#86 - Hike Angels Landing
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.

#99 - Attend a Presidential Debate

One of the biggest passions I have is politics. I love being in the know and standing up for the candidates that I believe in. Growing up my mom would always make sure that I knew that it was my civil duty to be an informed voter. As we are moving into the next presidential race I have been very involved and have been glued to every single debate to sift out who I feel like I could vote for and who I just don't like. Each time that I sit down to watch a debate I always turn to Danielle and I tell her how someday I really wanna go to one of these things. Wouldn't you know it, someday finally came. Weeks ago as Danielle and I found out that a debate was going to be held in Las Vegas and non other than the Venetian, where she works. She called me up so excited and told me that she was able to secure us tickets to go. Being a big republican buff I was very excited to get to go see my favorite candidates Mitt Romney and Herman Cain in action. As we got to the event that day there were gobs of protestors in front of the entrance to the debate. I couldn't help but stop and read some of their signs. With the whole Occupy everything movement going on there was sure some crazy ones...my favorite though was "I already regret carrying this sign all day." I had to give a thumbs up to the lady that was carrying that one. As we entered the debate, it was in a large warehouse that was converted into a small room with drapes for walls. We got past security and were shown to our designated place to sit.....3rd row from the back. It was great to be there with Danielle, she definitely has been the key to me accomplishing a lot of stuff on my bucket list. As the debate began Anderson Cooper introduced himself to us and kind of gave a run through of what would be happening throughout the debate. The applause and exciement was encouraged and was very controlled. Every time a commercial went out or came in the stage hands would motion for everyone to applaud the candidates. It was great to watch how the whole process worked. Overall, I think Mitt Romney came out as the winner of the debate. He gave the most presidential answers as he worked to deflect the many political cheap shots that came his way from the likes of Rick Perry or Rick Santorum. One of the humorous things that happened that they didn't show you on t.v. was Michele Bachman constantly trying to get the attention of Anderson Cooper. She shot her hand in the air so frequently that it became annoying to the viewers in the audience and many people made fun of her as she repeatedly shot that little hand of hope towards the moderator. It was definitely fun to applaud and to boo and to make the debate much more lively...Danielle contributed to that greatly and had some great quotes of her own that came from that meeting. As the debate ended we were able to mingle with the dignataries in the audience with the likes of Wayne Newton, Governor Brian Sandoval and even got Herman Cain's autograph. It was so fun to pretend to be important and to act as if we knew anything about the whole political election process. Anyway, it was a great time and I am grateful to have been able to check another thing off my list. I didn't think I'd ever get to do this one but it definitely pays to have a best friend and spouse who gets us into such awesome stuff. I think that if you ever have an opporunity to go to one of these things you should definitely take the chance and go because it is not only informative but a great way to spend an evening. After everything was over we went to I Love Burgers at the Venetian and scored ourselves some overpriced food that was amazing. The friend pickles were incredible. All in all though, such a fun night and I can't wait to check off my next thing....punch a shark here I come!      

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