in to the park was incredible. Being an east coast girl, I had never seen anything like this in my life. Armed with our canteens and bandanas we walked to the Windows Arches. Then walked to the Sand Dune Arch where we took off our shoes and played in the sand. The wind picked up and made staying here rather like being sandblasted so we headed off for the Devil's Garden Trail where we walked to the Tunnel Arch and the Pine Tree Arch and the Wall Arch. We would have headed off for the Landscape Arch, but sunset was approaching.

As we head back to the trail head and our car we make an unfortunate discovery. DH had locked the keys in the car. Yup. It's still over 100. We've drunk all our water. Darkness is coming on quickly. And there is no one around. This is where we get lucky. There's a campground nearby and DH is walking to it while I sit on the ground with the kids. At ages 5 and 7, it's been a long day and it's their bedtime and they are getting cranky. He runs into a Park Ranger who bless his heart is willing to break the laws for us. He is supposed to call a locksmith, but instead breaks out the hanger for his spare uniform hanging in his truck. He tries the drivers side door, but these modern cars are meant to be hanger proof. And here is where we get truly lucky. I had not rolled my window up all the way. There was a tiny crack. And we were able to snag the door handle with the hanger and open the door! Celebrations all around. The next morning we return at 6 a.m. for our hike out to the Delicate Arch (must do this before it gets too hot.)

I've always had my set of keys with me upon exiting the car ever since this time.

(And details are courtesy of the trip journal I kept. Otherwise I'd never remember Eddie McStiffs.)

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

My husband locked his keys in the car on a remote beach road in Oregon. As it was getting dark, a ranger passed by. He had a Slim Jim and opened the car in nothing flat. I wish that I could say that that was the last time that my husband locked the keys in the car, but no. We were in Basel, Switzerland, at a museum and again, no keys. We weren't sure what we would have to do in a foreign country, but when we got back to the car, we found that he had left his window completely rolled down. It wouldn't have been so scary if we had not had ALL of our suitcases and travel gear in the car and it was all still there. Thank you, Swiss people, for being so honest!