The Student Conservation Association's Online Community
Wednesday, October 4
I showed up to work in hiking gear, including my brand new moisture-wicking Fort Bowie shirt. I assembled my brand new water bladder for my backpack that I got for my birthday. It worked wonderfully.
Andy drove the shuttle this morning, which was full of hikers. I was planning to do the hike to Inspiration Point and Heart of Rocks Loop, which was 8.3 miles total. Andy had already done that hike, so he went off to do another one. I started along the trail and brought some sunglasses with me! This is new, considering I just got contact lenses. Immediately upon putting them on, though, the nature colors disappeared. I didn't like that. I didn't wear the sunglasses.
The big hiking trail I was taking was actually a combination of many routes. The Ed Riggs, Mushroom Rock, Inspiration Point, Big Balanced Rock, Heart of Rocks, Sarah Deming, and Lower Rhyolite Canyon trails. This hike is deemed strenuous by the hiking guide. I started along my way, enjoying the view. I saw tons of lizards. When I got to Inspiration Point, I was truly in awe. The view is more panoramic than Massai Point. I guess Massai Point is more famous because it is very easily accessible. I got out my binoculars and gazed around the landscape.
I continued on, reaching the Heart of Rocks Loop. This is what I really wanted to see, as it contains a lot of the named rock formations. Before entering I stopped for lunch in a nice shady spot. I hiked the loop, getting to see Camel, Pinnacle Balanced Rock, Punch & Judy, Duck on a Rock, Kissing Rocks, and more. This trail, you are actually up IN the formations. Also, there was a point where the vista was so beautiful and I saw more rock pinnacles than anywhere else in the park (big photo at the bottom). This is definitely my favorite place in the park. I hiked back down to the VC and was very exhausted by the end of it. My feet were tired. I saw a white-tailed deer with a baby, casually looking at me. Amazing hike.
I went in and Ann said I could go take a break, so I went back to my house and took a shower. It felt niceee. Then I put on my SEAZ shirt and pants and went back (I still don't have my SCA uniform). I hung around the VC with only a couple hours left in my work day. Libby asked if I could come assist her with something, so I joined. We were guiding the new interp ranger, Theresa, to her housing, and helping her unpack and get settled. It was fun work, I love unpacking things and such. But I was all sweaty again. I rinsed off as I made it back to the house.
BIG HIGHLIGHT OF DAY: seeing some coatis! While driving with Libby, we saw one cross the road along with two babies! I had never seen them before! This was so cool!
Total lizards seen today: 53
Total small flies that landed directly on my eyeball: 3