Moab Part II: Delicate Towers… and Intestines
Our second day in Moab, we decided to trek through some familiar and unfamiliar terrains in Arches National Park. The day’s extraordinary loveliness was expected; its extraordinary leakiness was not.* Let me elaborate.
We started out with a 3.4-mile hike to Tower Arch, the sole path in all of Arches we hadn’t wandered. A dirt access road made it a little harder to reach the trailhead but Tower’s distinctive steeple of stone and 92-foot span were worth the trouble.
Delicate Arch, our second and last hike for the day, (Drat that brief winter sunlight!) was a repeat. Although we’ve climbed the miles to Delicate’s iconic curve a number of times, on this occasion it hurled us a few extra curves.
We decided to start our ascent late in the afternoon so we could catch the sun setting on the arch. This plan, we knew, meant fantastic pictures but also freezing temperatures. We were correct. I got some wonderful shots of the moon rising in the arch and it was 31 degrees on our return hike.
Yes, we anticipated every detail of our Delicate journey… except Jason’s delicate intestines. About the time we reached the arch, Jason started complaining about his stomach not feeling so good but he insisted he was fit to continue our picture-taking plans. However, he did not proclaim his gastric fitness for long.
Only minutes into our return journey, Jason anxiously remarked that he would most likely require use of one of the pit toilets back at the parking lot when we reached them because his GI tract was squirmier than a nightcrawler on a fishing hook. Unfortunately, the mere suggestion of a potty altered his necessity for one. All of a sudden, he declared that he needed to use the bathroom right then and there… minus the bathroom, of course, because we were far from anything of the sort.
Those of you who have hiked to Delicate Arch before know that it is a very popular trail. It’s still well-used in November. So, lots of tourists were milling about us but, at this point, Jason’s pressure transcended the presence of people. After our brief potty talk, he barely made it five feet, equipped with the three Kleenexes and one wet wipe that I scrounged out of my backpack, before he could go no further without going.
I became lookout, ready to fend off hikers before they came across other things that would definitely fend them off. Did I mention that the landscape, being a desert and all, possessed little in way of vegetation, i.e. gawker blockers?
Miraculously, no ramblers approached just then and Jason got to have his violent evacuation in peace. And, mercifully, this experience was a one-time number-two crisis; it did not repeat itself at a later point on our hike. Phew! Jason blames his GI upset on the cold he was getting over. I don’t see how loose bowels have anything to do with nasal congestion but whatever puts your sphincters at ease.
The next day, we biked four miles down Dalton Wells Road. But we didn’t make it to the slickrock playground at its terminus that we were hoping to reach because, regrettably, I had a class to get back to and we ran out of time.
Moab was an adventure as always. There were chills (Brrr!), and thrills, and even spills… of the anal variety. It was another fabulous outing in our favorite outdoor playground but, just for the record, Moab is not our favorite outdoor potty.
*The extremely embarrassing details of this story, surprisingly, were published to the world with Jason’s permission.