Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Zion National Park - Canyons and Angels

I live as I do
Because life is mysterious and precious
Fast or slow, day by day
In a wonderful way.

Excerpt from the Journey Itself is Home (Rod McIver)

I did this trip last year with my most awesome girlfriends and it was so inspiring that I wanted to share it with my family too.  On our first day in Zion we hiked the Narrows from the bottom up.  I was hoping we would make it all the way to Wall Street where there is a magical side canyon to explore.  But our car broke down on the way to Utah and so we had less time in the park than we had planned.  The good news is that we were just shy of Wall Street and more importantly, the kids had a GREAT time.

Day 1 - Beginning our hike up The Narrows.

Laura generally took the lead and either Scott or I tried to keep close to Ben.

For those of you who don't know, my husband is a second degree black belt.  They are doing some karate form thingie with their staffs.

I'm including this photo because it shows a rare spot of sunshine in the canyon.

Success and smiles!  Everyone stayed safe and mostly dry. By the way, renting the dry suits for kids is key because they did fall completely in the water a few times.  (thanks to Zion Adventure Company for the rentals)

 Day 2 - Angel's Landing Hike.  We started in the cool morning air to ascend to some welcome sunshine, a completely different day than the Narrows hike.

Laura not looking too excited about the 22 switchbacks called "Walter's Wiggles." 
I'm not sure what I'm doing here - a farmer maybe? 

Walter's Wiggle # 17, almost there.

I love my kid's ingenuity - they got sick of walking up the wiggles and decided to climb them.

The hike up to Angel's Landing is a 1520 foot gain in elevation.  Here we are perched on the cliff's edge at Scout's Overlook watching for condors.  All told, we spent nearly an hour here watching for a California condor.  When all four of us were peering over the edge one flew right below us along the cliff wall. It was a truly magnificent sight and I was so excited to share it with my family!
 And yes, Scott is dangling our camera over the sheer 1500-foot drop for the photo op.

Me and my little man Ben, patiently watching for condors, overlooking the Virgin River. 

Ben's hair got so long and matted (under his hat) that he got his first dreadlock.

My kids teased me about my tall black socks but just wait until they are teenagers - then I will really embarrass them. 

I love it when they have random moments of sweetness.