Greetings Arch Hunters...today is Arch Wednesday! (Issue #64)
Arch Wednesday is your weekly update for arch reports from around the world, as reported to the
World Arch Database
Worldwide arch count: 8206
received a report from Travis Lane of an arch in Thailand near its
border with Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). Travis had a very
interesting time in getting to this arch! Travis writes:
is a photo of an arch near the Thai/Burma border. It's located in a
national park. I was on the tourist trail visiting the famous ruins and
temples and as strange luck would have it, I spotted a brochure with a
photo of this arch. So I made this impulsive detour... I packed a
small bag, leaving the bulk of my belongings in Sukhothai
and recklessly took off to see what for most people is simply “a hole
in a rock”… but for me, it's an inexplicable passion and obsession for
these rarities of nature. However, like pursuing other obsessions
and one’s passions, it seems that searching for these arches is not
always without risks.
Visiting this arch
is not easy, or at least it wasn’t for me at the time! Not unless
you want to play it safe and have a guide or driver take you straight to
the area of this destination. It’s more exciting to go alone like I
did, not having any plan whatsoever, just a brochure with a photo of a
“hole in the rock” as my only reference. So I simply headed
west from Sukhothai
on a bus that was cramped beyond capacity with locals… and with no
surprise, I found myself to be the only Westerner headed this way. So I
tried to convey to these Thais (who were all staring at me, propably
saying to themselves "stupid farang!") that I knew exactly what I was
doing and exactly where I was going!! Not the case at all! I ultimately
ended up in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. I spent several
hours walking into the park from where the bus dropped me off at its
entrance. I thought 'Great! What did I get myself into this time?'
I was lucky enough to eventually hitch a ride into the park's center
with a truck driver. I bet that I had walked 5 or 6 miles and the truck
happened to be the only vehicle that passed by the entire time. I would
have never been able to walk what was probably 10 or 15 more miles to
the park's headquarters before nightfall. Again, very lucky! There
were no other visitors in the park during the two days I was
there...only soldiers and park workers. I rented a tent and the park
staff was good enough to set it up for me while I did a quick hike to
see a waterfall.
The next day I
hiked to see the arch accompanied by two soldiers with machine guns.
This seemed strange at the time. These soldiers were provided to me by
the officer in charge. I had first walked into the headquarters building
to get directions to the trail that leads to the arch (as I held the
brochure and pointed to the photo). The officer was very friendly and
professional, and he instructed the two soldiers to guide me. (I assume
the area may be a smuggling route between Thailand and Burma).
The trail was through dense jungle. What was so surprising is
how noisy it was (the hum of insects). And as you can see from the
picture…well worth the trip! Very exhilarating when I finally arrived at
I later spent the
evening drinking whiskey with the Thai park workers as they played
cards... I believe that I was a rare and amusing encounter for
them, equally as they were for me... I was probably twice their size,
and a few challenged me to arm wrestling. Normally, I'd warn solo
travelers never to get themselves into a situation or setting like this,
especially around gambling. We didn't understand a single word
exchanged all night, but I had a great time, and luckily, still had my
wits about me to politely decline what I assumed were attempts get me to
gamble for money, as well as possible offers of a woman and whatever it
was that they were smoking...
Each Wednesday we update the World Arch Database (WAD).
We'll have newly reported arches, more accurate data and photos for
existing arch entries, plus fun arch stories, facts and more! To
subscribe to the World Arch Database, click here.
World Arch Database and Arch Wednesday now on Facebook!
The WAD has now joined the modern age by posting a page to Facebook.com. Check it out at www.facebook.com/WorldArchDatabase.
WAD Tip of the Week
arch hunting, always stop when looking for arches. Attempting to look
for arches while you are walking or driving can be disastrous!
SPANOIDS (arch facts and statistics)
Net Change in Worldwide Count since last Wednesday: +6
Arches with Greater Arch Dimension of 100 ft (30m) or more: 158 (1.932% of worldwide count)
US State with the most arches: Utah with 4373 (about 53.5% of worldwide count or about 60.6% of US count)
Country with the most arches outside the US: Algeria (hundreds of arches) or France, with over 900 according to French arch hunter Guilain Debossens.
Fallen (Worldwide): 34 (0.385%)
NABS Web Site Cross-Reference
cross-referencing the WAD with the Natural Arch and Bridge Society's
(NABS) web site www.naturalarches.org. This is a huge job that will
likely take several more months to complete (we're done
cross-referencing the US section of this site).
Nicholus Terzakis Archives Cross-Reference: We'll be cross-referencing the WAD with the lifetime collection of arch data and photos from arch hunter Nicholus Terzakis.
Larry Beck's New Mexico Archives: Arch
hunter and current NABS President Larry Beck's compilation of hundreds
of New Mexico arches will be added to the WAD. We already include many
many New Mexico arches submitted by Mr. Beck, but he has found many many
more since our last data dump in 2008.
Arch Hunting Expeditions, Rallys and Events
Great American Solar Eclipse is coming on August 21, 2017. We plan to
visit some arches in Idaho, USA that are in the path of totality to try
to get some unusual arch photos during this rare event!
The Natural Arch and Bridge Society has a spring rally planned for late
April/early May, 2017 in southwestern Utah and points east. For complete
details, visit their web site www.naturalarches.org.
Happy Arch Hunting!