Hiking the Narrows II: The Wrath of Zion
Overnight version of the Virgin River Narrows, undertaken July 23-24, 2016. The weather was warm. River flow was somewhere in the 40s, whatever that means. Ranger said there were no expected thunderstorms but that that could change at any second, and probably would, especially if I didn’t give him the exact license plate number of my brother’s truck*. Ranger was kind of, I dunno, flighty though, so <shrug>. We verified the weather forecast before setting out. And we’re sure glad we did! Although it didn’t really change anything; it’s good to have a good process.
Anyway, the weather was warm and dry for the two days of the trip. We eventually would stop at Campsite #5, which I had reserved back in May, somehow 30 minutes before the reservation system was supposed to be available. Let that be a lesson to you.
Fine. Photos, then some notes I guess.
See, ‘cuz the whole thing is called “The Narrows” and… eh, you wouldn’t get it. Had to be there probably.
Some other thoughts (numbered, because this WordPress theme handles bullets badly):
- Stupid captions aside, this is still probably my favorite overnighter on earth.
- Wish the other invitees would have made it as well, but ended up with a great company.
- Last time we did this (2005), the water level was a little higher. This time seemed a little more easy-going as a result.
- Plus, last time none of us had ever done it before, so there was some uncertainty about whether certain death lay around each narrow corner. It didn’t, it doesn’t.
- I wouldn’t have minded having an earlier campsite (i.e., number 1–4). #5 was fine, but you’re pretty exposed in some pretty hot weather for the first couple hours of the hike, so a shorter Day 1 wouldn’t be the worst thing. Plus, the mid-way point is probably somewhere around campsite #1, Day 2 seemed a little too easy, and it felt like we ran into the tourist hordes way too soon.
- And I don’t understand driving all the way from LA to Zion National Park and walking four miles upstream just so you can throw rocks into a river.
- Zion NP is *packed* on a July Sunday. Next time: May or September, midweek, hope for the best.
- And maybe try the shuttle.
- I’ve gotten better at lightweight backpacking, although I’m questioning whether the TarpTent Notch is really overall preferable to my old Lightyear.
- Osprey makes faulty bite valves. Stupid Osprey.
- Mounds bars are a lot better solid than semi-melted.
I think that’s most of the important things.
* I gave him the correct license plate number for the truck, which was still on the road a couple hundred miles away, then decided to give him the wrong one for my Jeep (located 50 feet away), cuz what the heck do you even need license plate numbers for dude? Anyway.