This past weekend, Craig and I, along with some of his family and friends, had the opportunity to go to Zion's National Park and hike The Subway. This is a hike you have to have a permit to go through, and we were lucky enough that Craig's friends name was picked for twelve permits. Not many people are permitted to hike this a day - so in short, we were lucky! (total, i think we saw 3 people down in the hike).
The Subway is about a nine and a half mile hike that took us roughly nine hours to complete.
The weekend we were there, there were flash flood warnings, but after a prayer, we all felt good, still, about going in and beginning our adventure, however, there was tons of rain, making the hike just a little more difficult and slippery, especially for Katie and I who aren't nearly as experienced in hiking and canyoneering as the men we traveled with were, but luckily we had them there to keep us safe and save our lives several times. Really, though.. It was rainy. During the 9 hours, I'd say we were dry about thirty minutes of it, but that wasn't all due to rain - there were a lot of places to wade, swim and frantically dash across the ice cold water. (and i mean ice cold).
This was by far the most difficult hike I've ever been on (not that i've gone on that many hikes, but still) but it was also the most fun one I've ever been on. My body has never felt so sore, but it was completely worth it. The hike included walking on paths, rocks, through water - swimming at times, etc.
It was surely an adventurous excursion.
**Also, they say a picture is worth a thousand words..I hope these pictures are saying a lot of good stuff. Because I'm afraid my words and brief stories and descriptions won't do the trip justice, at all.
Here we are at the beginning of our hike, ready and excited!
The picture below is a pretty good one showing you how wet we got just from the rain. It was a crazy downpour, especially at the beginning.
This is my adorable friend Katie and her sweet husband, Daren. (Daren is Craig's younger brother).
Here my handsome boyfriend and I are before the big drop-in to the canyon. You can see the parting of the red rock behind us. So pretty.
This was our first encounter with water on the hike. I'll be honest, when my feet first went under the freezing water, I thought to myself, "this is miserable!" Little did I know, it was only going to get deeper and colder as the hike continued. Looking back, now..This little pond wasn't miserable at all.
Repelling was also included in this hike, multiple times. I think I did pretty well, guys, though at one point, I had a slip that hurt my back, but I felt better fairly quick and went on my way. I'm proud of myself.
We'd just hold onto a rope and lower ourselves down. Of course, you'll notice I had a lot of extra help from my ultra sweet and super helpful Craig. I am convinced I would have had terrible injuries without him. Or be dead.
More water pictures! Its funny how the more you were in it, the more your body became accustomed to the sting of the chill..
..Until we came to this place.
This was our first deep water to swim in (ps i can't swim - thankfully everyone else could and helped me get from point A to point B).
I wish you could see Craig's face better. And I wish you could hear him. You know when you go into arctic water and the breathe is taken out of your lungs and you make high, weird noises? Thats what we all did, here. Brr!
Here is a quick story about what a gentleman Craig is. I don't know if he knows how much this meant to me, but it really made my whole day and still makes me smile.
When we would go into deep water, we'd take our shirts off so when we came out, we'd have a dry shirt to put on. After several water encounters, my shirt had somehow become wet and I was shivering like crazy. So what did Craig do? That sweetheart took the shirt off his back and insisted that I wear it. It is so cute how kind he is. I know he was still freezing and shivering, but he seemed more concerned about my warmth than his own. I've got a keeper, don't I?
Below is a picture of me in that shirt:)
Just FYI, we hiked all but maybe 45 minutes of the hike in our water socks.
Here is a blurry photograph of a rope ladder we went down. It was pretty neat, but took a lot of muscle control. I was kind of surprised I didn't get my foot stuck in one of the holes and fall face-first into the water.
The scenery here was BEAUTIFUL! Nature is incredible - especially here. I, several times, found myself kind of off in my own world just taking in what was around me. The earth is pretty incredible.
Remember how I told you it was freezing and wet? We all became a group of shaky, shaky people. Its bad enough when you're cold, but add on top of it being wet..oo, bad. It got so extreme at one point, we had to whip out an emergency blanket for Katie and I in hopes to regain some body heat!
Unfortunately, I am lacking a lot of the cooler pictures. Craig's friend took a nice camera into the Subway and took tons of good pictures. But, I don't yet own copies of those photos.. So for now, you'll have to settle for these ones and I promise to do another Subway Photograph post once I have them. Deal?
The next day we woke early to a huge thunder storm, but, again, the weather couldn't stop us!
Saturday we hiked Angels Landing. That is a crazy hike! Not everyone hiked clear to the top, but even the "short version" was beautiful and intense. This hike was phenomenally hotter than the Subway and I feel like we were constantly just marching up a very steep incline, panting heavily, sweating lots and feeling the burn..which we were. Talk about a legs and booty workout!
Behind Craig, Scott (Craig's older brother) and I is Angels Landing. To get to the top, you walk up that skinny side of it.
There are times so steep, there are chains for you to hold onto to as you hike up.
Zion's National Park provides billions of pretty kodak moments.
This is Craig and I on our hike up.. We're a cute couple, wouldn't you agree?:)
And check out that view! Wow.
And I don't know why, but I love this picture.
Hiking back down to level ground..
After the hike to Angels Landing, we drove back home. I was sad to leave, for sure, but I was happy to shower:).
This was an awesome weekend filled with so many new things, beautiful places, laughs and plenty of adventure! I hope sometime we'll be lucky enough to return to The Subway. I'd do it again in a heart beat, no questions asked. Sure, I'm still sore and limp around town, but it is so worth it. Nothing beats a weekend with your boyfriend and great friends in an incredible place doing amazing things.