Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pwn'd by an 81 year old trail guide

Last weekend I went on a very impromptu trip to St. George and Zion's National Park. Christy Just had to get away, and recruited me, Matt, and Carona. Get ready for a long post.

Carona, Christy, and Matt. Cute, huh?

Christy and Carona have already blogged about this little adventure, but seeing as I forgot my camera on the trip's highlight, hiking up to Angel's Landing, I have been waiting for pictures from the other happy trip-goers who weren't as neglectful. Because my compy crashed last week, I really haven't had the means whereby to store such photos, so I haven't pushed them to get me their photos either. What all this means is that my post has been delayed, and I don't have many pictures. Rather that wait even longer, I'm going to use the few pictures I took with my phone at the top of the trail at Scout's Lookout, and maybe the few I got afterward. And possibly a few I'll rob from Christy's and Carona's blogs.

Friday night we headed down to St. George to stay the night with Christy's aunt and uncle. Who, by the way, have some weird, ultra-late habits like walking the dog at midnight and grating cheese for breakfast the next morning at 1 a.m. But super nice folks to let us ransack their lovely St. George home for a weekend. Everyone even had the option of a bed.

Saturday morning we all left for Angel's Landing. Christy's awesome grandpa came with us. Thus begins my explanation of the title of my blog. The dude is 81. He's also an experienced trail guide. Let us remember that I'm huge and out of shape and I went on a hike with three triathletes and a trail guide. We started out great, but I was really pushing to keep up with everyone and it caught up to me early on the trail (maybe a mile into it? or 1/2 a mile?). I even felt like I was going to throw up, but I didn't. So the triathletes went on ahead and Grandpa Russ and I stayed in the back. The dude is a machine and he totally pwn'd me. (This fun slang word is courtesy of my older brother. Apparently its origins are video game related, resulting from the misspelling of the word "owned". Silly gamers.) We had to stop for me mostly, and never for him. It was quite inspirational. And embarrassing.

Along the trail we caught up with the triathletes 1.5 times. The first time we caught up with them, we all stopped to take pictures in this little hole in the rock, and even Grandpa Russ crawled up in for a picture. I'll add everyone's pictures when I get them.

Carona and Grandpa Russ.

The second time we caught up with them was on this series of 23 switch backs known as Walter's Wiggles. Russ and I saw them up above us, but we didn't quite catch up. I gained a little of my dignity back on Walter's Wiggles because I helped Russ up the exceptionally icy and slick parts. I had to help him even more going down. The man has crazy stamina, but his balance isn't as great. But don't get me wrong, he kicked my trash and is still my hero. Here's a few pictures of Caron, Christy, and Matt going down.

Caron, Christy, Matt

When Russ and I reached Scout's Landing--right before the trail all the way to the top of Angel's Landing--Christy, Matt and Caron had already started the very ambitious task of clinging to chains while trying to not slip to certain death off the side of the perilous mountain path up to Angel's Landing. Turns out it was WAY too icy and snowy to make it to the top. They didn't really feel it was their time to go, so they turned around.

In the mean time, Russ and I took the West Rim Trail up another mile or so. I had a chance to sit and rest and eat a few granola bars, so I was doing ok at this point. Up on the West Rim Trail is where I realized I had my phone and it takes pictures. here is a few looking back toward angel's landing.
Angel's Landing is the one on the right. The one on the left is the cliff face across the canyon.

We also saw a really cool frozen waterfall.

That's the beauty of hiking in Zion's in the winter. 50 degrees feels MUCH better than the 15 you're used to, and all the snow and ice contrast with the red rock looks awesome.

The pictures don't do it justice. Plus, I kinda suck at taking pictures.

This is my hero shot of Russ. Remember, he's 81.

Everyone at the bottom. Angel's Landing is in the back there.

After Russ and I got to the bottom, we waited for Christy, Matt, and Caron who had gone up to the Emerald Pools trail, then went back to Russ's place to meet his equally adventurous wife who kept telling us we NEEDED to go white water rafting this year because it's so fun. We had pizza and chatted for a bit. Russ tells some pretty tall tales, and I totally fell for this one story he told about a rattle snake that bit his tire, inflated from puncturing the tire, then floated him across the canyon. But you've got to cut me some slack. The dude has instant street cred, being 81 years old and just hiked up Angel's Landing. If he told me cows poop gold every April the 14th, I'd be out in the pastures this spring.

Sunday we went to church, then went to the St. George Temple Grounds. We really enjoyed the not frozen grass. I even tried to take an artsy fartsy picture of berries.

All it was a great trip. A very nice trip away from it all and hopefully not the last.


princesaplumeria said...

My gramps is the COOLEST!

Jessica Sorensen said...

We are jealous that you got to go to st. george and Zion. It was below zero this whole week here in Iowa. We were even colder than the north pole this past week.

caron said...

Garrett, you are hil-larious. That was a lovely report on the big trip. I am jalous of Jessica up there though- the north pole ?! it is now added to my list of places to go before I die.

Haley Greer said...

I'm also pretty envious... I'm getting pretty stir crazy these days with all the cold and gray and gloom.