Monday, June 30, 2008

Zion National Park

Get ready for a photo-dump, but they're all good, don't worry

Scene from a Western? Nope, that's my superb photography skills (such humility I know)

On Saturday Dave Lemke, Jeff Cheng, and I drove down to Southern Utah for the day to hike Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. Preston came up from Vegas but had a slight brain fart and forgot the time change (sorry Pres) so the rest of us had about an hour to kill. We went down to St. George where Dave and Jeff let me go to the tabernacle. What good guys :)

Preston got to St. Goerge and we met up at Costco for lunch. We got to Zion's and paid a ridiculous $25 parking fee. Whatev. No turning back now. And we were on our way. We planned to hike Angel's Landing - Here's the description on the ZNP website:

"Sheer cliffs at high elevations while hiking on a narrow fin. Not suggested for children or those with a fear of heights. Avoid standing near the edge at all times! Do not hike the trail when it is wet, storming, or when high winds are present."

Are you nervous for us? I wasn't. Ok, maybe a little.

We took the tour bus...

(Dave, Jeff, Preston, Meghan)

...too the trail head.

Preston ready to go

(Preston and Dave)

Not far into the hike we came across this

Bad Omen??

Well, our fearless group pressed on and had lots of fun along the way.

We found this fun little cave

One of my favorite pics of Preston

(He jumped it!)


(expert climbers scaling the side of a thousand foot brave)

That was the easy part. We got past the switchbacks and were ready to face the "sheer cliffs and high elevations."

This is how high up we were before we even started the narrow-climb-while-hanging-for-dear-life-onto-chains-attached-to-the-mountain-so we-don't-plummet-to-our-deaths part of the climb.

(Meghan's feet) (Preston's feet)

This is the sign that greeted us as we started the climb. Nice.

And we're off...

This guy was coming down as we were going up. He had scaled the side of the mountain and spent 2 nights up there. By himself. I swear he had another 100 pounds on his back, which made it really scary watching him come down with a cliff right next to him. Oh well, I bet he wasn't worried.

We made it!!

View of both sides of the cliff

(L-R: Jeff, Preston, Dave)

Lunch at the top
We stayed up at the top enjoying the beautiful view and then made our way down. Which, by the way, I think was scarier than going up!

Some of the parts were pretty steep
Ahhhhh! Dave saved his hat at the last second!
Abercrombie and Fitch

Well, we made it down the steep part alive!

It was nice and shady all the way down
Jeff the Lamanite atop the wall. REPENT!!
When we go back to the trailhead we decided to go on another mile and a half hike to some little pools.

On the way back we decided to try some cactus. Not too bad.

Oh ya, and Dave decided to chuck his hat at a lizard, down the steep hill that quickly turns into a big cliff. Well, boys were being boys and wanted to just walk down and get it but I had to set them straight. I mean it was a huge cliff! Don't be stupid! Well Preston, always prepared, brought a rope. So they tied it around Dave's waist and he sat behind a big rock while Preston tied the other end around his waist and went down to get it. A lot safer than their initial plans but it still made me nervous. We got it though!

This is the view of Angel's Landing from the bus on the way back, whew, so fun!


We got back to St. George and took a pit stop at In-n-Out, a must for us deprived Northern Utahns.

We didn't leave until 9 p.m.! I was so tired when we started but then it was ok at the end. I didn't get back to Holladay until 2:oo in the a.m.! (Luckily my mom is a night owl and chatted with me while I was driving home to keep me awake).

Conclusion: This trip was one of the funnest things I've done in a LONG time! We're already planning to hike The Narrows in late August and I can't wait!