Oct 31, 2018

How could I do this? Impossible!

Colin, Colin , Colin!  That is how I could do it and with the help of his walking stick.

The hike is from a parking lot right next to the high end of the tunnel to the top of the Natural Arch.

It was time to head to the Canyon Overlook Trail.  A one mile hike ( that seemed like at least 4 miles to me ) with a 163 foot elevation.  I prayed all the way back up from the canyon bottom to the top of the tunnel that the parking lot would be full.  Unfortunately for me, there was exactly one spot left 🙁   Colin wanted to do this and he especially wanted me to do it with him.  He thought that I would be just fine as we had read that the worst was the sudden elevation gain by climbing the stairs and then it would be smooth.  Not!!!  it was more of an obstacle course, huge boulders, drop offs with no rail, 9 inch wide path with no barrier, a large V cut in the rock to try and walk over, huge boulders and giant steps up and down, etc

The official description of the Canyon Overlook trail is that it has long drops offs which are mostly fenced ( not all are ) and that the path is rocky and uneven.

I later read the following. Warning: This rocky, uneven trail is not for anyone fearful of heights, although most drops offs are fenced.

Colin could only take photos when it was safe for me to walk on my own as he was busy hanging onto me to during the scary spots.

I was at my best with the rail to hang onto.

I used the walking stick and Colin’s arm, he chose my footing in the most dangerous areas.  Some of these steps up and down were beyond my normal extended range.

It was the most difficult thing that I have ever done in my life.

The views going up and down must have been amazing but I only peaked occasionally.  I was concentrating on putting one foot ahead of the other.  Then there was the fact that I was trying to catch my breath.  By the way, what you see in the colored rock to the left, is the trail.  Exactly.  There is no trail.

The path which at times we could not even find, was long and mostly narrow.  Each section had its own set of unique challenges.  Well at least to me they were a challenge. I kept asking everyone who was coming back down if we were almost there.  How much further?  Is the worst over?  It wasn’t the worst.  A few times we talked about going back as it seemed to take forever to get there.  We did it in 38 minutes.

As you can see the trail is very narrow in parts.   There is one section that is only 9 inches wide that you must walk along with no railing.  That was the scariest area for me.  I chose to walk facing the rock walk with my back to the canyon.

I was never so happy as to go around that last corner and there we were.  I just stood there overlooking the valley and tried to relax as I soaked in the beauty of it all.

Thanks to Colin I made it.  Sadly we were late in getting the right light for the great view shot.

It was beautiful, but I was worried about the descent.  Could I do it?

A huge step down for me.

I was very concerned that it would be dark before we got to the bottom.

Beyond being frightened of falling it was totally exhausting.  2/3’s of the way down I realized that the hand griping the walking stick and my arms were shaking.  I had only eaten ice cream since the night prior!!!

It took us 45 minutes to get down.  We had to stop often to let others pass as I was the slowest of them all.  It must have been obvious that I was out of my element as twice people came up to us and offered their help.  In this photo I am climbing up in order to get down.  I did do a lot of grunting and groaning along the way.

I could not have done this without Colin, nor the newly found walking stick ( which I totally relied on ) and of course my runners.

I was exhilarated at my accomplishment but exhausted.  A very long day with 18,833 steps and 7.89 miles walked.  I could hardly move as I had pain in areas I had never felt before.  Not bad for a 65 and 1/2 year old with 2 titanium hips.  Wine, food, shower and bed were next on the agenda.  The pain which mostly happened when I got up from sitting too long was gone within a few days.

Trekking poles have been ordered from Amazon.  Check out this link.  I hope that I made the right choice.

Colin later told me that once he saw the trail, he did not think that I would be able to do it.  His main concern was to keep me from falling and of course helping me with each step.  He never had time to take photos of the rougher areas as he was concentrating on me.

Crazy wild hike and my greatest accomplishment to date.  What’s next 😎

We did enjoy Zion, just not in the way we would have preferred.  This is her last gift to us as we drove away.

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22 responses so far

22 Responses to “How could I do this? Impossible!”

  1. Nancy & Doug says:

    Wow Contessa – GOOD for you!! That was quite the accomplishment. I thought of the below proverb for you:

    “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” ~African proverb.

    Cheers!

    • contessa says:

      Love the proverb. As I said in the post, who knows what will come next but I am ready to try some new experiences.

  2. George Yates says:

    Congratulations Glad that you made that trek and survived.

  3. rocmoc says:

    IMPRESSIVE guys!!!!!!

    rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

  4. Ken and Margot says:

    Well done Contessa. You will remember this day for the rest of your life! KenB

  5. Ruth M McIntyre says:

    I can’t even imaging doing that. I can’t even stand on a kitchen chair without getting dizzy. In some of your photos I cannot see anything that looks like a trail, but there you are, according to you, you are on the trail. Great job and good for you!!! You deserve lots of wine to celebrate.

  6. Suzanne says:

    CONGRATS! Glad you persevered and pushed yourself a bit beyond your comfort zone, as it’s like Ken and Margot said, it is those times of “life on the edge” that we remember most vividly.

    I think you will enjoy your hiking poles. I always hike with mine (actually, I prefer using only one so I have the other hand for the camera.) But they can have many uses beyond helping with stability. Also serve as a defense between me and growling off leash dogs that approach aggressively. It serves as a way to steady the camera in low light. And it can be a little bit of upper arm workout when you use two. You might find you enjoy having them on your walkabouts on the Isla as well. I like the interchangeable tips.

    • contessa says:

      Thanks for checking out the hiking poles, I had hoped that you might. I don’t know about the using them on the Isla, but if I build up my endurance, I just might might try for the lighthouse.

  7. Peter says:

    Well, Colin will have to arrange a sky diving event next! Congrats on a great hike, but next time have some breakfast first!

    • contessa says:

      We didn’t hike until until about 4PM, at the end of our day in Zion. Yes, I should have had an energy bar before I started but I totally forgot.

  8. Linda and Russell says:

    WOO HOO WAY TO GO!
    I’m proud of you…can’t wait for your next adventure.
    Last year we went to Copper Canyon and did the ziprider…1.5 miles across the canyon! The worst part was hiking to the top to catch the tram back across the canyon. It was only 1/2 mile up but rugged terrain, stone steps and paths, no rails, and high altitude…it took me forever with Russell’s help. I know how you feel when you overcome a challenge like that.
    You’re doing great!

    • contessa says:

      Sounds like you both are into fun adventures, especially zip lining. I might try it but not the one at Copper Canyon. Not going to walk up that canyon.

  9. Maxx Trails says:

    Way to go! You should be very proud of yourself! It looks like a gorgeous hike and oh my gosh that sunset is beautiful 🙂

  10. Dolores T says:

    Wow!!! That is an accomplishment!!! Looks beyond scary to me…

  11. Rae says:

    CONGRATS

    Just saw the trail post!

    I’m telling you, you could have physically done Angel’s Landing had it not been for the heights thing.

    You need to remember to eat before doing this sort of thing. Diets are for normal life, not for when you’re climbing mountains. 😉

    So proud of you!!!

Leave a Reply to Rae