Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day 9 - The Narrows

Yesterday was a chill day to recoup from all the hiking in the blazing heat and also do some laundry. Today we got up and headed to Zion National Park to hike the Narrows starting down the path around noon. While we brought plenty of water, I wasn't too concerned with the 100+ degree heat because you are between massive canyon walls traipsing through a river for most of the hike. For the first mile or so I was nonplused with the experience because it was mobbed with people and you couldn't get a good photo without 50 strangers in the background. I also hate wearing wet shoes and socks but quickly resigned myself to the fact that sopping feet are part of the experience. 

After a while the riff raff cleared out and we were able to have some solitude that increased proportionally with distance. At 3.5 hours we had traversed approximately 4 miles and stopped to have a snack. The intention was to hike four hours in and then four back but when we heard thunder and saw ominous clouds approaching we turned tail and ran. What took us 3.5 hours to hike out only took 1.25 to return from with the potential threat of a flash flood at our back. 

If you are to ever hike the narrows I would recommend two things: a walking stick that is smooth and footwear with a good sole. We picked up random sticks along the way but they were a little rough and were on the verge of causing blisters towards the end of the hike. Since you are scrambling over wet rocks and through mud, a solid pair of shoes is extremely helpful. It's really pointless to wear waterproof shoes because they will be soaked within the first 10 minutes - no way around it. 

It was a great day and I was able to get In N Out for dinner for the first time in 3 years. 

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