Monday. May 14 2018.
It’s the morning, I figured I would write about yesterday before breakfast, since last night I was too tired both physically and mentally. I know the main reason was because I have not totally recovered from the 36 hours awake to get here, which thankfully last night I set up camp around 5 and was asleep by 7 at the latest. I even slept pretty well I believe. Thank goodness I packed melatonin; a night shift nurse’s best friend.
My body is sore, but in the good way, like I have been putting in work. It is amazing what we can push our bodies to do. Yesterday was pretty much all ascending into Wildcat Canyon, and now I am camped at the beginning of the West Rim Trail, numerous people have said it’s their favorite trail within Zion! Which in hindsight, it definitely was beautiful. Angel’s Landing is actually a part of the West Rim Trail, and those were my most enjoyable hikes within Zion that I did, by far.
When I dropped off my car yesterday at the East Rim Trailhead (which is very nerve wracking to just leave it there mind you,) I hitched a ride with a guy who grew up in Zion essentially, his dad was an environmentalist within the park. He and his wife just moved back here from Santa Barbara. So he and I talked about the park and he told me about Zion Adventure Co in Springdale that could shuttle me to the Hop Valley Trailhead, which was definitely a little bit of trail magic. I had not had a set plan to get to the trailhead, but I figured it would likely involve an expensive uber if I could get some cell service. So thankfully, he dropped me off with only 30 minutes or so until a shuttle was leaving for Hop Valley. On the shuttle, there was a group of four guys around 30 years old that take an annual backpacking trip together. They all went to high school together, and it is a tradition that they have managed to keep for years now. So, goals.
After both rides, I started my hike around 10:30am. I was mildly sunburnt from Angel’s Landing the day before, so I switched to my dark grey long sleeve PJ shirt to protect it. Fortunately the temperature was only around 70 degrees with an intermittent cool breeze to help. Completely opposite of my trip to Yosemite in the middle of a heatwave last year, it was very refreshing. Regardless, I definitely need to invest in a light colored long sleeve hiking shirt. Anyways, the rest of the day was spent walking, a water fill-up, and a bathroom break; all with a terrible tension headache and awe for the view.
West Rim Camp 1.
Today was much better than yesterday, although still sore (my poor calves and feet) and still sunburnt shoulders, I felt better overall. I started this morning refreshed and ready to go; I was immediately reminded of why I want to do the PCT one day. The beauty and the feeling is just pure bliss.
By mile 3 or 4, I had drank the majority of my water, and I was stressing. I did not stop at the first spring because it would have been a .6mi out of the way (one way,) and was at the very beginning (when my water was still mostly full.) I kept looking for the Potato Hollow Spring, but it was not marked, and I did not pull out my map until 2 miles later. At that point, I was at the fork for either the Rim Trail or Telephone Canyon. I was eating my fruit cap (for the juice primarily) when a guy named Chris walked by. I asked him which direction I should take, and he said the rim trail had all the views, which it definitely did. It was absolutely beautiful. He also gave me some of his water, and we walked and talked most of the way to the West Rim Spring where he headed down into the canyon.
While at the spring, I met a couple: Jason and Rachel, who were staying at camp 2. We had all gotten done with the West Rim faster than we anticipated, around 2pm. So we hung out by the spring for almost 2.5 hours before heading to our camps. They were very kind and had entertaining stories about college, living in Elk County Pennsylvania, and being a clumsy artist; and it happened to be their wedding anniversary.
All around, I spent most of the day chatting with people, which has ultimately left me homesick. I kinda wish I had service, so at the very least I could text my family ‘goodnight.’ It is funny how being around strangers can leave you with an ache in your heart at times. But there is also comfort in company, I very much enjoyed the afternoon.
I know that tomorrow is going to be a much longer day with almost double the mileage.