Blessings From Nature – Jake’s Blog

Ever since I was young I have always loved being out in nature.  I enjoy the amazing scenery, the animals and the adventures that the wilderness has to offer!  Being out in nature makes me happy and all the fun I have there has me addicted!  Over my many years of enjoying nature I’ve come to realize that being involved in the nature is not only fun, but is important for your mental and physical well being.  There are so many benefits to getting out and enjoying nature!

Planet Earth is an awe-inspiring place!  It’s unique ecosystems and extreme beauty have amazed me for years!  Mountain ecosystems are my favorite.  I’ve seen things like an Elk trotting through the forest, beautiful meadows filled with wildflowers blowing in the wind, sparkling waterfalls tumbling over granite boulders and Autumn forests of deciduous trees with red, yellow and orange leaves!

Earth’s extravagant beauty is so  brilliant that it sometimes makes me sigh!  Planet Earth has dozens upon dozens of ecosystems, each with its own unique animals and vegetation!  So wherever you live, get out and explore, because what you see could be priceless!

I’ve seen some extremely cool things during my many adventures, and what I saw during my hike near Arch Canyon in southwestern Utah was definitely priceless!  Arch Canyon is a 20 mile long, 1,000ft deep sandstone erosion in a huge 2000 square mile uplift.  We started our hike around 8:00am and I was super excited that our hike was finally underway!  As we trekked up Arch Canyon I admired the Cottonwood Trees bright firery leaves and the beautiful, towering sandstone cliffs as they shone an orange/red color from the early morning sun.

We hiked 2 miles up Arch Canyon til’ we reached its little brother, a large, 5 mile long side canyon.  The beginning of the canyon  was flat, dry and sandy for about a mile before it turned into a steep, huge boulder field!  The small car to dump truck sized boulders made climbing up the canyon an awesome adventure!  I felt like a cat as I jumped from boulder to boulder and scrambled over loose rocks!

 Once we came to the top of the boulder field we found ourselves face to face with a huge pour off!  Since the pour off was at least 100ft tall we had no choice but to climb around it to reach the top!  The side of the canyon had boulders and dirt piled against the cliff wall which offered a difficult, but exciting way up!   So after a few minutes of sweating, climbing and groaning we finally reached the top of the pour off!  The view of the beautiful Cottonwood Tree’s Autumn colors down below us in the canyon was great.  When I turned around I could see the top of the canyon!  It filled me with excitement and I eagerly began hiking again!  As we walked along the canyon’s wash bottom we looked up and saw an amphitheater in the cliff face! Our past experiences told us that since the overhang faced south there was a good chance of finding Indian Ruins in it!  Since the overhang was at least 50 feet above the wash bottom we decided to climb up the steep side slope, and with the help of a few trees and bushes we reached the cliff face!  After a few minutes of walking along the green and orange Lichen covered cliff face we came to the large but low overhang!

  I stood at the edge of the overhang and surveyed the area, I didn’t notice any ruins, but something seemed unnatural about the floor!  So, after a few seconds my instinct to explore got the best of me!  I dashed around the floor, excited to explored the area!  As I explored, I kept seeing huge square shaped rock slabs, I was wondering why they were shaped like that when my Dad excitedly yelled “Jake and Nye come look at this”.  I ran over and saw a small round Indian ruin half buried in dirt!  I looked inside and saw that unlike Anasazi ruins that were built from rocks stacked atop each other, this ruin was built from the big rock slabs stood up on end!  Later we learned that the ruin was between 1,600 and 2,000 years old.  The way that the Indians had turned the slab rocks upright was the oldest form of building stone structures in that area!  After we took some pictures we climbed out of the canyon and started back to our camp site.  On our way back our Dad twisted his ankle twice so we had to stop a while to let him rest.  By the time we had finally made it back to camp it was nearly dark!  Even though we hiked back to our camp during dusk and I was afraid of being chased by a wild animal, our hike was extraordinary and I earned a priceless memory that I will always have!  Our 12 mile hike turned out to be an awesome adventure!

Getting out and exploring nature is a great way to mentally de-stress and stay happy.  While hiking and climbing on rocks is a awesome way to stay fit and physical healthy!  There are hundreds of places to explore from towering mountains to high altitude deserts!  So wherever you live, get out and enjoy nature, because remember, what you see could be priceless!


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