So I spent a week in Utah hiking, and I came back without hurting myself, despite what Jay Spencer might think.
The trip was incredible. On Tuesday I drove out to Las Vegas to meet up with the rest of the crew, then headed out to Mt. Zion. We had some flight delay issues, so we got to the park too late to do any hiking that night. We just set up a camp and got some firewood, thanks to Erik's awesome hatchet and Fel's ninja sword. The next morning we headed out into the back country. We hiked in 1.8 miles with big backpacks, then dropped our packs and went exploring. It was lots of fun and slightly scary at times since the mountain was just red rocks which slipped out under your feet a lot. We hiked about 8 miles and climbed around 1,000 ft in elevation during the day. We came back to camp exhausted and hungry. We ate some delicious stew created by Matt Harrell, the real Bear Grylls.
The next morning we woke up and hiked out of the back country. We headed into town and rented some dry suits. We looked awesome (check the pics at the bottom) and proceeded to "The Narrows," a small slot canyon with a river running through it. The suits served to protect us from the 33 degree water. Brrr. We hiked up a few miles, then found an offshoot trail. That took us to a big pile of snow that we created a slide on. Awesome times. The suits were so tight that you could lay down and the air bubbles in the suit would let you float. Unless your Rob, then the water leaks down your neck hole that you didn't tighten and soaks your back.
Later that night we find another camp site and gather some firewood. While hacking at a fallen tree log we found, a ranger comes and tells us that gathering wood in a National Park is a felony, even dead wood. He threatens us with a fine, then is about to leave when he spots Fel's ninja sword. When asked what it is used for, Fels replies, "Oh, for cutting down trails." Genius. The ranger gives another lecture and further threatens us for the firewood and a "quiet hour" fine. Fortunately we were all passed out by quiet hour anyway.
We woke the next morning to find snow covering the ground. It sounds cool, unless you have actually slept in a tent covered in snow. It's not cool; it's freaking cold. We packed up the snow-covered camp, jumped in the cars, and made one last hike up Angel's Landing. An amazing view on top. To get there, they have chains driven into the ground for support. Probably not the smartest climb when snow is on the ground. About half of our crew dared to challenge the elements, including yours truly. We made it on top and it was probably the most incredible view I had. On the way down we had a big snowball fight. The trail was essentially a lot of switch backs and made ambush attacks plentiful. We even almost hit some strangers at one point.
After Angel's Landing, we got in the cars and headed back to Vegas. We stopped off at a friend of Tim and Fels where we took very necessary showers. We killed some time then went to Outback, where I had the most delicious steak known to man.
If you are more of a visual learner, check out the photo album from Erik and Nick:
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