For those of you who have never heard of a famous hike known as "The Narrows", this hike is 16 miles in length and took 12 hours to complete, going down a riverbed, http://www.zionnational-park.com/zion-narrows.htm.
It was a completely grueling, yet rewarding experience. I am going to share my experience and well as a few tips I learned by not being prepared.
5:00 AM - We, (Brent, Rachelle and I) awake in St. George and do our final preparations.
5:30 AM- We leave St. George and drive to Zion's.
6:30 AM- We arrive in Springdale at Ashley's house.
7:00 AM- We leave Springdale and have a friend drive us to Chamberlain Ranch. TIP: 4WD vehicle required.
9:00 AM- We arrive at Chamberlain Ranch and begin our journey. TIP: Wear socks with your water shoes, or better yet, rent shoes from one of the many outfitting companies located in Springdale. This is what Ashley did. I recommend Zion's Adventure Company at http://www.zionadventures.com/.
12:00 PM - Enter the beginning of "The Narrows" , at this point we are actually back inside Zion National Park. Our feet start numbing and the water is running at 55ccs. TIP: It is not nerdy to use a walking stick... I don't realize this for another 4 hours... :(
1:30 PM- We reach camp #2 and eat lunch while under the false assumption we are halfway through. It starts to thunder, which causes my best friend to panic a little. TIP: Just because you have this insane canyoneering friend who made it through the canyon in 7.5 hours, doesn't mean you are going to.
2:30 PM- We reach camp #12, after this point there is no more high ground and it starts to rain big heavy drops. TIP: Next time I do this hike, I will do it in 2 days because the rest of the hike is the best part but we are exhausted and getting impatient.
3:00 PM- Brent is forced to get wet and swim in the river... he has made it 6 hours without getting his clothes wet. TIP:Now is also the time we realize it is best to pick one wall of the canyon and stay on it rather than try to cross the riverbed back and forth. This is also when Ashley, who had the amazing shoes and walking stick, leaves us behind.
4:00 PM- I suck up my pride and find a stick for assistance... it's about time! TIP: Not only are dry bags awesome to keep your food and warm clothes dry, they also provide buoyancy. You can sit back and let the river carry you to get a break from walking. Our bodies are numb so the freezing water isn't so bad. :)
6:00 PM- We encounter some hikers from the bottom and I ask "How much longer?", response being: "We've only been going about 2 hours". I tell them, "When, my friend behind me asks "How long?", tell her one hour, please?": We have been going down the water bed for three straight hours convincing ourselves..."it's just around the corner"! TIP: It's not just around the corner, unless you mean about 60 corners...! At this point Brent takes Rachelle and escorts the rest of the way down the hike, while I go ahead a speculate their path.
6:15 PM- We reach Orderville Canyon which means the end of the "scary-no-high ground and flash flood zone". Once again, I lie to Rachelle and tell her we are 1 hour away. This isn't true, we are still 2 hours and 15 minutes until we exit the water. TIP: White lies are sometimes necessary to keep people moving.
6:45 PM- We encounter another couple hiking from the bottom and I once again ask them to tell Rachelle 1 hour. We feed her energy blocks and lied again that we were almost there.
7:30 PM- Brent asks me, "Is there anything we can do to speed her up?". Then Brent mentioned to me that that it was starting to get dark. I didn't believe him and said "It won't be dark until 9!". Then he so intellectually notified me that it was September, and it would be dark within the hour.
7:31 PM- Holy Sh--! "I thought it doesn't get dark until 9:00 pm!" TIP: It is September, and it starts to dusk around 7:45 PM.
7:35 PM: I tell Rachelle... "We have to rush!..... NOW...it's getting dark!" . And we start to haul because we are full of adrenaline We are ready for this adventure to end!!! TIP: Bring a headlamp.
8:10 PM- I am ahead of Brent and Rachelle and encounter more hikers from the bottom. I ask them in a desperate way, "How much longer?" I am told "You got it girl... seriously 10 minutes!)!!! TIP- The only reason I actually believed her is being she was wearing jeans and no shoes! I knew it was really only going to be 10 more minutes.
8:30 PM - We arrive at the top of the Riverwalk and it's pitch dark, but we are out of the water! Ashley, who left us hours earlier, has been waiting for an hour and a half. I change into my dry clothes and and take my painful shoes off!!! There is only half a mile to the bus stop! TIP:Bring a change of clothes. I was so cold and tired and thankful to take my swimsuit off and put on a dry alternative.
9:00 PM- The shuttle arrives and we are done.
Prologue: I fell asleep from exhaustion! TIP: I couldn't walk the next day or days to come, I should have taken the time to ice down my muscles and stretch my muscles before climbing to bed.