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Friday, November 7, 2014

Wading Into 46 Degrees and A Sea Of Estrogen, All The Way To Zion's Narrows

Five gals and little ole me took a wade yesterday, and guess who was the only one to fall in, dunk a camera, and get cold? Lordy…I've met my match.

Laurelee, Gayle, Debbie, and Suzanne had never "hiked" the Narrows before so Bobbie and I put it out as an option and offered our services as "guides." Though you can't really get off-course in a narrow slot canyon with thousand foot walls, it is reassuring to have someone along who's been there/done that. Suzanne has a hair-trigger when it comes to edgy outings and jumped on the offer. Debbie joined in almost immediately, while Gayle and Laurelee only came around after some serious girly trash talkin' by Suzanne. Sun-loving Floridians and Californians are slow to find the fun in spending a whole day wading up a shady river in ice water. They showed up "undecided" at the boot-fitting the night before…darn fence straddlers :)) I had to pull Suzanne aside and remind her about our group rule—that people only participate in activities they feel comfortable with—and to knock off the trash-talking and heavy handedness with Sun-Belters. Geeze Louise I fear we've created a "monster," Suzanne doesn't seem to need a day off!!!

The goal was to be dressed in boots and wetsuits and be in the river by 11:00 am, and we hit that mark on the money. Bobbie and I opted to save 22 bucks each and not rent the wet suits. 46 degrees is nothing for Colorado Kids, right? Bobbie did wear a pair of Gortex pants, tho, while I searched in vain for mine. Oh well, I've done this river four previous times and got by with bare legs and shorts… only once being forced to turn around due to cold about three years ago. Bobbie and I only made it a few hundred yards that day before losing feeling in our feet and legs. We were quickly rendered spastic as drunken sailors on ice skates, clumped back to the car on wooden legs… defeated, swearing never to do the Narrows again. 

A painful, ice cold hike up the Narrows is like giving birth (so I'm told). You forget the pain and remember only the joy of it. 
Here we go... 

The boot fitting was hilarious. Bobbie couldn't get her shrink-to-fit rubber booties on and nearly pulled an ab muscle in this fight to the death. 

Gayle, a sucker for red shoes, saw no harm in trying on a pair :))

After renting our gear we went out to dinner at the Whiptail Grill…and pretty much ganged up on our waiter about Utah's ridiculous liquor laws. He could only serve us near-beer pisswater, but could serve wine. Where is the common sense in that…like, you can get drunk as hell on wine, buddy, but can't even cop a buzz on beer??? Then, to make his busy night a complete disaster, we asked for separate checks :)) It's the only power we had, by God, so we abused it!!!

I was way underdressed compared to the gals…shivering before we even got in the water.

Once everyone adjusted to hiking in the current with ankle weights on we could sit back and enjoy the views.

I was hiking with my camera in hand about a mile from the Narrows, when one of the gals tripped me by shoving their hiking stick between my legs. Down I went, soaking my cotton jean shorts and dunking my precious Cannon Digital Elph. Gayle helped me up, but the damage was done as little "Elphie" would not turn on. Suzanne loaned me here back up Elphie, tho, in hopes that she could get a new one out of the clumsy male in the group.

Stay tuned for Part II. Got to get ready for another hike and feed the Monster!!!


  1. We need to see a shot of your ice blue legs after hiking for a while in this frigid water!

  2. Lisa and Hans…legs weren't blue, but just a ways "north" a couple of things were...
    and no, you won't get a shot of them :)).

  3. When someone (in this case, said thin-blooded Floridian) ends her email with "You guys are going to have to do some heavy convincing..." I see that as an opportunity. ;-)

    Most fun I have had since Disneyland!!

    1. Now you guys have done it. I'm headed to Lees Ferry for a couple days and then looping through Zion to Boulder City. Thanks to Mark's pictures I've packed my wet gear. Should be fun!

  4. Great hike! Looks like the water was down a little which probably made a much nicer hike. Brave man to go with bare legs!

  5. Wonderful photos. I don't think too many people realize how incredible Zion and Bryce are. In fact, I think Utah is a bit of a secret altogether. I live in Colorado and we have some very remarkable scenery, but the canyons in Utah are really special.

  6. OH so happy to see this post I've been waiting for it, Looked like the water was just right for your hike..photos awesome sorry you had a spill, hope the camera dries out...looking forward to part 2

  7. It was much more fun than I thought it would be! I would highly recommend the dry pants.

  8. Wonderful hike, awesome photos! Thanks!

  9. Great post. Sorry about the camera. You rock Suzanne!


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