zion national park.
the narrows, done right.

after our little (and underprepared) adventure into the narrows on our first day at zion, we decided that at least some of us would be returning to do a proper hike into the legendary canyon. after much deliberation and weather studying, we decided that anna and i would do it one day and then report back to the fam, to decide whether or not derek and isaac would go later in the week. (there were no suits in her size).

so, last wednesday, anna and i got all decked out in our cool rental water hiking outfits and derek drove us over to the visitor center to catch the shuttle.

the first mile of the “trail” is a riverside walk, which is the part we had already done and is sort of annoying to be wasting energy on, especially in our suits.

the views are pretty great though.

finally, we were ready to start. a friendly couple took a pic for us before we set off into the canyon slicing waters of the virgin river.

it was decidedly different than our first attempt (no walking sticks or dry pants or neoprene socks).

there weren’t very many people out on the trail with us. we trudge upstream and took many a break.

it wasn’t cold at all. just slushy feeling in our boots. but it was tiring, fighting the current. especially if you are barely over 40 lbs.

this was about as far as i had gotten with isaac on the previous, ill-equipped trip.

then we turned the corner. the walking stick was kind of difficult for anna to use, especially when the water level was high, because you have to get it all the way out of the water each step, or it just pulls against the direction you’d like to head. the canyon walls were preferred when possible.

i chose this picture to commemmorate the last photo of our go pro camera. during the next river crossing, we passed through some really strong and deep current and as i struggled to hold anna up (because her suit had some air trapped in it, making it hard to keep her feet under her), the go pro slipped of her head and disappeared in the current and down the river in an instant. several folks stopped to help us look for it, to no avail. rip go pro.

around every corner, the views were amazing. the pictures don’t really capture it.

there were only a few spots where we had to walk completely upstream. mostly, we were able to zig zag from bank to bank and get a breather on some semblance of solid ground.

so cool.

cutest water hiker. every adult we passed complimented her awesomeness.

eventually even the giant round “bowling ball” rocks became annoying to walk on. also, this is the same terrain that is under the water of the river. only wet.

look at me and my artistic shot. thanks to my new fancy iphone 8+.

regular non-artistic shot.

the canyon walls were so cool. all sorts of smooth little nooks and crannies. if i would have let her, anna would have climbed into each and every one.

when we got here, anna asked if this was the official picture of the narrows. 🙂

happy hiker in her 80s rock star dry suit.

anna took this pic of me, wandering about.

we traded photographer duties with some fellow hikers.

this is my favorite picture from the day.

keep in mind that for every picture, i had to get stable, let go of my stick, unzip my pocket, pull out my ziplocked phone, open the baggie, turn on the phone, get into photos, line up photo, adjust exposure, take pics, turn off the phone, zip back up in baggie, put the baggie in my pocket, zip up my pocket and resume stick holding. all while anna was trudging towards or away from me in a rushing current. but i persevered. 🙂

so, anna had a full dry suit that was waterproof to her neck. (i only had pants). she was intent on testing the limits of her waterproofness. she loved driving her stick into the sand and then hanging off it as the current pulled her away.

i was really hoping to make it to “wall street”, but we were starting to lose steam. our breaks increased in frequency and duration and i had to make longer inspirational speeches to keep us moving.

a fellow hiker took this picture, when i thought we had gone as far as we could.

but then anna agreed to venture just a bit further. this canyon was probably the coolest part of the hike (that we saw).

and then, anna hit a wall. figuratively. there was no talking her into “just a bit further” or “let’s just see what’s around that corner”. she was done. and it was probably for the best, because we had to have our equipment back by 6pm and we only made it with an hour to spare. so we turned it around. later, when i looked on a map, and used my photo locations, we deduced that we covered just shy of 6 total miles (2 of those being the riverside walk in and out). not too shabby for tiny legs.

this was anna’s favorite part. on the way up, we attempted to pass through, but i got a little nervous and we ended up going around, on land. but, on our way back, we realized that on our first try we had actually reached the deepest part (about waist high for me) and we could get through after all. it was so fun, that anna insisted on going around and coming back through, and as we did, some folks that we had chatted with earlier passed by and took some pictures for us. an action shot with both of us!

on the way back, anna discovered that she could use her slightly inflated suit to float along the current, lazy river style.

she had an absolute blast and got a lot of laughs. i was just thankful that she had a way to save her energy a bit.

we survived the river, trudged along the riverside trail, and caught the shuttle bus (which was stuffed to the rafters) back to the visitor center. then we stripped off our suits and waited for derek to come get us.

anna had an absolute blast and wanted to go back with derek. unfortunately, for a number of reasons, derek decided not to go out and do the hike, so she will have to wait until our next zion trip. i would love to do this hike in the summer (even though there’s like 80 billion other hikers), when getting wet is refreshing and not hypothermia inducing. :). maybe next year…

One Reply to “zion national park.
the narrows, done right.”

  1. What an adventure!

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