Hello my friends and welcome to the summer of 2015 according to halfpint. Most of you know I hit the open road 17 days ago and began exploring our countries crown jewels. Well, I wrote checks I can’t cash and promised I would blog through it all, but an incessant amount of activity has prevented that, until now. So savior this minuscule morsel because I don’t know when I will be writing again.
6/22/15 – 6/24/15
Golden, CO –> Zion National Park (640 miles)
I left Golden at the butt crack of dawn and terrorized my way down I-70. First stop, Mount Garfield just outside Grand Junction. Several days before I embarked on this journey of a lifetime I landed myself in the emergency room. It is still a mystery why? Food poisoning, dehydration, an electrolyte imbalance, a rogue virus? Either way, I was “walking like an Egyptian” (meaning it was coming out both ends) to the point of total collapse. Thanks to my best friend Caitlyn and an IV bag of fluids, I came back to life. It took several days into my trip and 20 bottles of Pedialyte to fully recover, but who am I and what do I do?
When I say this mountain is hard to summit, I truly mean it. In 1.8 miles the trail climbs 2,118 feet to the summit. There is absolutely no shade and it is about 105 degrees by 9 a.m. It’s also hella-confusing and I ended up scrambling the north side because I blew it several times.
Here’s to never climbing you again Mount Garfield.
So thankful for not passing out face down in the desert I continued to Utah. At a gas station I made friends with a Hawaiian girl doing the road trip thing. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and high-fived a lot.
I air-bnb’d at a fantastic Victorian home in Hurricane, Utah. I know, I know, you’re thinking…that’s not very hardcore but the alternative was frying to death in my trunk so……
One day in Zion, no problem, I’m a runner.
I woke up early and caught the first shuttle to the Weeping Rock trailhead. From there it is 8 miles round trip with 2,200 feet of vertical gain to the summit of Observation Point. Go early in the summer or the heat will punish you.
The trail is easy to follow, absolutely spectacular, and the only people I saw were a group of rock climbers who I hung out with for a bit.
I returned to the trailhead with thoughts of The Narrows swimming in my head. I bought a sweet ass pair of Keen water shoes to forge rivers in Yellowstone and I wanted to test them out. Zion National Park is majestic, until you hop on the shuttle early afternoon and get all gnarled up in the general public. Fear not, I survived.
The Narrows begin at the last shuttle stop, Temple of Sinawava. A pavement walk dumps right into the Virgin River where the real adventure begins. This hike is entirely in the water. The first few miles, while beautiful, are over crowded. I partnered up with a guy named Jason from California and we feverishly maneuvered our way through the masses. Eventually you can out fitness most and get some privacy. It’s worth it. Oh and the Keen shoes, five stars. Most people spend way too much money on rental gear. I used my Keen’s and a pole and made out like a champ. In other words, don’t rent the clown shoes and walking stick.
We went about 4 miles in. The water was chest deep in spots and I had to put my bag on my head. On the way back I was in my own la-la land and some guy walked into me and called me an idiot. I love people so much.
After The Narrows I went and ate a sandwich near the water until a foreign couple decided to show me how they tongue each other.
I took the shuttle back to Canyon Junction and tried to be a photographer.
After, I went back to the Victorian house and sat in the massage chair for an hour before heading out to Kolob Canyons to try and catch a sunset. I did not plan on running or hiking so I wore my party dress and sandals. I drove all the way to the end of Kolob Canyons road and ended up hiking about two miles where I had the most vain photo shoot of my life with myself. I do love these photos, and myself.
The last thing I did was drive down E Highway 144 and post up for sunset. A ranger told me it is the best place to watch Kolob Canyons catch fire but I ended up being far more impressed with this field.
“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.” ~ Christopher McCandless