Thursday, October 22, 2015

Arch quest, day one

While the arches here in the Alabama Hills (Lone Pine, California) are not as spectacular as the ones in other parts of the country (Arches National Park and Moab, Utah), finding them is every bit as much fun.

Mobius Arch with Mt. Whitney in the background

Armed with a much sought after and rare booklet, the Wrights and the Banks set off on our quest.   To find every arch in the book.    Some were right off the dirt road (Movie Road), some were to be found along a well marked trail, some required a bit more perseverance.

aptly named Heart Arch

Pam will do anything for a good shot....

the nimble hiker's mule waits for us to catch up

The day was sunny and warm in the sun, quite chilly in the strong wind.   We found a wonderful spot for lunch, warm and out of the wind with a killer view.

out to lunch with friends

So, our day consisted of wandering, not lost but wandering, through fantastic boulders, arid desert and still damp washes looking for arches with the majestic Sierras looking down at us from the west.

Sometimes we walked along quietly, scrambling over and between rocks and sometimes there was much discussion as to exactly where we were and where we should move next.

do we go north, or south....

the "boys" don't take life to seriously

Dave takes high ground to scout our way

Pam and John try to match pictures instead

I was walking along the bottom of a dry wash while the rest of the crew was on the ridge above me, looking.....I was surprised to see a couple tiny mushrooms surviving in this environment.    Plenty of cactus, but these few fungi took me by surprise.

let me know when you find the way and I'll be right up!

breaking ground

a very different formation among the larger, round boulders....
(pay no attention to John's sleeve, he's such an attention seeker)

After hiking around in one section of the "hills" we took the jeep down a high clearance vehicle only road to find the last arch of the day, Charred Arch.    After a few false starts (wrong dirt tracks) we found the correct one and proceeded very carefully in search of the illusive arch.

our trusty guide

We found some interesting things along this rutted, stony road.    But, try as we might, we could not see it......anywhere.....nowhere.

Alabama Hills from above the valley

I call this teeny arch "Happy Face" arch...
but Pam knows its real name, she has the book

hope this interesting swirly pattern on the Jeep's door washes off!

We were so frustrated at not finding the Charred Arch that we couldn't end our day on a disappointing note so we got back in the jeep, drove back down the rocky road to find Bikini Arch.     Mission accomplished.     (and, yes, it really is an arch if you get down on your stomach and look up, you can see daylight under it....Pam checked)

Last night we met Jodee and Bill, newly arrived at Boulder Creek RV, for dinner at Seasons Restaurant in downtown Lone Pine.   We all enjoyed our meal and conversation.    Today, Thursday, John and Pam are off on a more serious hike with other rv/blogger friends Laurel and Eric.    Dave and I stayed around the house, doing house things.     Laundry, ordering mail, taking Lewis for a long desert walk, a speck of cleaning and other boring but necessary things.   Can't have fun all the time.


  1. That's called desert pinstriping on your Jeep!

    Love the hearts, the fungi...everything! Looks like a very fun day!

  2. What a great adventure!! I can't wait to continue our search! I had to laugh at your captions...too funny!!

  3. What a fun post! Loved every arch - what a variety out there!!! The one above your trusty guide looks like a mole puling a quail's tail - definitely different :-) With almost 80 of them I'm glad you have more time!

  4. So many arches, so little time….you guys are doing a great job of finding them! We only found a few, and now that we have to leave, we're counting on you to find the rest. So glad we got to meet you and spend a bit of time together! Happy hunting! :-)

  5. I enjoyed all your captures and captions. It seems Arch search is more fun with friends, when we were there we managed to see only 4 arches :)