A Quick Trip to Zion

I have always wanted to visit Zion National Park, so when a friend offered me a spot on their Subway Hike (you have to have a permit) I sprung into action trying to figure out how it would work with childcare. Luckily my in-laws live in Vegas, which is on the way, so I was able to drop Sawyer off with them on Wednesday afternoon and then drive two more hours to where my friends were staying, in time for the hike Thursday morning.

I have a weird relationship with hiking- I don't necessarily go our every month or anything, but I've done the laborious trek up to Half Dome in Yosemite twice and have done some local trails. Sawyer and I were also able to explore in Canada last summer, as well (he is part of the reason I don't get to go as often as I'd like, truth be told). I consider myself to be relatively in-shape enough, so I don't balk at the idea of a tough, long hike, even though I'm not out there in the hills super frequently. I don't consider myself experienced, but definitely enthusiastic and willing. 

Given that, for once, I wasn't the one who had to coordinate things (thanks Jeannette and Matt!), I sort of didn't look into this one much before I went, other than just some of the basics. My friends had already done it and assured me I'd be fine, so that was good enough for me! Unfortunately, what I couldn't have predicted was coming down with a cold the day before I left California. It started out as a sore throat and turned into a fever on the drive to Nevada. I shrugged it off, took some Dayquil, and just planned on being better the next day. Spoiler alert: not quite.

We started hiking around 6:30 in the morning and climbed down to the bottom of a canyon- it was absolutely beautiful and the weather was perfect. It was a really steep, rocky descent and I was definitely concerned about the way back, but what can you do? After about an hour and a half of hiking we took a break and I was feeling like absolute crap- my fever was clearly back. I seriously considered quitting, having them drop a pin at my location and pick my up in like six hours. Fortunately, my friend had Aleve, and within twenty minutes I had a renewed pep in my step and was good to go. That girl is a lifesaver, I'm telling ya. 

We hiked to the Subway part, which was also our turnaround, and it was absolutely beautiful. I fell multiple times on the slippery rocks on the way there, so I was bruised and scraped up quite a bit, but it was still really pretty and it was so nice to just sit there and relax. 

The way back we tried to stay in the super shallow river (?) water, which was never higher than out hips, mostly mid-calf. It was a more direct route and was cooler, since we started getting the sun. There were hundreds of little toads jumping around, which were super cute.

The killer was hiking out of the canyon- it was thirty minutes of torture. I can't even count how many four-letter words I dropped, dripping in sweat and with my heart rate at like 165. But, we did it! And, despite the hiccups, I'm really glad I was able to push myself. I haven't done something super physical and challenging in a long time, so I was really proud of myself. Most of the hikes I have done in the past have really clearly marked trails, but this one was rough- we were constantly climbing over rocks and finding our way. It was different, in a good way.

After the hike (about 10ish miles and 9 hours) I basically got right back in the car and drove back to Vegas to relieve my in-laws. It was a really hard drive back- I was tired, I was still not feeling great, and I was in this weird state of starving and not wanting to eat, which I find typical of myself after I do something that requires a lot of endurance. I had to stop a few times to get out and stretch, since my legs were cramping up and I got sleepy.

I'm back home, getting over my soreness (my legs, my arms, my chest....), but I am so glad I was able to go. The company was excellent, the scenery was unlike my normal trips, and it was a nice break away from home. I really feel like it's important to push yourself- it would have been so easy to bail on the trip when I started to feel sick, but I knew I could do it. And I did. 

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhhh man. Yah. I've hiked when I've been sick as a dog and my lungs were so congested I wasn't getting any air. Not fun, but like you said, sooooooo worth it. I've never done a hike as amazing as Zion, but if I got the chance I would go even if I was dying. So great that you were able to suck it up and power through!!!!