My palms are sweating. Hell, every part of my exposed skin is glistening in this hot sun as my backpack rests on my back and my Nikes crunch the stones on the gravel rock trail. The water in my bottle splashes around with every step. Tiny beads of sweat trickle down my forehead. How moms carrying babies and guys in jeans do it is beyond me.
My brain says this three-mile roundtrip hike with a pretty steep incline at Arches National Park in Moab, Utah will be worth it. The view of the Delicate Arch better be spectacular.
No shade, no refuge from the sun for me. Little gophers race from one tiny green shrub to another. The trail marked by stacks of pale pink and orange rocks is slippery at times.
I finally reach a plateau - only to scale the ledge of the rock, clinging to it as I shuffle my feet along a path that is wide enough only for one person. But it is the only way to get to and away from the arch. Please nobody come past me.
Without a guard rail to prevent my fall, I stop and press my body against the mountain as another hiker comes toward me. I’m so scared that I skin my knee on the mountain.
When I make it to the other side, I am in awe. The gigantic, pale orange sandstone arch is simply amazing. Stunning.
I sit to take it all in. Ah, the beauty. That’s when I notice it. Listen. No sirens. No honking. No yelling. Only a gentle breeze. And peace and quiet.
This is Mother Nature at her finest.
Now, if only I didn’t have to climb back now to where I came from, and back down to reality.