Tag Archives: Zion National Park

Day 566 of Life on the Road as a Family, the Narrows

IMG_1422Here we go, early morning, into Zion again!  I’ve taken so many pictures of the mountains, and still, just driving in, I have to take another one!

IMG_1435We rode the shuttle to the very last stop, the Temple of Sinawava, hiked the mile down the Riverside walk, and then started hiking up the Virgin River in the canyon called The Narrows.  It was my favorite hike ever!  Hiking and water, what could be better?!  We didn’t rent the shoes that many people recommended and I am glad we didn’t.  The water wasn’t that cold and our closed toe shoes were fine.  We had checked the weather report for the day and there was no chance of showers or flash floods today, yeah.

IMG_1447The canyon was this beautiful for every step.  We would hike through the water to a little bit of land, then through the water to the next land.  We all had walking sticks to help us and I am so happy we did.  It really made a difference in how we stepped on the wet rocks.

IMG_1454After a few hours of hiking, this is where we had our  lunch.  It was hard to stop because we kept on wanting to see what was around the next corner!  “Oh, just one more” we said about a dozen times.  Finally we were too hungry.  Also, it was getting to be a little crowded.  When we had started out at 8 a.m., there were only a handful of people in the canyon with us.  By 11:30 a.m., it was getting to be a zoo.  It had been so peaceful and quiet before, and we really enjoy nature that way.  If you go, go early morning.  There were hundreds of people in each little stretch of canyon as we hiked out.

IMG_1466On the way back, I took a few minutes to swim in this pool – after being told by my daughter that a boy died in Minnesota after swimming in a lake that was filled with microbes that made him sick.  Very sad for the boy and his family, but not swimming is akin to not breathing for me. This is a moving river, so it was worth the risk.

IMG_1479This is the end of our Narrows hike!  I was still sopping wet, but we were all so happy to have done it.  I would do it again and go further.  I’ll have to come back someday!

IMG_1498After the shuttle took us back to our car, we hopped in so we could drive through the tunnel.  Man-made in the 1930’s, you can drive through in a car, but would need a ride if you’re on a bike, or an escort if your RV is as large as ours.  We didn’t want to hassle with either, so decided to take the car.

IMG_1506And here’s why we wanted to go through the tunnel – to get to the other side – miles of this beautiful view!  Amazing to see trees grow out of the sandstone, and all the incredible colors.  We’ve seen tons of paintings and photographs of Zion, but none are as grand as seeing it in person, with the sun shining, with your family.

IMG_1531This is part of the Checkerboard Mesa.  Nate and I wanted to climb all the way up, but we knew it would be very hard to climb down, so he only went this far.  It was the perfect climb to end yet another perfect day on the road.  We are so lucky.

Day 565 of Life on the Road as a Family, Zion National Park

We got up early and drove into Zion National Park, parked, and hopped on the shuttle to the Grotto to get to the most exciting hike in Zion, Angel’s Landing.  Dan and I had hiked it years before and we couldn’t wait to show the kids how cool it is.  After hiking by the Virgin River for awhile, we got to…

IMG_1361… the famous Walter’s Wiggles, 21 switchbacks built into the side of the hill by master craftsmen years ago.  I was gasping for air and happy to take a break for this photo opportunity.  It’s only 2.4 miles to the end, but it’s all uphill and it was already scorching hot in the shade.

IMG_1369Eliza and I are firmly seated on Scout’s Landing while Dan and Nate check out the trail as it continues to Angels Landing.  It goes right up the side of that hill and then another 1/2 mile out to the end.  It has steep drop offs and a few chains to hold onto.  6 people have died on it.  Dan and I hadn’t gone to the end years ago, and I knew I couldn’t now.  Eliza didn’t go because her shoes had no tread, which is necessary.  Dan went up a ways and then turned around to come sit with us.  It was hard for him to admit he couldn’t do it, and even harder to let Nate go alone.  We had talked about it before and Nate said he really wanted to do it, so we let him.

IMG_1372This is the view 4 feet to my left.  Straight down to Big Bend.  Scary.

IMG_1381This is Angels Landing.  I swore I saw Nate hike through the gap to the left of the trees.  He’s got a very distinctive walk.

IMG_1598Look closely.  That’s Nate’s boot, right on the edge of Angels Landing.  I cried when he texted this to me later in the day.  That’s straight down!  My son stood there!  He didn’t take a selfie or ask anyone to take a picture of him, but I think this picture is priceless.  We started this trip with a 6th grader, and we’re going home with a young man who wants to be a Marine.  Wow.

IMG_1395Here he is, back safe and sound and we can breathe again.  He wasn’t scared, he had a blast, and he’s so glad he did it.  It only took him 30 minutes to go out and back!

IMG_1413After getting back down, we hiked to the viewpoint for the Court of the Patriarchs, but there wasn’t anyone around to take our family picture, so we tried this selfie.  Hilarious!  We’d been hiking long enough, so we headed back to the RV park for wifi that works, a dip in the pool and a great dinner.  Life is rough.