Monday, October 06, 2008

"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

Delicate Arch--all lit up
Originally uploaded by Theorris

I ventured down to Moab this weekend for a photography and hiking extravaganza. It was a nice getaway. I hadn't been to Arches since the 90s, and it was nice being able to take pictures of things I only remotely remember now. (I didn't have any sort of camera back then, and regret that fact to this day.)

Delicate Arch is probably the most photographed object in Utah, but having made the hike, I had to give it a go. I can see why people like to take pictures of it. Not only does it have a magnificent backdrop, but when the sun hits it right, it lights up like gold. Rather than an arch, however, I started thinking of it as a sort of bell-bottomed Ozymandias, having lost his torso to the sands many eons ago.

There were a group of surly photographers yelling at tourists to get out of their shot whenever the sun came out. I didn't mind the tourists wanting their picture taken underneath the arch as they give a sense of scale, and I can imagine the desire to have your picture taken with it. The only annoying person was an English college student who burst upon the scene (quite literally) and exclaimed with contempt "I thought it was going to be wafer-thin! Pwahh!" She must have been impressed enough by it to risk the wrath of the photographers by brazenly standing underneath it when the sun came out.


  1. And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin mint. Oh, sir, it's only a tiny, little, thin one. It's only wafer thin. Oh, sir, just-- just one. Just the one, monsieur. Voilà.

    Bon appétit.

    Thank you, sir, and now, here's ze check.

  2. I hadn't thought of The Meaning of Life with her outburst, but it does work. She was the quintessential bad British tourist. They are comparable to bad American tourists or bad German tourists or (possibly the worst) bad French tourists.

  3. Wonderful pictures, I can almost the sage after the rain. I love the desert.

  4. It's funny, they guys wanting to take the picture, versus the people who actually want to check the arch out. I hate to say it, but my vote is with the people actually exploring the thing.

    Nothing to ruin a tourist's trip like another tourist.

  5. Indeed, KK. I wonder if I had dressed as a Native American and danced underneath the arch if the photogs would have been pissed. I think they would have been elated. Damn hippy photographers!