Walking Through Arches

Written by: Fred Smoak

Today we had less than 50 miles and ended up only a few hundred feet higher than we started. However, we had to climb to around 8,500 feet to reach the destination. As an East Coast resident, the Rockies worried me more than any distance. But all the climbs and time spent over 5,000 feet has made it doable. Every place we have stayed has had its own beauty, and Durango is no exception. The spare beauty of the desert has been replaced by lush forests and delightful streams.

The FCBA as settled into a routine that fuses a military expedition and summer camp. Like the military, there is discipline, objectives that must be met and personal responsibility. There are also the chore groups, instant friendships, and fun expeditions of camp. We meet our goals and enjoy each others’ company whether riding or free time.

Tennyson once wrote:

Yet all experience is but an arch,

Wherethrough gleams that yet untraveled world


I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunity to walk through so many arches that the Fuller Center has made possible. I think about retracing the route some day to take more time to appreciate the natural wonders we have seen so far. But nothing could recreate the feel the FCBA brought into being in such a short time.


Posted in 2015 Oceanside, CA to Portland, ME, Blog.