Life on the Edge: Angel’s Landing to Horseshoe Bend

I fell so deep in love with Zion.  Simply driving into the park sparked an emotion deep in my soul, the stark rocks and shocking cliffs literally brought a tear to my eye.  I feel like experiencing nature and the diversity of beautiful landscapes during this trip has made me very emotional. For example today I was talking to a park ranger at Glen Canyon Dam and I asked how the fish migrate and if they use ladders for them.  He responded bluntly informing me that all of the native fish that were once endangered are now extinct. Gone. Donezo. Can’t be replaced, restocked, or bred.  Hearing that made me so sad. There is so much degradation going on in the world, and it really I overwhelming to think about all the fixing that needs to be done to make this planet healthy and thriving once again.  It is times like these that I feel truly blessed that I was educated about environmental problems, and I hope my background in Biology and Environmental Science will help me some day fix some of these pressing issues. If no one steps up and takes actions, all the wildlife will face the risk of extinction such as the ones that inhabited Powell Lake. Sorry about that little digression…

Anyways, Zion was stunning.  I will most definitely be going back there sometime in the future.  I hope to do the entire Narrows trail and camp along the way. Zion is apparently famous for a hike called Angel’s Landing.  I highly encourage you to go look it up on youtube.  It offers stunning panoramic views of the canyon from the top of one of the cliffs.  The downside is that you have to hike up from the canyon floor to get there.  This includes a ton of switchbacks, climbing up a steep mountains, and gripping chains along the way.  Apparently people have died from this (luckily not me), but my mom decided to do another trail while I was feeling ambitious and wanted to do it.  There are sections of the trail that are only 2-3 feet wide but have 2,000 foot steep and terrifying cliffs on both sides.  Luckily for me, I am not scared of hides nor did I decide to peek down at the bottoms during these sections.  I got to the summit surprisingly fast and enjoyed a snack while gawking at the views.  It was unbelievably beautiful.  I drank a ton of water and got down even faster, finishing the total hike in three hours.  I headed back to the visitor’s center to get phone reception and try to meet up with my mom.  I ended up just hanging out next to a beautiful river.  Once we met up we exchanged photos and stories, then did a short walk to a rock with ancient petroglyphs.

By the time we were finished, the sky turned grey and lightening loomed in the distance.  Perfect timing for me because rain or lightening while I was hiking on top of a very high mountain would have been so scary.  We decided we were both pretty tired and headed to a movie theater that happened to be right next to the visitor’s center.  They were airing a movie called National Parks Adventure, which we felt was very fitting.  The movie followed climbers on their trips to National Parks, and it was in 3D.  The videography was beyond stunning.  Both of us ended up in tears several times just because of the beauty of these places.  It was amazing to see and learn about all of these parks that we have just visited.  I’m pretty sure we have been to like 15 National Parks or something ridiculous like that.  I have also calculated that I have been to 25 states this year!  I am so beyond blessed to have these experiences, this is truly a trip of a lifetime.

After the movie we checked out the most photographed ghost town in the USA, called Grafton.  After, we went into the town of Springdale for dinner. I fell asleep pretty easily after such a long day.  In the morning we woke up, packed out bags, and headed out the door to head to Page, Arizona.  After breakfast (a delicious hole in the wall called Golden Hills in Mr Carmel), we drove 1.5 hours to Arizona.  On our way, we stopped at the Grand Escalante National Monument and learned all about the dinosaurs that roamed the land 95 million years ago.  It was fascinating to learn about all of the creatures that were found in this exact location.  It is crazy to think that this park of the world used to be the shoreline!  After this little stop we got directions from the kind park ranger and headed to Glen Canyon National Park, an unexpected stop that ended up being a highlight of the day.  The massive Glen Canyon Dam created Lake Powell.  This lake is huge, vivid blue, and such a great way to cool off on a 95 degree day.  We headed down to the each (after a few photo stops) and we took a much needed refreshing dip (or 10).  Once we got our fill of sun and sand, we decided to go check into the campground.  After a little uneasiness about the site, we decided it would have to do, and we began setting up camp.  We enjoyed a few seconds of downtime until I recommended that we should go see Horseshoe Bend.  This famous landmark is a view from the top of the canyon, and only pictures can help describe it’s magnificence and grandeur.  It was so amazing, and truly made me beam with happiness.  This little blue planet of ours is so beautiful and just incredible, I can’t wait to see as much of it as I can!

 

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