Sunday, September 7, 2008

Zion: Narrows of the Virgin River

After surviving a huge storm/flash flood at the Phoenix Airport while picking up part of the family (there was 14 inches of standing water in places and I had to back up a ramp because I wasn't willing to lose my car to submersion in terminal three), we headed up to Zion National Park, Utah as early as we could manage on Friday. We met up with my parents who drove their camper van out from Ohio at a nearby campground. Because it was an RV park, it was a bit cramped compared to my usual standards, but I admit it was nice to have flushing toilets and showers and we could walk to the shuttle into the park.

Our first morning in Zion, we headed to the carnival ride known as the Narrows of the Virgin River. This is my kind of hike except for the one small aspect of the hordes of people with the same idea. I do only less slightly less impressive river canyon hikes in AZ frequently which are mostly deserted. Still I was excited to exlore this famous hike.

I had told the fam to bring some sort of footwear they could wear in water. Most of them showed up with those funny $4 water shoes you had when you were a kid. Not terribly good for hiking, just for looking really really cool. Tons of people had rented these high tech 5.10 water river hiking bike things which I thought was extreme overkill. Anyway, we started up the river which had some decent current and required a bit of care picking your way through submerged rocks and deep holes.
R:Look at my walking stick I found.
H: Well my stick is bigger.
R: Oh yeah, well mine is for short people.
H: You are short.
R: Well you are going to get big arms from carrying that thing.
H: I already have big arms.

The classic family pic. Yes my proper Brit bro-in-law does have his pant rolled up a little too far.

We got a family pic towards the beginning of the hike and then us kids (yes we are all now way to old to be called kids) left the parent behind and tried to make some progress into the canyon. It eventually got very narrow and with high walls and overall it was a pretty cool hike. We explored a side canyon to a very unimpressive waterfall (sorry not much water) which was worth it just for the climbing required to get up to it. We would have gone further but we were warned of flash flooding danger past two o'clock so we forced ourselves to turn around then and made it out by 4pm. I would guesstimate about 5 to 6 hours spent in the canyon.

Waterfall along the way.

We honestly all look pretty different and have very different body type except for one small thing... freakishly strong arms muscles.

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