Daddy's Christmas Angel

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Hiking Angel's Landing in Zion National Park

"On the trail to Angel's Landing" ©O Sikes

 It was a hot July day, and I had no idea what I was getting into. Our daughter, Allison, planned an amazing trip for us to visit some of the beautiful National Parks in Utah. Zion was the first, and someone suggested the hike to Angel's Landing as an activity. 

I loved the name, Angel's Landing, so I said, "Let do it."

It was already early afternoon when we began our trek. The climb was scorching and dusty. Since I couldn't keep up, our daughters went on ahead. I was thankful for the trekking stick that gave me more confidence for the hike.

Many people passed me along the way--young couples, families, rugged-looking hikers going it alone. They all headed with confidence toward Angel's Landing. But then there were others, coming back from the direction of our destination. Some dragged along, disappointment evident from their gait. Others appeared happier, more upbeat. Someone stopped to tell me about the chains needed for the final, most dangerous sections of the climb. 

With my fear of heights and lack of hiking boots, could I make it to the top, I wondered.

"Angel's Landing Sign" ©Mary Montague Sikes
 It began to feel unlikely, especially after I saw a sign, warning of dangers I had not expected. It was hazardous during thunderstorms and darkness. Of course, and it was also dangerous for those who got dizzy because of heights. There were lots more reasons for turning back. People died hiking this trail.

Naively, I originally thought I might actually make it to the top. I went as far as I felt safe walking and climbing. My expectations were too high. 

I marveled at those who crossed our country by covered wagon and survived. It took tremendous courage to battle the elements and the rugged landscape.

On the return hike back to the luxury of the lodge, I heard a flop, flop sound. When I looked down, I discovered that the soles of my tennis shoes had disintegrated along the way. Thankfully, I was not higher up toward Angel's Landing when that happened.

During our trip, we found easier hiking trails, all with glorious scenery. We enjoyed Bryce Canyon National Park, and much more. I never reached the top of Angel's Landing and neither did our daughters, but they made it much farther than I did.

"Angel's Landing Trail ©Mary Montague Sikes

"Angel's Landing" ©Mary Montague Sikes