My Life as a Dog

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Zions: High on a Mountain Top

Last weekend I was supposed to be running Wasatch Back Ragnar but do to my hip injury and subsequent lack of training I had to give up my spot. :(

Don't worry! It's not all bad news. Instead I was invited by some friends to go to Zion's National Park for the weekend. I hadn't been there is years, at least to do any real hiking. My only hesitation was that we would be camping. I don't have much camping stuff and I like sleeping in a comfy bed. In spite of that I decided to go. After all it was just going to be for one night. I could handle that.

We left Saturday morning and with a few stops along the way got down there in the early afternoon. We got to our campsite in Watchman Campground and started setting up camp which was basically just putting up our matching tents. (As you can see below one group of us was more successful than the other.) Not wasting any time we decided to go explore a bit. We drove the the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel parking on the opposite side and hiked the Canyon Overlook trail. After a quick stop at the grocery store for a few needed supplies we took the shuttle up to the Emerald Pools trail. We hit all three: lower, middle, and upper. This was nice because in my previous visits to Zions I had never hiked either of these trails. After the last hike we all were getting pretty hungry. We decided to just eat at the Red Rock Grill right inside the park. We sat out on the deck it was so nice. The Kolob Chicken was pretty tasty. We spent the rest of the evening at the campsite but without a fire since they weren't allowed. :(

The night was nice and cool but not cold. In the morning around 7 we started getting up and packing up camp since we knew we wouldn't be back from hiking in time to checkout. While on my way to the campground bathroom to clean up there was a deer grazing a bit no more than 12 feet away from me. I made an Instagram video of it but due to my phone battery and new iOS 7 I lost it. :( But I was surprised how it didn't seem to care that I was even there.

By 9 am we were on the trail heading up Angels Landing. It had obviously been several years since I did it last. I had forgotten how tough a trail it was. And this time I was not only hauling up plenty of water but also my large DSLR camera. Oh well, it was definitely worth it. We reached the summit and were back down around noon. Fortunately going up we were often in the morning shade. This was my third time up there. Each time seems to be a bit less unnerving for me.

After this hike we were all starving. We ended up eating at Jack's Sports Grill in Springdale where I got a Hawaiian Burger with sweet potato fries. It was delicious but still too much food. 

By this time we all pretty sleepy from a night of poor sleep, a long hike, and full tummies. But it was time to start heading back home. It was a great weekend with good friends. Thanks guys!