Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hiking the Narrows with the Kiwi Crew

Maybe the most well-known and highly recommended hike in Zion is the Narrows, a gorgeous, surreal hike up a canyon by way of walking the river that cut through it. We knew we wanted to hike it, so we saved it for our second full day to be able to start early. We woke up early enough to have coffee and gorgeous views at sunrise.

Made the drive into town and hopped on the shuttle. We rode to the final stop on the shuttle, and even the views just from the bus were some of the most beautiful ones I've seen.

We were ready! Some of us had rented special river hiking boots (Annie and I wore Keens with rented neoprene socks), our packs, rented walking sticks and some warm sweatshirts. We had been warned that Zion could be hot in September, but we started our hike so early, and the shade and breeze in the Narrows kept us comfortably wearing sweatshirts most of the way!

There was a one-mile paved walk to get to the spot where you start in on the river. We were so excited! I'm so glad that we started so early because, while there were plenty of other people there, there were also lots of times when there was hardly a soul around - especially the further we got. On our way back, the crowds were getting big!

It was gorgeous. Of course pictures don't truly capture it. There were times where the canyon walls were only about 20 feet across. There were areas where water dripped down the walls, allowing hanging gardens of ferns and moss to grow. I wanted to take a thousand pictures just of the shadows that formed from the waves of rock in the walls that were a thousand feet high.

Walking in the river was challenging sometimes - the water was opaque so you couldn't see most of the large stones at the bottom. I read somewhere that "hiking the Narrows is like walking on slippery bowling balls" and I found that comparison pretty apt. 

It was more difficult to walk in the water, but I found myself doing it even when there was a shore, just because it was so cool and unique. 

We hiked all the way up to an area called Wall Street, which is supposed to be one of the most narrow areas. It was a few hours up and a few hours back. The water was so chilly, and the breezy shade in the Narrows made it so we were comfortable in sweatshirts for most of the way. (This was a nice change from the day before when we all baked on a normal hike.)

Anyway, I felt like it was one of the coolest things I've ever done. Absolutely an incredible hike and a wonderful adventure with these girls.

After a shuttle back into town, we picked up some groceries at a store and headed back to our house. This is our driveway... so remote, not a soul to be seen!

You can see two little rectangles near the middle of the far right of this picture. That is our house (on the right) and the one right next to it (which was empty).

We made tacos and had dinner on the porch, stopping to take some great photos. We all put on our flannel shirts that we coincidentally brought, but since Emily didn't have one she had to wear a flannel place mat.

And of course jumping photos.

Then it was time for wine and board games and laughs, and all piling into the one huge room with 3 bunk beds in it.

These girls are the best.

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