Monday, July 19, 2010

Hiking the Narrows

This morning Kristie had a bit of a headache so we laid low. I ran out to Rite Aid to get her some medicine and then she started to feel better right around the close of the free continental breakfast. It gets hot fast here in Utah. By the time we got in the car (around 10:30) it was already north of 100 degrees outside. We headed into Zion National Park. There were signs to listen to the radio to hear directions on parking. It was nearly impossible to discern what the radio station was saying and this was bringing back Kristie’s headache so we turned it off and took our chances. After much circling in the parking lot, I decided to park in ¼ of an RV spot. There was a short RV from Indiana that left enough room for a Prius to sneak in. I was sure to take a picture of the license plate just in case he backed up through my car!
Zion is basically a car-free park. Everyone rides a pretty nice – though not air conditioned – shuttle to each of the park destinations and trailheads. The nice part is that the driver narrates as you go – well ours did since the automatic recording had broken – so you get a bit of a tour while you’re driving.

The valley is beautiful. I think Kristie really enjoyed it to the tune of “we should really come back here someday.” I agree, but in the fall, spring or winter next time. I was kind of disappointed that the tunnel road was under construction because I remember that being magnificent and wish I could have shared this with her. When we arrived at the last stop, we began our one mile hike up to the Narrows. It was hot and we saw a few lizards running across. Thankfully no snakes! This part was paved.
Then we hiked right on into the Zion River. Kristie was wearing Nike ACG sandals and I was wearing socks and shoes. I bet you’d guess that her feet would be in better shape than mine in a few hours. Well you could not have been more wrong. After going about an hour up the river, Krisite’s feet really began to blister and rub against the leather of her shoes. She was a trooper but I knew this was uncomfortable. I started to ask if she wanted to turn around and she kind of became frustrated with me asking. I think she wanted to keep going and also did not want to disappoint me and cut short my hike. Plus we’d been bickering a good bit on this trip so I think tensions may have been a bit up as it was.. We continued around a beautiful corner of the narrows at her insistence. I’m quite happy we did. Then we turned back.

Kristie was able to float down the river for part of it. It was really cool. I got some on video. There were a couple of cool waterfall features along the way and we took a good deal of pictures. I must say that walking in a river is really pretty fun. This was perfect because it was rarely above your waist so you could carry a backpack without it getting soaked. When we finally got back to the paved path, I took a look at Kristie’s feet. They were pretty bad. I suggested that she take her shoes off to walk back in less pain but the cement was so hot that she had to put them back on. It must have seemed like an eternity for her walking back. She had to keep adjusting how she walked.

By the time we got back to the bus we decided that it would be best if we cancelled our tubing reservation so that we could work on getting her feet to heal. We both napped on the ride back to the Visitors Center. I also noticed a very young girl with a tattoo on her arm that said Dad. That just seemed like such a sad situation. There were no Band-Aids at the ranger station so we got back in the sizzling car and headed home. The temperature on the car thermometer was 119. I burned my arm on the plastic of the door. This heat is incredible.

When we got back to town, we showered and cleaned up for dinner. We went to JB’s which has a really good salad bar. Jared would have been proud! They also had pretty good food. Kristie got a taco salad and I got a half sandwich and the scrumptious salad bar. Upon returning to the hotel, we had an enormous argument. Kristie was frustrated that she’s getting older and wants to have kids and that we’re not even married yet. I argued for her – though I don’t know why since I want the same thing on a slightly different timeline – and she ended up saying that she’s not even sure if she wants to be together anymore. This was a rough night for sure.

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