Saturday, October 16, 2010


Every year my family tries to go to Zion National Park to spend time together and do a hike that can be found in the canyon called the Narrows. On the bus ride up the canyon every year the bus driver/tour guide says "Now on your left you will see a hike that most of the brave of heart attempt called Angels Landing." I, being afraid of heights, usually don't even bother to look at little tiny people all the way up on the 1500 foot cliff like all the other people in the bus usually due because I couldn't even fathom being up that high. This year, when we went to Zion, I was struggling to compile my bucket list and I couldn't think of a better thing to add to the list than to do the hike. My awesome wife, Danielle, decided for my birthday because she spent a ton of money on my birthday gift decided that the activity we would do instead of having an expensive dinner, would be to do the hike instead. So, she and I went camping after work on Friday October 14th. We had fun since it was the first time we had gone camping together. We made tin foil dinners, ate s'mores and fell asleep watching Time Travelers Wife in the tent. We got up early in the morning (10am...hey that's early for us), took down camp and headed up the trail. At the beginning the trail didn't seem much to handle other than being kind of steep. The trail map said the trail was only 2.5 miles and so I figured, shoot this is going to be less than an hour piece of cake, it's just high. We began our ascent and found that the 3 sets of switchbacks up the mountain to be pretty tough. We found that many people would laugh as they were coming back down because we were both heaving for air and it hadn't even began yet. We made it up the switchbacks slowly but surely and made it to the first summit. We thought it was over, rejoiced and were surprised how much hype people gave the hike and it was pretty easy in the end. People behind us then nicely showed us that the loooooong narrrrrow huge mountain yet to be hiked in front of us was where we needed to go. I seriously contemplated at that point to turn back. But there was not way I could chicken out, this was for the bucket list. We came to the spot where the chains began and to my demise on either side of me was a 1200 foot drop. To help matters it was way crowded and since the hike wasn't exactly engineered to be a two lane freeway it took a lot of time to pause to let people pass. We made a few friends on the way up. One couple gave Danielle inspiration as they were doing the hike and were almost 70 plus years old. We were hiking with them and talking and shockingly we heard a "woah, wooooah!" The elderly gentlemen from that couple behind us had fallen backward, he fell and was heading towards the edge of the cliff. Danielle yelled out to me to save him. At this point of the hike I was on near panic attack mode the whole time because not only was I trying not to fall but I was helping Danielle not die too. So, to save this guy was not going to happen. I was in utter shock at I was about to see this guy go off the edge. At the last second there must have been some angel there because his foot caught on one of the few trees on the cliff and he stopped before he fell. He finally got up and eventually finished the hike but from that point on in the hike I went into panic attack mode. I had to finish and finish soon because anyone around me could fall or maybe even me. After many scary moments we made it to the top. Even being on the top I couldn't look around to enjoy the view, embarrassingly it was because I was so scared. Danielle thought it was pretty funny that for once she had her whits about her and I was crying like a little girl. We turned back and went down the mountain slowly but surely. It was worse than going up and I broke down once so bad that a little kid going up was laughing at me. How sad I know. Long story short we made it to the end. It was the scariest thing I have ever done but as many people on the trail will tell you it was way worth it. I will never ever do it again but hey, I knocked something off my bucket list. As Danielle and I sat in the river soaking our hurting feet at the end of the hike looking back on what we had just accomplished we couldn't help but smile. It is great to see that we over the last 2 years have come to tackle and conquer the most challenging trials. It was a very symbolic hike for us because we were able to say, as we always say, that we live and learn and can conquer and trial put in front of us. It was great for me to get the first thing off this list and I look forward to the next 99 things.

This is half way up the hike. That behind us is the true scary part. Notice how there are smiles on our faces...that's because this is before we went up that monster.

This is us at the top of Angel's Landing. Don't let those smiles fool you, we're both freaked. Amazing view and worth the hike!

This is Danielle on one of the many switchbacks up the mountain. She was way excited to be hiking all day.

Classic Davis family jumping shot.

I call this picture 'Misery'. Her feet her on the way back. She's cute when she's barefoot.

This is the reason her feet hurt. No worries, this was the easy part.

Every trip ends with a kiss. Best way to make hurting feet better.