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Narrows, June 2002
his 39th birthday Henrik wanted to hike the narrows in Zion
National Park in Utah. So we drove 1800 miles for the 2-day, 1-night backpacking
trip. It began after work
when Henrik and I drove from San Francisco down to Fresno where we met
his girlfriend Anne, who was there on business.
We all stayed the night and left the following morning, leaving
Henrik’s truck in the hotel parking lot.
Then we drove, and drove, and drove all the way to Utah where we
rented a car and stayed in a Motel 6 outside of Zion National Park.
The next morning we drove both cars into the park very early, got
in line for permits and were lucky enough to be allowed to start our
hike the same day. Next we
drove the rental car to the start of the trail and were off and running.
came out of the canyon around lunch on the second day and took a shuttle
back to Anne’s car. Then
we had the long drive to retrieve the rental car and then the longer
drive back to the Bay Area. After
dropping off the rental car Anne drove and Henrik slept in the back.
It turns out he had been sick for most of the trip.
Finding this out made me feel kind of bad since I had given him a
hard time at the start of the trip when he tried to get me to carry some
cheese. At the time I
thought he was fine and just trying to load me up since my pack was so
light to begin with (my pack was probably around 15 pounds while his was
maybe around 40 pounds). This
was not because I wasn’t carrying my share but rather due to my
minimal approach and lightweight gear.
with Henrik asleep in the back of the car Anne drove on into the night
and we made it all the way to the Nevada-California State Line where we
got a super inexpensive room at Whiskey Pete’s.
It was either $19 or $29 but was worth two or three times the
price to us since we were very tired.
The next day we drove onto Fresno where Anne dropped us at
Henrik’s truck, we headed back up north while she resumed her business
in the area.
cheers to Henrik for proposing and planning such a radical trip.
Everything went smoothly and to this day we still talk fondly
about the time we drove so long and far for such a short trip.
But hey, no regrets here, I am glad I did it and would recommend
that other people do it as well.
you do go I have three pieces of advice.
First and most important is to wear your normal backpacking
footgear. I wore running
shoes, as usual, and they worked great. Do not, under any circumstances, wear sandals or river type
shoes. Secondly, use
trekking poles; of course two are better than one.
And third, bring very little gear and put it all in a garbage bag
(trash compactor bag is better) inside your pack.
the water was never more than waist deep on our trip you never know what
will happen. Just for fun,
at one point I walked into a deep section of the river with my pack on
and as the water rose around me I felt the pack slowly lifting off of my
back. Suddenly I couldn’t
touch the bottom yet was floating with my head well above the water
since my pack was acting as a buoy on my back.
Dog paddling, I was able to continue through the deep section
until I could touch again. Everything
in the trash compactor bag lining my pack stayed totally dry, even
though the top of the trash bag was not sealed or closed in anyway.
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