RoseHiker Part 2

oh no.  I was on vacation for 8 days, and yesterday morning marked the 10th day since I had done a track workout.

Yesterday morning, my legs met the track and it all felt unfamiliar and rough.  Either 80 miles of hiking detracts from sprint muscles, or taking 10 days off from speed work makes all progress disappear.  I did one mile in 5:52, a second mile in 6:07, and then decided I couldn't take anymore and jogged home.  This evening after work, I did 4 miles of "fartleks" with the Gentleman.  I felt decidedly better.  I think it will take me another week to feel back where I left off.

Back to ze hiking chapter.

Day 2:

We woke up with big plans this day.  We were under the impression that we had limited time to hit all the trails in Zion, because we would be devoting 2 days to Bryce Canyon and 1 day to hiking the Narrows/alternate canyon.  So we did 2 of the most rewarding and mindblowing trails in one day, which was a delicious burn for the legs and a little too much beauty for this little brain to handle.  Thus the mindblowing thing.

First up: the highly-recommended Angel's Landing trail, a trail with much hype because of the difficult narrow path to the payoff of the landing, and because of a (small) number of fatalities.  FYI, there are fatalities on virtually every hiking trail ever.  People get lost, dehydrated, have heart attacks, and fall off cliffs.  It happens, but all things considered hiking is a very safe activity as long as you pack a lot of food and water.  And sunscreen.

It was maybe 9:00 a.m. was so nice each morning to watch the sun hit the rocks before the shade in the valley slid away

A view to the right

Yours truly, drinking in the same view.  Only a bit over a mile into the hike.

I found a hidey-hole
 The day was getting hot pretty quickly.  By the mid-morning it was in the upper 80's, and it would top off in the 90's.  I was beginning to sweat from excitement, anxiety, and good old fashioned aerobic hiking.  Just a lil anxiety.  After coming face-to-face with the narrow trail.

The trail is famously only two feet wide at some parts.

No doubt, the most difficult part of this trail was looking down while you were walking through it.  It was hard to look down and rationally decide you should keep going further.

This picture gives a better sense of the scale of the drop-off.  And a sense of one of our favorite go-to vacation poses.

This was taken on our way back down.  We were focused on not dying during the actual hiking of the narrow part, so no pictures were taken.

At the top of Angel's landing.  There were a crap-ton of bold chipmunks up here who have learned that people eat lunch and leave crumbs.  We became "Team Green", because there was a couple up there in all yellow, and another couple up there in all blue.  The exhilaration of the hike makes people extra chatty and friendly.

One excellent part of this hike happened on the way down.  It is so narrow that when someone is coming in the opposite direction, you have to cling to the side and let them pass.  We were passing a couple people, and one guy stopped in the middle of the adventure and said, "hey--you--did you do karaoke the other night!?"  Although I did not do karaoke the other night, or at any other night in my life (strongly opposed, sorry), there is someone out there who looks like me and does karaoke SO well that it gets people distracted from one of the coolest hikes ever.

My ranger dude
I was so sweaty at the end of the climb.  A nice breeze cooled it away.
Vista in the other direction

On the hike back down the 13 year old dork in me came out, in the form of this pose.  But seriously how did this hole get there?

We hiked back down and were done by a little after noon.  We took a small break and refueled at the Zion lodge with a gatorade, ice cream, and black bean burger (in addition to the hiking food we munched on all morning).  Then we headed for another hike of 8+ miles up to Observation Point.

One unfortunate part of our vacation was that I was suffering from some really painful tooth pain for the first 4-5 days.  I would deal through the day, but by dinner I couldn't eat without popping some Advil.  It was clearly related to a filling I had done the week prior (and I even mentioned how much I like my dentist that week on the blog).  This reminded me of the time my dad had to get a root canal when we were on vacation years ago.  Bad timing...

The hot and steep march to Observation Point had some really striking things to look at along the way.

We took this while lying on our backs on the ground, straight up.

A little slot canyon.

The Gentleman was not in the mood to have his pictured taken

But I was.

The view from 6,000+ feet was magnificent.  We were hit with some sprinkles and strong gusts of wind as we reached the top.

Directly in the center of the frame is Angel's Landing, where we had hiked that morning. 

A full view of the narrow trail

So now you have a better idea of why my Plan "A" is to move to Zion and become a park ranger.  This stuff never gets old.