Thursday, April 28, 2011

Angels Landing in Zion's National Park

While exploring Zion in 1916, Frederick Fisher exclaimed, "only an angel could land on it," and thus the monolith was named Angels Landing. 

Mark and I decided to take a little Spring Break vacation this year even though we don't have any children in school.  It was a nice break from our busy schedules to get away together.  We headed South to St. George, Snow Canyon and Zion's.  We hiked all the typical trails in both canyons and had a great 3 days together just enjoying nature and the awesome weather.  

I don't know exactly whose idea it was to hike Angels Landing but we went and survived .  Mark has hiked this trail before with the scouts a couple summers ago and knew exactly what he was in for.  I, on the other hand didn't have the same concept and thought it was just supposed to be a great hike with a little short challenging part at the end. WRONG-O! After hiking with him I told him I was amazed he would ever, even want to hike it again. I know one time to the top of this mountain fulfilled any future desires for me.
 After hiking for 2 miles on what I thought was extremely steep terrain we got to the top of an open and fairly flat area called Scout Falls and I thought we had made it at last.  We were accomplished!  I was ready to sit down and eat lunch and relax.  Mark just laughed at me and pointed yonder and said, "No dear, that's where we gotta get to"  What???? I wanted to sit down and cry.  The last 1/2 mile of our journey was the true challenge.  This mountain may not seem that intimidating but if you look really close at the photo below you just might find some really small people scaling up it.
Can't find them?  Try enlarging the photo and having a closer look :) Be sure to look all the way from the bottom of the photo to the very top of it.  You'll see little folks all along the way.

Once we arrived I sat down and breathed a sigh of relief for having made it.  I was still shaking in my boots already thinking ahead about the descent.  I just didn't know how on earth we would make it back down.   
1200 foot drop-off
So after enjoying our lunch, the gorgeous weather, spectacular views and texting a few friends and family members, we headed back down this treacherous mountain.
 Mark was so brave and I think felt no fear at all. What a man!

Sheer drop-offs on both sides!!
I'm holding tight to this iron rod, not letting go or looking down!! ("hurry dear and take the photo")
Here we are about 1/2 way down the mountain and in a much safer place. Can you see a little more relaxed smile on my face?  You can also see the trail way below us but it was definitely a more relaxing part of the journey.
I enjoyed the hike.  It felt great to do something exciting and inspiring yet I feel very fulfilled in doing this hike only one time in this life. 

On a side note....It was funny to me as we were making our way up the trail I would often look at people's faces as they passed us coming down.  One face in particular looked familiar.  It took me about 10 more steps of moving forward before I realized we had just passed our local mail carrier.  I stopped and made a quick turn around and hollered down to him "Hey, you're our post man!"  His family all stopped and turned around and looked at us.  They chuckled at me and then the post man smiled and immediately rattled off our street address and last name.  It's kind of funny to me that he knew us as an address first and then a last name.  We made small talk and then continued on our separate ways.  Who knew we would see a familiar face in the middle of a National Park!