Arches National Park, Utah

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I was excited to be in Arches National Park again. Not only is Arches an extremely magical place for me but it's a place where I experienced love at first site. It was the kind of attraction that fills your soul with passion and sets your desires on fire. Maybe on some level I was hoping to relive that wondrous night.

I had gone on a two week camping trip with a friend of mine and stopped at Arches along the way. In the evening we attended a campfire talk on the plant life in Arches. That's where I met Matt. He was the ranger on duty giving his talk on plants. I took one look at him and knew that I had to meet him. I wasn't sure how I was going to pull it off, I just knew I would. I whispered to my friend that my heart was a pitter patter and that I was determined to meet this guy. My friend just laughed me off. Just at that moment the new ranger in my life announced that he would be leading a hike the next day through fiery furnace. I grabbed my friend and we signed up.

The hike turned out to be pretty fun. Aside from being love struck, I was in awe of the magnificent red rock formations that surrounded me. I was so inspired by the hike that I started to form one of my life long dreams - to become a park ranger and educate people on environmental issues. I asked Matt question after question about Arches and being a ranger. The more he spoke the more inspired I became. By the end of the hike I was ready to sign up.

Matt said his good byes to everyone and we all thanked him for the tour. I hung around for a minute waiting for my fellow hikers to leave. I felt like a young girl staying late after school to talk to the handsome teacher. Nervously, I went up to Matt and thanked him again for the tour. I expressed my interest in becoming a ranger for a summer and before I knew it we were engaged in conversation. By the end of our talk Matt had invited me and my friend to dinner at his place! We agreed to meet at seven. My friend and I went off to explore the rest of Arches. We hiked to Delicate Arch, did the drive around the park and even got a nap in before dinner.

Dinner was great. Matt made up a Mexican chicken dish that was delicious. After we ate we took a drive in the park and stopped at one of the many rock formations. The night was warm and beautiful. There were a billion stars out and Matt started pointing out all of the constellations. I suspect he made a few up, too. At this point my friend was feeling like a third wheel. He decided to head back to the camp and call it a night. I was feeling so alive I didn't want to leave. I ended up hanging out with Matt a bit longer and watching the shooting stars streak overhead.

It started to cool off and Matt and I went back to his place. I was a little nervous since I didn't really know him, but something inside told me to go for it. We hung out in his living room and talked about all of our dreams and desires. The more we talked the more enamored we became of each other. We started talking about relationships and our attraction of one another and soon we were kissing. Oh my god - we were kissing! His kisses were like magic. I had never felt such passion in my life, nor have I since. We talked a little more and both decided that it would be best not to take our desires any further. We fell asleep in each other's arms and parted in the morning. I was off to the grand canyon and needed to get back to my friend. We exchanged addresses and parted.

I never saw Matt again, but that night lives on in my heart. I sometimes wonder if we should have done the dirty deed - a once in a lifetime chance to make love to the man of my dreams - but I know down deep we made the right decision. I thought about that night as I laid back in my sleeping bag and gazed at the stars. I fell asleep with a smile on my face and love in my heart.

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