We’re up early and ready for the hike through the Devil’s Garden trails that take off near the campground, probably 4 miles or so roundtrip. The morning is thankfully cool with clouds forming in the distance; perfect weather. We should be done by mid-day heat. Lots of water and snacks are packed along with camera and lenses, battery fully charged, tripod in tow, and off we go. We are looking forward to seeing Landscape Arch, the longest arch in the park measuring 306’ from base to base. It also has quite an ominous past. In 1991 a rock slab 60’ long, 11’ wide, and 4’ thick fell from the underside, likely due to heavy rains and excess water seepage, and leaving behind an even thinner ribbon of rock. Needless to say, hikers in the area had quite a scare.
About a mile in we see it up ahead and I begin to assemble the camera and check my settings. An error message appears, “no CF card installed”! I panic realizing I had left the card in the card reader the night before when I downloaded the photos from Canyonlands. I quickly went through the menu and found a function, “shoot without card” and clicked it to on. Excitedly I think Canon has thought of everything for the forgetful user, wondering if the camera has some kind of internal memory of its own!
We continued on, shooting great cloud formations over Landscape Arch, then backtracking and taking side trails to Pine Tree and Tunnel Arches, stopping many times along the way to chat with other visitors, compare stories. It’s really amazing how many folks are out traveling, not only from all over the US, but internationally as well.
Returning just as the day is heating up; I connect the camera to the computer via USB and get a “no photos stored” message. I contact Canon customer support and the kindly rep informs me “No, no internal memory. Sorry, no way to retrieve photos. You must have card installed.” There must be another “3rd Rule” appropriate to this situation; maybe “3 cards or you’re out”! I do now carry a 2nd card in the gear bag, however. (I am hoping to find a link to insert here that will capture the dramatic beauty of the Devil's Garden Trails.)
The day was not wasted, however. We wiled away the afternoon reading until dusk then drove out to the Windows Section, another side road off the main. We did the short hikes to North and South Windows, then on to Turret Arch, with the sun setting behind it. The parking lot was full of tour buses and the trails loaded with multi-national travelers.
Note: By the time you read this we will be dining in Torrey, UT, near our Capitol Reef NP location, and hopefully using their wifi. Internet reception has been scarce in these remote canyon locations. After Arches we headed on to Bluff (thanks Happy Trails!)……