Window Rock, Hope Arch & Los Gigantes
The rock is sublime in afternoon Sun, but it is hard to show its actual size unless some young people climb on it. In these pictures, we have two shots of people standing in the eye itself, while others show people who have climbed to the very top of the formation.
The sandstone of this arch is rich in iron. The iron rusting gives the stone its rich red color. This is a glorious place in the morning Sun!
Halfway from the only access road to the arch is a formation known as Edna’s Needle. The Needle’s sheer sides rise more than two hundred-fifty feet straight up out of the desert. The Needle makes an excellent landmark for locating the Arch.
Climbing up into the arch is easy, getting down a different matter. Any mistake in placing your feet is punished. I took a terrific fall and left a bit of blood for the little animals. Note the smile in the photo—that means I was glad to still be alive.
Round Rock and Los Gigantes
On the day after my fall at Hope Arch, I was sitting in my car in Round Rock ,trying to decide which road went to the Buttes. A Navajo man in a pickup stopped and asked if he could help. When I mentioned the Buttes, he said, ‘Just follow us, we’re going right past them.’
When we reached the Buttes, I thanked him and asked if he knew where the Los Gigantes Arch was. ‘Oh, yes,’ he said. It is only a few miles from where we’re going now.’
On the spot, I hired him to take me to the arch next day.
That next day, we set out across the desert, and after a while could see the arch in the distance. When we reached the bottom of the final slope, I took one look and realized that in my beaten-up condition that slope was a potential disaster.
My new friend Vince said, ’Don’t worry. I’ve been watching you work with your camera and tripod. I’ll take them up there and take the pictures for you.’
All the pictures taken up at the arch level were shot by Vince, and you can see for yourself what a stellar job he did!
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