babymoon: Zion national park
this was a seriously magical week away in such an absolutely incredible place! there isn't much more refreshing than the chance to get away from life with the people you love! Jake and I have grown to love camping for the sake of being away from everything that keeps us busy at home from responding to emails, cleaning and working on the house, or just filling up our weekends accidentally! its such a refresher to be outside and disconnected from all these distractions!
Zion was exactly that. we have been planning for this trip for almost 6 months now so by time it finally arrived we were so ready to explore! it was a lot of prep figuring out all of the gear we needed to buy to make flying with all of our stuff lightweight and possible to stuff into our bags! we invested in so many amazing new things from backpacks and camelbacks to hiking shoes and pocket stoves! truly, we feel like we have the world at our fingertips now just ready to explore so much more thats out there!!
We initially flew into Las Vegas and spent the day getting our rental car, meal planning and shopping. The next morning we finally arrived right as the park opened! Our first day, we explored all of the ground level trails. We saw deer and squirrels everywhere they would get so close to us. It is seriously so peaceful exploring along the Virgin River, and of course Jake had his fishing pole ready for anything too! It was the perfect first day of exploration.
Camping is one of our favorite things to do! As I mentioned, we invested in lots of new stuff so its been extra fun exploring this summer and using our new tent and cooking gear and trying out new meals! For the most part, the food situation went well! I had a few great meals that....only went down for a short time! Leave no trace didn't go so well all the time with the pregnancy nausea. lets just say that! But we loved hanging out at night in our Eno, making hot cocoa and watching the stars appear!
The first full day we were up before the sun making oatmeal and heading off on the first shuttle at 6am to The Narrows. This is the hike that made me always dream of Zion and I can honestly say it was so worth it for this hike alone! The shuttle takes you about 45 min from the camp site to a mile long trail and eventually, the the beginning of the narrows! The experience is amazing and freezing...although its 90 to 100 degrees during the day in Zion, I was wearing leggings and 2 sweatshirts and still freezing! Walking through the ice cold water and not much sun entering into the canyon, I was pretty chilly majority of our hike! The water, at times, was about waist deep! Its quite an adventure hiking upstream, through the river. There were times we were climbing to get around big rocks and other times we were nearly swimming. Such a fun and challenging experience to find the best ways upstream. Overall, we hiked around 10 miles in the water and 2 miles on dry ground to and from. 12 miles and around a 10 hour day. We weren't sure if we would even be able to get up the next morning we were so sore, tired and bruised by the end!
But, of course, we did! The next day we spent hiking Observation Point. We had planned on hiking Angels Landing but it was closed due to rock slides. But Observation was incredible and we definitely underestimated if for both its beauty and difficulty! The way up was about a 4 hour hike. Within the first 30 min, we were convinced we were "almost there" seeing the top was just around the corner....only to be told the the "point" we were hiking to was *way over there*...being a whole mountain over! This hike is hours of steep switch backs but thankfully a middle portion that is cool and flat through the connecting canyon. Only to be followed by another couple of hours on the other mountain of more, even steeper, switchbacks and in direct sun for our entire hike! Reaching the top, you can hardly catch your breath and everyone coming down is encouraging you that you are ACTUALLY almost there now! Its quite a view and crazy to see how far you came....only to turn around and hike a few hours back down! Only after a little lunch!
Zion was such a treat for us, I am so glad we had this opportunity to go explore something so beautiful together! And a place new to us both! We would love to share more of our experiences and advice to anyone who wants to go! Thanks to all of you who read through and have been following along!