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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Finally! Angel's Landing...At Last!

Did I hear a large sigh of relief? I think I did or it was just someone passing gas in the other room...either way, today is the day. We rose bright and early, had our coffee and breakfast (yes, you have to have coffee when you camp) and filled our packs full of water. At Zion, you can't drive into the park, they have propane fueled buses that bring visitors through the park, stopping at different intervals...there's always a bus coming! So we walked to the bus stop and I am still thinking to myself..."There is no way in hades I am going all the way to the top". I think at this point, I would rather do the Lava Point trail! The trail is 2.5 miles one way and it is ALL uphill.

We started with some switchbacks (imagine that!) that we thought were Walter's Wiggles...Named after Walter, the first superintendent of the park. This is a series of 21, count them..21! switchbacks. Walter's granddaughter actually works in Zion to this day. How cool is that? After coming out of what is known as Refrigerator Canyon, you encounter the Wiggles. The first set was just for practice! Once you get to the top of the wiggles you get to a place that you would swear was the top...We thought we had done it...Boy, that was easy...then someone kindly points out the saddle and the next peak and says "THAT is Angel's Landing"...This place was just Scout's Lookout. Gross tidbit? They have solar toilets where the waste is collected and has to be taken out...glad to not have that job!

Half a mile left...As we are sitting there getting courage, another group went ahead. Even my hubby was having second thoughts when he saw what was ahead. My son on the other hand was full of energy and courage. He had already bought the "I survived Angel's Landing" t-shirt so we pretty much had to do it. As we were pondering if we were going to do it or not...the people who had gone ahead were coming back. The woman panicked and had to come back. That was comforting...NOT!

Well, with trepidation, we started the last half mile. As I chant "Trust my shoes, trust my shoes", I am swallowing bile and trying not to hyperventilate. Don't look down, don't look down. Keep moving. Yes, this was my husband talking to me the whole way and encouraging me. (Thanks honey..I love you!) Only a half mile but the first 2 miles of the hike took less time to complete than this stretch. This whole time I am thinking of the 5 deaths that have occurred here and keep warning the son about the edges.
We encounter more chains bolted into the rocks to help with traversing the "sheer fin" of Angel's Landing. I have never killed as many chains with my death grip as I did on this hike! I think some of links are crushed from me. We didn't take many pictures on the way up but managed to take a lot on the way down. Remember how I said it was hard coming down the trail for Hidden Canyon? That was like child's play compared to this. This time, my adrenaline levels were so high that I just wanted to get down!

At the top of the world!
Once at the top, I can't even explain the feeling that I had. Elation? Close. Satisfaction? That too but it was more of a feeling of awe. The views were unbelievable and I was in awe of what God had created. I am so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and was able to tackle my fear and experience this with my son and husband. After this, I can do anything! So, when are we going back?

One last picture....what do you mean? We have to go back down? Where's the helicopter?


  1. Your post and photos brought so many good memories back! My mom, dad and I lived in Utah for about two years when I was younger and we went to Zion several times. It is so pretty, I can actually say that I miss Utah!
    New follower, hope that you will follow back!

  2. Thanks Kelly and welcome to my blog! I am glad you found me. Utah is such a pretty place and we plan on going back again as we didn't see everything we wanted. I look forward to visiting your site!

  3. Wow, what great exercise you must have gotten! Beautiful photos.
    Following you back,

    Hip Chick's Guide to PMS, Pregnancy, and Babies

  4. Thanks DP and welcome! We hiked 50+ miles over the two weeks we were there! Have a great weekend..