Today was a memorable day in Zion. Brad and I woke up very early in hopes of having light traffic and cool weather conditions for our hike up to Angel's Landing. The alarm was set for 5:50am and we got up (slowly) and got ready for our big day. We ate a quick breakfast and then headed down to the shuttle. The shuttle was close to empty which made us feel confident that there would not be a lot of people climbing at 7:00am. We got off at our stop, did some stretching because we were sore from yesterday's hike and then went on our way. The trail was nice and paved for a little bit but was up hill. It took a very long time for our leg muscles to warm up. We kept going up and took several leg breaks on the way up. This was super easy compared to what came next. Switch backs. The winding switch back were so steep that you could almost hear our calf muscles screaming at us. We climbed and climbed and climbed some more. We took some water breaks along the way and enjoyed the morning breeze we were getting on the shaded trail.
We then hit a canyon. This was such a nice break from the several stories of switch backs we had just climbed. It was nice and level with very few hills. We then hit MORE switch backs. These were quite the challenge. They were even steeper than the first and looked like hell. It was set up like a staircase and we took them about three at a time. This was brutal. It was about 20 stories up. When we hit the top of these switch backs, we were grateful to know that we had no more to do.
Now came the rock climbing. At this point there were several people who had stopped and would not contiue. This was a motivator for me. We were climbing up areas just as steep as the previous switch backs, but had to climb and maneuver up the slick rock. I had never done anything like this before, let alone a thousand feet above the canyon floor. It was honestly the most terrifying thing I have ever done. We kept climbing and climbing. This was extremely strenuous on not only our legs but our arms as well. There were several narrow areas that one wrong step could have sent you rolling down to your death. The cliffs were sheer and narrow. Thank god for the chains that they put up there. At a few points there were thousand foot drop offs to both your left and your right. Just thinking about it again blows my mind. We continued to climb and I thought that I would never make it to the top. It just kept going and going. Finally, we hit a flat, wider space of rock and walked to our end point.
The view was spectacular. The second we hit the Angel's Landing, all of the struggle and hard work paid off. We found a spot and sat in silence as we took in the amazing view that we worked so hard to get. I felt an astonishing sense of accomplishment that I have only felt a few times prior. For hiking my first time only a few days ago, I really was proud.
We had a snack and then headed back down after getting our fill of the beauty before us. We had just enough time to let our legs rest and we were ready to head back down. Going down was a little easier, but still a hard task. Instead of looking up, you were now looking down at the far away canyon floor. We took it nice and slow all the way down the rocks. We then hit the switch backs again and felt a different kind of pain going down them. We slowly cruised the switch backs and eventually made it to the end. We congratulated eachother and took a well deserved selfie at the very end :) A very difficult 5 mile total hike that I never thought I could have done. I know I could not have done it with my amazing partner <3
We caught a shuttle back down the canyon to the visitors center. We then realize how freakin tired we really were. We walked back to our campsite and sat down for a bit. We then decided that it was time for a much needed shower. We were both very excited!!! We walked back down past the visitors center to a shop that had showers. 5 bucks for 5 minutes!!! Crazy expensive. We didn't care though. We took our showers which made us feel so great and then went to a little brew pub right next to the shop. They did not brew on site, but just down the road. We enjoyed great beers, great food, and great air conditioning. It was a nice relaxing time for us.
We walked back to camp sore and tired. We took a nap in the van and then read some of our books. We were so full from lunch still that we had a snack at dinner time and then I beat Brad in phase ten for the third time since we have been gone. :)
What a memorable day in Zion that I know I will never forget.
Happy Father's Day Daddy and Val! Love you both !!!