04 June 2009

My Two Favorite Zion Hikes...

Look at me drag the entire Zion trip out! I tell you, it's a gift. My current goal is to drag the blogging out longer than the actual trip (much like the time I visited Italy and Prague?)

Bear with me though...because there's some pretty awesome photos of me being the ultimate Dork Park Guide...it will be well worth your while.

Total dork picture #1...
but at least my hair still looks good...making me think that this picture was shot earlier in the trip...

See? It's already good stuff!!

(photo by Amy)

One of the hikes that I really wanted to take while in Zion was The Virgin Narrows. This hike leads you through the narrow-ish slot canyons all while walking and sometimes swimming in the Virgin River. It is absolutely amazing back there...evidenced by the insane crowds that flock to this particular site. There were several people more prepared for the intensely cold water than us, whom rented water gear.

We were tough though.

For about 15 minutes.

The Virgin Narrows...and look at all those people!!

After you get use to the initial shock of the temperature of the water, I found that if you stayed in the water you're better off than if you get in and then out. I am a very a slow goer because of some weird issues I have with running water, but you'll be happy to know by the end of this hike I was just finding my walking rhythm and was much aided by the help of one of Tom's Leki Poles (Thanks Tom) Rich's feet about froze off...and he decided to turn back. It was also thundering and some storm clouds were moving in. Whatever. It was downstream so I wasn't worried...but, we all ended up turning around much sooner than I wanted to.

Which means that I definitely want to return and do that hike. And I'm not talking 15 minutes here...I'm talking a couple of hours in to really get the full feel of the whole thing.

The other hike that I was really dying to do was the hike to Angel's Landing. It's some absurd hike that leads you right out onto some crazy rocks via a natural bridge and something called Walter's Wiggles. Since we're early risers, we beat a lot of the crowds and heat...and started up the mountain. Luckily most of the trail was concreted so that we could climb up the path with more traction. Which served us well, seeing as Amy and I noticed we were both hunched over the insanely steep path and found ourselves almost parallel to the ground at one point. That was the worst point of the entire hike for either of us as a matter of fact...and we were under the sweet delusion that it was Walter's Wiggles. After getting our breath back, we scoffed at the absurdity that was Walter's Wiggles!!
(scoff scoff)
(various patting of backs)

Rich on the Angel's Landing hike before he turned around.

Rich was actually feeling poorly and had decided it would be best if he turned around a bit before we ascended this part of the trail though...I thought it was rather wise of him, as I was kind of questioning myself quietly using my "inside your head voice" about me finishing out this hike. I really didn't want to see Rich go and almost went back down with him...but I really wanted to see if I could make this hike. Besides, he waved me on. I have an intense fear of heights (add that to the fear list as well...nothing like conquering a few fears on vacation, eh?) and I wanted to see if I could push past it and make it to at least Scout's Landing?

Corridor of coolness...

After the crazy hot strenuous part of the path, we came into this long corridor of shade and water and green. It was seriously like heaven...and we'd already done the "worst" part...Walter's Wiggles Right?

Amy at the middleish part of Walter's Wiggles

Of course not.

Because we're morons.

We finally turn a corner at the end of this corridor and I stop to look up and almost fall over due to vertigo and the insane steepness of the Wiggles (not to be confused with The Wiggles)

We immediately coined
the phrase. "Oh you'll know when you get to Walter's Wiggles!" we're big into coining phrases...and I'm sure we'll be in T-shirt production soon. As it was, this little ditty gave us enough energy that we giggled our way right up the intense and steep switch backs of Walter's Wiggles...that led us right up to Scout's Landing.

Me...descending Walter's Wiggles and giving the traditional hiker Jazz Hands...
(photo by Amy)

Scout's Landing happened to be my last stopping point. The trail actually keeps going on...via some serious ups and downs that require you more often than naught, to hold onto a chain railing that has been put up just for the purpose to slow your descent lest you plummet right over the edge of the mountain itself say if you were to get enough momentum up and going (you should see how sweaty my hands are just typing about it right now) My Keen sandals were just fine...I'm thinking that perhaps it was the gal in the Keens that was a little too nervous to take the last few remaining steps to get to the landing...I mean, after all...there is a part that you must walk across a natural bridge formation with 1,800 ft. drop offs on either side.


Amy went on ahead, exclaiming the whole time that it was just a set of sandstone stairs (yeah right. With the slope of them heading towards the outer part of the mountain and over a cliff...) and I sat in the shade awaiting her return. I was going to do some serious meditating and get in touch with my inner whatever...but with the sheer amount of people that were walking by, coupled with the Invasive, yet much cuter (than the squirrels) Park Chipmunks...I decided to just sit and observe instead.

Yeah. That's me...pointing out the awesome view.
If you look out to your Left...please notice the insane drop off...
photo by Amy and one of the only one's I have of me up there because she used her camera and I can not explain to people how to use mine apparently...and we missed some shots. Damn.)

It was totally awesome up there. I got very close to the edge at points and did not once feel afraid, which both amazed and delighted me (I'm honestly having sweatier hands now than when I was up there and I already know I got back OK...sheesh!) We were both totally proud of ourselves and practically skipped down the trail. Honestly...we were jumping around and outright laughing at points.

Amy at Scout's Landing.

And down we went...to get back to Rich and Tom, and to also get Rich back to camp so he could rest and we could go for a celebratory trip of postcard buying and iced mocha drinking...

I can't tell you how proud I am of myself. I realize that I didn't DO the whole hike to the end...but the place I did get to was just enough. I totally did it.

And we totally shredded.

Oh yes we did.

1 comment:

TomboCheck said...

Totally shredded it! Congrats on moving beyond the fear!


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