SW Road Trip - The Zion Experience Day 1-3

March 8th, 2018

Nick & Jessica here sharing a bit about our South west road trip and adventure!

 

The stoke level was rising as we were ready to hit the road. We had two days to get to Zion National Park so that we could hike Angel's Landing Saturday morning and leave in time to be at the Hualapai Hilltop by Saturday night. 

Wheels hit the pavement on Thursday morning at 9:49am in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Taco sat at 90,916 miles.

I don't believe life gets much better than traveling with a person that you connect with on every level. That "connected-ness" allows silence to ensure comfortably and conversation to flow unforced. I know that for me, quality time, is one of my love languages so to have Jessica locked in the small cab of a truck for hours on end is nothing short of amazing. You never really know where the conversation is going to go on road trips or traveling for that matter. 

 

11:26am Hello, Iowa!

You can really budget these trips out, especially when you drive. Plenty of room for a cooler and groceries. Makes a healthier trips too..  However, have long days a burger always sounds good to me.  And...you know normally, I stop at Fuddrucker's whne making the drive to Denver, but 5 Guys really has become one of my fav's!

3:46pm Omaha, NE - 5Guys

 

Inspiration is everywhere traveling at 70mph with unexplored terrain in the scopes. When you travel with someone, you are taking a chance. You are committing to spending an extended period of time with someone in close proximity. The best part about traveling is it's ability to bring out the best and worst in us with the uncertainty that lies before. 

8:13pm Hi Colorado!

Our first day was nothing but highway miles through Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado. By 8:58pm we were pulling into a rest stop to slum it up in the bed of the truck and catch some sleep. Feeling a bit raw and tired we were in much need of some shut eye for a second day of long mileage on Friday. 

We packed most of our gear in the cab of the truck. Only left one bin full of bike gear and the Rtic cooler,  both fit and slide right under the truck. I am a neat and organizational freak.  made it quick and easy to lay out our camping pads & bags in the bed. 

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 March 9, 2018

     6:36am.... Let's hit it!

We hit the road and made a quick stop for breakfast with family that lives in Denver. By 8:36am we were heading into the mountains. Friday was shaping up to be a killer day! It was as if we were both drained and felt a bit raw from all the dialogue and Thursday's long day in the truck. But at the same time completely energized. From the minute we hit the road, Friday seemed to feel so light and mellow. The ebb and flow always seems to move at the pace it should. It's a crazy thing. 

1:35pm Oh, Hey There, Utah! 

Luckily for us, the weather was absolutely perfect. Clear skies and cool. 

 

By 8:35pm we were pulling into the parking lot near the Angel's Landing trail head. The campground was full and we had no clue nor a plan on where to park, more importantly...sleep! We ended up in a lodge parking lot and slummed it out of the bed of the truck again.  

March 10th, 2018

We crashed incredibly quick (in our dark and sketchy parking lot) and hit it hard at 5:30am. We parked at the trail head and were on the trail by 6. Angel's Landing was absolutely beautiful. As early as we hit the trail, it felt as if we had it all to ourselves. We were of only a few people on the trail before sunrise. It wasn't until Scout Lookout , did we run into anyone. Only a man who described the trail as severe. Haha! Come one man, were trying to get to the top! Seeing the the narrow exposure got to Jessica a little so she took a few minutes to breathe before ascending, and pushing towards the summit. Crushed it :)

It wasn't too long of a hike. Walter's Wiggles were a set of 21 steep switchbacks and chains lined the rock wall as you ascend to the peak. While it may be one of the world's most dangerous, it certainly provided absolutely stunning views. 

... the smile on her face as we took in the 360 degree views said it was well worth it!

The only way I can really describe it is imagine this giant rock shooting up towards the sky at 1500ft with nothing surrounding it but canyon walls that are even twice as tall. I dont remember noticing the altitude but at the peak we reached just under 6,000ft in elevation. 

Trail cut since 1926. 

What we didn't realize, was that Saturday, Zion was officially opening for the season. We were not supposed to park near the trail head. Instead, we were supposed to park down the road and take the shuttle in. We're sorry! By 12:06pm, we were leaving Zion National Park and heading to our main destination, Havasupai, with a quick stop at Horse Shoe Bend

YO, ARIZONA! 1:55pm

 

Horse Shoe Bend - Page, Arizona 2018

3:36pm: we had a major panic moment. Jessica lost her garmin bracelet and was about to lose out on a LOT of steps. (LOL!)
3:39pm: Crisis was averted, we found the bracelet! 

By 5:37, we hit Flagstaff, Arizona and by 8:57pm we made it to Hualapai Hilltop, Supai, AZ. It was drizzling when we arrived. We packed our packs as much as we could in the cab before climbing in the bed to sleep. The plan was to hit the trail at 4am to be at the village by 8am..

....To Be Continued