Drive-By America: Day 14 – What Angels See
Zion Canyon is one of my favorite parks in the world. There are nearly 20 wonderful nature hikes through the mountains and by far the friendliest deer I’ve ever met, as well as goats and other wildlife. The road is coated with red cinders, so instead of black asphalt, you seem to be driving on grounds made from the surrounding mountains themselves. Unfortunately, much of our Zion trip was cut short: trails with pools or waterfalls were iced over and sunrise was overcast. Still, we managed an incredibly tiring but infinitely more beautiful four hour sunset hike to Angel’s Landing. This was a new trail for me, and is not recommended for those encumbered by a fear of heights or a wheelchair. What begins as a leisurely meander through thin trees and shrubs slowly turns to steep switchbacks up a craggy mountain, and eventually to near vertical climbs towards the summit. Vertigo sets in without fail, and the only safety is the occasional thick metal chain link, which one uses as a tool to boost up from one carved out foothold to the next. We made it just in time for last light, and then hiked back down, quickly yet carefully enough to arrive near ground before darkness, where we stopped for some nighttime star photos. No backflips today, as our legs were burning by the end, so a one-handed hand stand on top of the world will have to suffice. Next Stop, Vegas.