Returning to the loop road, the northern descent led first through a community of large housing structures nestled in the small and rather scruffy oak trees. However, these structures enjoy 100 mile plus vistas to the west. This may be a location where religious rites are observed, possibly some sun worship. This location appears to be a difficult location to reach in the winter portion of the year. Further along the Loop road we entered an area the locals call Castle Valley. There are no castles here. There are several large cliffs and fins of rock. Some of these have been bisected. The actual community was set away from the main access of the loop road. Possibly another religious community, potentially rock worshippers or disciples having taken a vow of poverty and separation from the larger society. Returned to camp and had evening meal period and early evening rest period. Tomorrow is an early call for a sunrise imaging tasking.
14.10.2015 Expedition Day 16
It is noted that this is Special Agent (Trainee) Turner’s date of birth. Congratulations to her on her survival.
The day began before sunrise with a trip to the windows area of the Arches administrative unit. The Captain and the First Officer separated company in order to maximize imaging attempts in this area. Although many images were created, results were mixed. Again, meteorological conditions were less than ideal. Large numbers of non-imaging individuals also visited this location. Reference discussion of morning at administrative unit Bryce Canyon.
Today's main tasking was participation in a Ranger-led expedition into the Fiery Furnace. As previously noted this is neither a Furnace nor particularly Fiery (at least at this time of year). However, this set of features consists of many tall rock fins set closely together. In some areas normal adult individuals are forced to squeeze through the required passages. For some of the larger bodied individuals on the expedition this appeared to be rather taxing. This formation is very interesting and the young Ranger who led the trip kept the female expedition members enthralled. The male members thought he did a good job.
The crew returned to camp in Moab in anticipation of departure in the AM for our most eastern point on this expedition.