Let's Climb A Mountain

There are people who see a canyon with a river running through it and think to themselves, "I'd like to see what's up that canyon. I guess I will have to HIKE THROUGH THE RIVER."

I am not that kind of person.

There are people who see a sandstone ridge with 1000 foot sheer cliffs on either side and think, "I bet the view from up there is great. I'm climbing it. I'll drag myself up by hanging onto chains if that's what I have to do."

I'm not that person either.

I'm the type of person who would look at the canyon full of water and say, "Well, I'm sure it's nice, but it's wet. Let's have a snack." I'd look at the ridge and say, "Nope."

But in life, it seems, if you pair yourself up with someone who is more like the first type of person, you find yourself being drawn into these sorts of...adventures. Shall we call them adventures? In general I do not consider activities labeled as "strenuous" or "intimidating" my cup of tea. In fact, if I'm honest, a cup of tea is more my cup of tea. Maybe a cocktail. "Hikes" that indicate they are wheelchair accessible, count me in. Hikes that include 29 switchbacks, probably count me out. But if there's one thing I hate more than fearing for my life, it's missing out on what might be an amazing experience.

And so:

Angel's Landing, Zion National Park

The Narrows, Zion National Park
People LOVE themselves some Zion. I mentioned some time back that I was setting a goal to visit all of the National Parks and at that time I didn't think I'd been to Zion even though my mother insisted I had. Once I was there, I remembered it. Well, more accurately, I remembered the 1.1 mile Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel, because apparently when you're 12-ish, what stands out to you about a visit to a national park is the super long tunnel you have to drive through to see it.

So, we Zion-ed. We climbed and sweated, we waded and froze. We saw squirrels and bighorn sheep, chipmunks and deer, lizards and snakes. We saw a squirrel eating a lizard and I will probably never get over not photographing that special moment.

I know people who love Zion. Love it. Think it's the most amazing place they've ever been, go there every year, spend hours exploring its canyons and trails and ridges. That's cool. Turns out, I'm not that person either. It was so lovely, don't get me wrong- but it's no Grand Canyon. I've been going the Grand Canyon for as long as I can remember and I still stand there on the rim and have a hard time believing it's real. Like, my mind can't even wrap around the enormousness and the beauty of the Grand Canyon. I mean, I know it's not a competition or anything, and they're all wonderful and special in their own ways, I do know that. But really. Grand Canyon. If you can only see one...well, that would be sad for you. (But see the Grand Canyon.)


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