Rich and I had intentionally started this hike somewhat later in the day to avoid some of the worst of the heat (that didn’t work), and we calculated that we would have plenty of time to take a leisurely pace and have no problems (that didn’t work either). As we were still a couple miles from the arches that we wanted to visit on out outbound leg and sunset was quickly approaching, we had to make a tough decision. Should we push on ahead and risk having to try and setup camp in the dark – if we could even find an ideal spot – or do we give up visiting the arches and either try the following day or just miss out completely. It ended up not being that hard of a decision because we weren’t missing out completely and I forget why, but neither of us wanted to delay seeing the arches until the second day. So we did something you’re not supposed to do while backpacking… we dumped our packs and forged on ahead. And by forged on ahead, I mean we were just a tad off from a jogging pace.
But it worked out almost perfectly… we got to the arches right as they were being bathed in golden sunset light… even rushing the photos, I think I still got some nice ones.