ZION (it's a mormon joke)

12:00 AM

If I only weighed 100 pounds (hahaha..... funny.) I probably would have died this weekend. In fact, I'm amazed that some of the skinnies of our group didn't die.

I, along with 20-somethin' others, hiked to Angel's Landing in Zion National Park this weekend. It was an excellent adventure, the only thing tugging away at perfection was the sun's conservative rays. And that the weekend wasn't long enough. And that there were too many people. And that there was no alcohol (IS JOKE. drunkenness is probably the worst idea for this trek).

En route to the trail head, a voice recorded tour guide tells us about how "strenuous" and "difficult" the climb is. "Not for young children, or the faint of heart. So please, if you are having doubts, reconsider." At first, I'm all, "DUDE, just calm down. I totally got this." The first part of the hike was nothing close to strenuous (though still beautiful #southernutahlove). However, once we reached the point of no return, complete with a sign about the 6 people who died in the last 8 years, strenuous it became.

The trail from whence we came.

Actually, I thought it would be harder. And scarier. But thrill doesn't come easily to someone who isn't afraid of heights. The ridge was narrow, with a chain link fence to hold onto, and the rocks were hard to climb. But I was more afraid of the people around me than the 1,500+ foot drop next to me.

Plus, though the journey in the hike is fun, I'm in it for the reward. And boy, the Angels delivered. That view was definitely worth writing home about.

You can't tell... but I'm actually standing on land. But almost not, kind of.

Along with a majestic scene of red rock and greenery, I will say that the very top (the place where the Angels land), got scarier. Like I mentioned, it was a little chilly on the hike up. At the top? The temperature was freezing my hands so bad, they could have shattered if I smacked them too hard against someone's head. Worse than that, though, was the wind. Seriously, I would have blown away had the colonel voice in my head not shouted DROP straight into my cochlea. And I hugged that red rock for dear life while the wind shoved me away from the surface. I should also mention that I was a little closer to the edge than was necessary, but it's whatever. 

And then I almost died with a slip of my foot. But it's cool, guys, my ninja reflexes saved me. And the wind stopped just in time for us to hike back down.

After some PB&Js, these three excellent people and I hiked to Emerald Pools (while the rest of the party poopers went home to P-Town). I enjoyed being in such a big group of fun people, but I so prefer a small group. I also forget how highly I value excellent conversation. I had been reading the book Outliers (what's better than camping with a good book?) and I loved discussing Gladwell's arguments with three such intelligent people among such beauty. Those last two hours of deep discussion made the entire trip for me.

I kinda wish I could just camp all the time. It's the best. But I'm mostly just glad that I didn't ACTUALLY meet the Angels on the Landing.

*note: photo cred to SarKar for about half of these. all the ones without me are mine, though. #badphotographer

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