Sep 5, 2012

Narrowly escaping the Narrows

I am able to blog about the Narrows so quickly because I have been bed ridden due to my muscles that used to reside in my legs have gone to war with the the newcomer painful muscles that are currently disabling me from walking.

update:  My legs hurt too bad, so JB is going to take this one... :-)

First picture of the hike. 

And we're off!  The narrows is a hike that people come from all around to do.  The full Narrows hike is a 16 mile trek right down the Virgin River, much of it slot canyons, leading down some of the most amazing views on the planet.  Hiking the Narrows was rated # 5 in the National Geographic ranking of America's Best 100 Adventures, that's how awesome it is.  Most do day hikes from the bottom of the slot canyon, hike up for a few miles and come back down.

Here you see me trying to keep my shoes dry.  I came really close to upstaging my vasectomy.

Several hours into the hike we started hearing this enormous booming sound.  I told Mimi that it sounded like the Gods were moving their furniture around at the top of the canyon walls.  We looked up to see clear skies, but we knew that we were hearing thunder.  It sounded really loud and intimidating, especially since the one big danger of the hike is the risk of a flash flood.  When it rains in the desert it all dumps into the slot canyons raising water levels really quickly.  When in sections of the river that are bordered by rock walls, there is nowhere to retreat to and people can get swept away.  So, when it started raining we were lucky enough to find a nice spot above the river and set up a tarp.  For the next hour we hung out drinking hot chocolate and watching the water.  The water turned a shade of red from all of the runoff.

Nathan disappeared into this small crevasse.

Then I had to give it a shot. 

Good times with my lovely wife.

 Years ago I hiked the entire length in a day, which some of the more serious hikers do.  I pretty much had to drag myself out of the river at the end of the route, being completely exhausted.  This year we wanted to have enough time to really soak in the ambiance and the majesty of the place and planned for a two day hike, camping at the halfway point.  Ken and I liked to hang at the back of the pack and would stop and just drink in the views.  I wish these pictures could capture the true magnitude of this place.  At its narrowest, the canyon walls are 15 feet apart.  The canyon walls rise as high as 2400' above the river bed.  Over 60% of the hike is done in the river, often being the best or only route, especially when the river runs wall-to-canyon wall.

There were places that the river got really deep.  We were able to circumvent the areas that we would have had to swim, but often it was waist deep.  I liked to observe those in front and avoid the hidden drop-offs that they kindly discovered for me.  The walking sticks proved invaluable when trudging through these murky waters.  Great for avoiding big hidden rocks, for balance when slipping, and to avoid stepping in a hole deeper than you are tall.

Check out that pack!  I had everything but the kitchen sink in there.  I actually surprised Mimi when I presented her pillow to her as we were laying down for the night.  That's love right there.

The girl makes hiking look good!  

The hike was really fun to do together with Mimi.  We used to love doing this type of thing and have taken several years off while we have had small babies.  We even got engaged while snowshoeing high up in the mountains at Sundance.  I guess my pack really isn't that much bigger than hers...

Ken and Raegan

The girls

Look at these rugged hikers.

The men

"See Nathan, you put your poles down like this, and you step with your leg like this.
Repeat with the right leg and before you know it you are walking.  It's that simple." 

Hotty alert

You don't know me!

I had just caught these two making out.

River dance

This waterfall was one of the obstacles that we ran into.

Here is what we had to go down in order to get around the waterfall.  Bam.

Here we are treking down the river.  So much fun.  Nathan liked to lead and was great at finding a good path, while rooting out the drops and holes so we could avoid them. 

Staring contest with an eagle.

Here is Nats and Nathan in one of the more narrow places in the river.  Our only regret this trip is that Susan couldn't come!  She loves this stuff, but stayed home with her baby.  This was truly an amazing trip.  I have always felt closer to the creator when I am able to witness such amazing things in nature.   This was especially great since this is the biggest adventure I have done with Mimi, second to that river trip last year.  Love you babe, and I love that you smoked me down that darn river.

This was the theme song for the trip. 

1 comment:

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