FST : Day 4 – Arches NP

Last night, both Beck and I were a little ill — not from the food, I’m sure. The more likely culprit was the heat and the mountain crossing through Colorado. Whatever the cause, the effect was some gastrointestinal distress and my waking up during the night with a massive, raging headache. By breakfast, I was just well enough to get out of bed, and grab breakfast at the motel’s restaurant. However, I was beginning to feel better, especially after eating, and Arches NP was just around the corner, so we gathered up our gear and supplies and headed north to Arches.

Arches was breathtaking. We only went about halfway up the main road through the park, electing to call it a day after three hours in the 100°+ heat. We did a little hiking around Balanced Rock, and it was after that hike that we decided the heat was too much. We drove to The Windows, and I really thought about hiking out to them, but I began feeling a little unwell, and that’s when we decided to head to our rented room.

The rest of the afternoon and night was horrible. My headache returned, and I could barely think straight. Becky took the opportunity to do the laundry, and brought me back a club sandwich from a local joint called Hogi Yogi, which was just what I needed. I was teetering on the edge of asking Beck to take me to a doctor to see what was going on. I knew this wasn’t normal, and I knew if it continued for long, I’d be in trouble. With a lot of fluid, my little sandwich, and lots of cold towels, I’ve come back to normal.

However, this ordeal was a hint and a half — I’m just not rigged for running in this kind of climate. It’s time to cry “uncle” and look for cooler climes. We’ve decided to forego the desert stay at this time, and journey toward Santa Fe where the weather is almost 20° cooler than Moab and the Four Corners region.

Rediscovering my intolerance of this kind of heat is heart-wrenching, as it means the end of our pursuit of the desert in this trip. Moab and Monument Valley will have to wait for another season, when the weather is cooler. Tomorrow, we’re off to Santa Fe, for a couple of days of recovery in the cooler weather.