Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Zion is Perfection

Zion: An idealized, harmonious community; utopia. Basically defines my weekend. Kami, Caitlin, Bryce, Alex and I road-tripped our way to Zion National Park in southern Utah.

Our plan: drive down to Utah Thursday night, camp in a free camp site, hike all day Friday and Saturday, go to church on Sunday and then drive home. We were so great at sticking to our plan, except for a lot of the details.

We began our trip attempting to stuff my trunk full of everyone’s stuff. We haven’t learned how to pack light, but Alex and I are really good at trunk tetris. We ventured down to Taylorsville to pick up Bryce and somehow managed to fit his stuff into my trunk as well. We then made the long trek down to Zion. Well, I didn’t get directions because I remembered that there were road signs that pointed the way, but I wanted to go to sleep, so I gave the directions to the Narrows. Should be relatively close since the Narrows are in Zion. WRONG. Our directions took us to the east side of the park. We wanted to be on the west side. Luckily as we were driving, Caitlin had an encounter with a jackrabbit and we all found her cries of “move little bunny, move!” quite amusing. Once we made it to Zion there was a man sitting outside the gate and a HUGE road block. He told us that the road was closed until 8:00 a.m. Too bad it was 3:00 a.m. and our camp site was on the opposite side of the park. So we drove down the road for a little while, pulled off to the side and slept in the car. Well, some of us slept in the car. Bryce wanted to spread out, so he pulled out his sleeping bag and slept on the side of the road. Four hours later we wake up, drive through the park and to our campsite and get things situated in our beautifully sandy abode. We ate breakfast and set out for our fist adventure of Angel’s Landing.

Angel’s Landing is a beautiful hike that spans 2.5 miles (one way) and has an elevation gain of 1,488 feet. We spent the entire afternoon climbing to the top and nearly an hour enjoying the view. I love this hike. I did it back in February and climbing in the summer is a lot easier than climbing in the heat rather than the snow.

Later that day we went and grabbed some ice cream cones and hiked the Emerald Pools. Kami, Bryce and Caitlin decided to shower in the pools when nobody was looking. Very strange.

We also encountered a deer in the parking lot or as Kami would put it “little beasty.” We also made a friend named Leroy. He was on a mission from God to go to Zion. So while he was there he would read his bible and watch peoples dogs for them.
Saturday morning we woke up ready to hike the Narrows. We hiked for nearly 6 hours in the Virgin River through the canyon It carved through the park. It was such a beautiful hike and it felt so great to be knee deep in water most of the hike. I think everyone fell at least a little bit while in the water, and finally by the end we were all pretty wet. Kami and Bryce even jumped off a rock and swam for a bit.

On our way home from the hike it began raining, so we hurried to our campsite only to find our tents had quite a bit of water inside. So we spent the next hour or so eating and drying out our sleeping bags. We decided after everything was dry we would go to the park and play Frisbee. The sprinklers were on so Bryce and I decide to pressure wash our hair in them and it feels so great to be semi-clean.
When we made it back to camp, our wood was wet and we could not get a fire started to save our lives. Luckily our neighbor lent us some lighter fluid and we were able to roast some hot dogs and Kami ate her body weight in marshmallows.

The next morning was church and we went to all three hours, disgusting and smelly. We hadn’t told Bryce that we were going to church, so he had no clothes to wear. I’m kind of glad he had to wear jeans because it made for a great story. An old lady in the ward came up to him and told him that she was so proud of him for coming today. Said that he was brave for coming in those clothes and maybe he would get some extra attention for dressing like a non-member. Then she said, “Remember the Lord looketh on the heart.” Did she really just quote 1 Samuel? Oh shoot. There were also only 4 guys in Elders quorum and we spent the entire time discussing how to build up their quorum. It was kind of sad because of how much they were struggling.

After church we head home. Only 8 hours to Rexburg from Zion. So why did it take us 11 hours? Maybe because we stopped in Lehi, Taylorsville, Bear River City, and Blackfoot. 11 hours in the car flew by and once I finally got home I was so excited to tell Stu about our trip that I didn’t even sleep until 1:00 or later. Needless to say I’m still recuperating.
P.S. We saw so many animals on our trip. Besides the deer and jackrabbit we saw: frogs, lizards, wild turkeys, California condor, squirrels, chipmunks, fish, ants, and so many others.

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