My dogs are a barkin'. The 'hub' and I hiked 15.5 miles today. We started out @ 8:00 a.m. this morning and headed out to see the worlds 2nd largest free standing arch. You know we are trying to build our stamina for bigger hikes and I'm trying to overcome my fear of becoming dehydrated. Today was a giant step forward towards both goals. The hike out to the arch was cool, pleasant and offered some spectacular scenery. I didn't realize that I hadn't put my 'card' into the camera so I had limited space to store pics on the camera internally. Dagnabitt!!! We got to the end of the trail and a sign said not to go any further to preserve vegetation. AYKM! We had just hiked in more than 3 hours and we can't go any further. I looked closer @ the sign and someone had scratched "ARCH (LOOK UP)" under the sign. We looked up and.....there towering above the trees and canyon was a magnificent arch. Thanks to whoever damaged national park property. We would not have known to look up and would have missed what we came for. We stopped and rested by a meandering little creek. Took off our shoes, soaked our feet in the cool water and had a snack before we began our return trip. It was delightful. But even more delightful was a deep pool of water we found about 1/4 of the way back. Once again, we took off our shoes and this time, I got in all the way. OMGoodness.....talk about refreshing. I could have stayed there all day. The temps were well into the upper 80's and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.....it felt heavenly. The 'hub' decided to get wet up to his knees. All the begging in the world wouldn't get him to go any further. Party Pooper! But guess who stayed cool most of the way back? Exactly!!! We ran out of water w/3 miles to go and all of our food had been consumed. When we were 'crawling' hungry and thirsty up the last mile, and I do mean UP,UP,UP....I had the 'hub' call off every tenth of a mile we reached. Just about that time menopause decided to pay me a visit and I got a HOT FLASH!!!!!! Like I really needed to have another reason to sweat. I'm surprised my body didn't just throw me over the criken cliff. At one point we both started laughing hysterically....wondering what were we thinking when we decided to take this hike. Here's a question for you "Have you ever laughed so hysterically that it verged on becoming hysteria?" Well, let me tell you I was teetering on full fledged 'LOON'. Our knees hurt....my right one, the 'hub's left. What a pair. Seven hours from when we began we arrived back, peeled off our backpacks, limped into the car and put the a.c. on high. Once we got our breath back, and cooled down we gave one another the 'knuckle bump' for accomplishing another goal. We both are hobbling around the house w/smiles on our faces. Not sure how our bodies will feel tomorrow, no spring chickens are we......but not ready to be put out to pasture yet!