It was definitely worth it though. Me and a couple friends went to Zion’s National Park to make it to the top of Angel’s Landing and watch the lunar eclipse that was supposed to take place. In my head the trail name made it sound easy and very enjoyable. That wasn’t exactly the case though.
Since it was my first time ever hiking at night, all of the normal scary movie scenarios kept playing in my head.Hostel, The Hills Have Eyes,and wrong Turn just to name a few. The first 20 minutes my calves, butt, and thighs were burning a little which thankfully distracted my mind. Without our headlamps it was pitch black, however the light of the moon was enough to make out some shapes and shadows.
Through the whole trail I came across some insects that I normally wouldn’t get to see during the day or living in town. I saw a fuzzy caterpillar (I don’t know the specific name of it), a mormon cricket, tarantula, scorpions and a couple white frogs. I was only brave enough to hold the white frog though,which wasn’t bad at all just a cold little guy. I heard the sounds of nature from the crickets to the running water of the nearby streams.Which was such a calming sound even if I was a little scared of the dark. It was a whole new experience entirely!
We came to our first set of zig-zags, which didn’t seem hard for the first 5 minutes, but they got your calves burning fairly quick. so we developed a method, walk up 2 sets and get a break. After walking up about 6 of them it began to get hot, even in the 60 degree weather! Jackets were coming off, sleeves were rolled up, even pant legs began to become too much. The conversations mostly consisted of sarcasm, joking, and constant cursing of the zig-zags. At one point I joked about how they could call it “Angel’s Landing” when it was such a pain in the ass, literally! My friend told me they called it that, because it was hard, and only the angels could make it to the top, which made me giggle, but then become more determined to be one of those angels. Her husband then informed me that this wasn’t even the hard part. There was a second set of zig-zags, named “The Wiggles.” My heart dropped, here I had been thinking that we had been making great progress, and flat land was ahead. Can you tell I haven’t hiked much!
Finally we came to a short spurt of flat land. I was thrilled for the short break of an incline, I was able to finally keep up and even get ahead. It was a very short lived though, before i new it i was looking up at my next challenge, The Wiggles! We were facing about 10 inclines which looked like they were at a 45-50 degree angle. That doesn’t sound like much, but after facing everything before it, it was a challenge. Your body is tired, burning, and hot. I can only imagine how much harder it is for someone to hike in the day time. We would hike up one then rest for about 5 minutes then hike the next, which made it manageable. We found some really cool small caves on the way up though that are actually big enough to stand or sit in. I was able to get a couple pictures with me in them.
Once we made it to the top, the sense of accomplishment was overwhelming!! knowing that I made it through the entire uphill battle, conquered the wiggles, and looked pain right in the face and said “this is it?” We stayed at the top and took a well deserved rest, layed on the rocks and just listened to the nothingness that echoed in the canyons bellow us. It was the most relaxing thing I have ever heard! The moon was just as magnificent as the sounds! It was so big, round, and full. Made my heart melt completely!
The way down was easy, but the way my legs were shaking made it kind of hard. We were all quiet most of the descend, I know I was just stuck in my own thoughts of reaching the car and my bed. It took maybe about another hour and a half to get back down. Granted we stopped a couple times, even if it was hiking down hill it was still hard after being so warn out!
Yes!! I can see the car! My heart felt like a kid waking up on Christmas day! like the backseat of the car was the gift I had been asking Santa about all year! I got in the car and layed my head back and passed out. We all woke up still in the parking lot around 7am and started our way back home tired and ready to sleep in for the afternoon.
Overall it was a great hike and I would absolutely do it again. a couple things I would do differently would: take a better backpack, pack less thing(bare minimal), bring a walking stick, wear better shoes. Shoes make all the difference especially when you will be walking in them for a long distance! I’m still a novice hiker, but I will learn as I go.
hope you guys enjoyed the story, ill be going on another hike on Sunday and will tell you all about it!