For those of you who don't know:
"The Virgin River has carved a spectacular gorge in the upper reaches of Zion Canyon: 16 miles long, up to 2,000-feet deep, and at times only 20 to 30-feet wide. The Narrows, with its soaring walls, sandstone grottos, natural springs, and hanging gardens can be an unforgettable wilderness experience. However, it is not a hike to be underestimated.
Hiking The Narrows means hiking in the Virgin River. At least 60 percent of the hike is spent wading, walking, and sometimes swimming in the river. There is no maintained trail because the route is the river. The current is swift, the water is cold, and the rocks underfoot are slippery"
Straight from ZPS.gov.
My dad and sister had this brilliant idea to do a little weekend trip to Zion and hike The Narrows. Surprising as it may sound, I was actually into this idea. So Dad, Bri, my Uncle Brian, and I, did just that.
In general I would say "I love to hike." is a true statement for me. What I had not realized is that this only remains true for about 6-8 miles. And let me tell you, learning this at mile 8 of a 16 mile hike is the definition of learning something "the hard way".
( it's actually 17 miles, you still have to hike a mile once you exit the canyon. And I don't want to get short-changed a whole mile here.)
Miles 0-5, I was one happy hiker. There was singing, there was dancing, there was even frolicking in the fields.
Miles 5-12 I'm getting a little grumpy. My walking stick is ridiculous. The severity of the situation is beginning to settle in. I stopped talking all together somewhere around this point.
Miles 12-17 Pure misery. I'm pondering whether or not I'm too far up the canyon for the rescue team to reach me. I'm fantasizing about breaking a leg, or just drowning, whatever it takes to stop hiking. There is absolutely no talking, there are no pictures being taken, only occasional silent tears.
Now, a week later, I can walk normal again, my blisters are mostly healed, I've received the most necessary pedicure of my life, I can almost say it was worth it. I'm still waiting for those rose-colored glasses to arrive.
What I can say for certain is, first, I have the best family. Had I asked, my dad would have carried me out of there. Me, my backpack, and my freaking walking stick.
The second, I can do hard things. I can do things I didn't think I could; I mean, I thought I could do this, which is why I agreed to it, but I'm talking about after I realized I actually couldn't do it, I still managed to do it. And that feels pretty good.
But as I explained to my Uncle Brian, a man of never ending positivity and optimism who was trying to get me to come back from the dark side, sometimes being capable of doing hard things doesn't really justify actually doing them. Truth.