Even though the Royal Arch trail starts just 3.3 miles from my apartment, I never considered hiking it. It was only when my friend Norm Lowery recommended it this week that I thought about hiking to the arch.
The trail is only 3 miles long. But my guide books rate it as difficult, and it is quite steep, gaining 1,300 feet (and losing and regaining a few hundred more feet after the false summit about a quarter mile from the arch).
Since the trail is also awfully rocky, I’m glad that I took my trekking poles. I haven’t been using them lately as I try to improve my balance on the trail. But I needed them today for safety.
Normally I don’t like to hike on busy weekends, especially on crowded trails like this that start from Chautauqua Park. But the day had bright sun, and I didn’t do much hiking in the high country this week now that the snows of late autumn have arrived.
Funny how I’ve changed. I used to dislike hearing people talk while I was hiking. But after a wonderful hike with Karen in the Sandias where we talked all the way I have grown more tolerant. Thinking of her helped in this respect as in so many others.