I had completed the hike a decade ago on a date for a high school dance. I don't remember the hike being extremely difficult, but because I'm older now and perhaps feel more responsibility, I couldn't help but be a bit apprehensive about leading my young sisters up a mountain 5,790 feet above safe ground, with the last leg of the hike only possible with the aid of intimidating steel cables plunging into the ground.
I decided to google Angel's landing. We all know this is a bad idea. Haven't we learned that whenever we see that tiny rash on our left elbow that the last thing one is supposed to do is google it? Photo after photo of the most gruesome elbow infections known to man pop up along with a lot of scary words and scary diseases. So of course, before I even finished typing "Angel's La-" into the google search box, "Angel's Landing DEATHS" came up first.
I ask my father, "Um, dad, do you think that the girls will be o.k. You know, because the trail is really... REALLY high up there?" I know I'm a fully grown adult woman who should be using her own judgement, but a little reassurance couldn't hurt, right? "If the path ever becomes to difficult, you can simply turn around." Thanks. Thanks for that dad.
The next morning we all wake up at the crack of dawn. My mom packs us a sushi picnic. (That's what you get when your mother's Asian. No PB&J for us!) I pack my sisters into my little white car along with pillows, books, and snacks. I turn The Shin's new album, "Port of Morrow" up, and we begin our drive to one of the most renown National Parks in the country which we are lucky enough to have in our own backyard.
My sisters are tough. I still didn't want to tell them about the "deaths" that I had read about the day before, but a sign, obvious and loud, right at the front of the entrance to the trail laid out the details of the dangers we were about to face." 6 Deaths since 2002. This trail is not recommended for small children, or anyone afraid of heights..." And then there was a small stick figure of a person falling to their death.
O.K. I might have made that part up...
The trial up to Scout's Point, which wikipedia describes as "generally the turnaround point for those who are unwilling to make the final summit push to the top of Angel's Landing" proved difficult. We huffed and puffed our way up the steep incline, passing wild chipmunks and cacti growing straight out of the red rock.
We passed a lot of foreigners repeating the same one or two English words over and over again in their thick accents. "Suuuppeh, Graate!" I muttered to my sisters, "If I ever make it to Paris, I'm going to make sure to learn other words in their language besides "super" and "great". Surprisingly, we passed a few husbands on their way down the mountain, who had swallowed their pride and refused to attempt the final hike up "Angel's Landing", later meeting up with their wives not really minding to continue the rest of their hike on their own with only the gorgeous views to accompany them.
There are a lot of reasons people choose to hike "Angel's Landing". For some, they hike to the top to get over their lifelong fear of heights.
Others hope to prove that they are capable of accomplishing great feats.
Some brave the trail to spend quality time with family.
I've got to tell ya, after all the sweat and exhaustion, once we finally made our to the top, I've never felt such peace. My sister's and I sat at the top in awe with the hippies who had found their way their only moments before us. No talk of the latest "tie-die methods" or "proper dread-lock cultivation", only silence in our rare, shared moment with nature.
I closed my eyes and felt the wind brush my face. All my problems, worries, concerns melted away into the majesty of the gorgeous view I soaked in. I could stay up here forever. But alas...
"Should we head back down now?" my youngest sister asked, shielding the eyes from the sun high overhead. I lugged my backback over my left shoulder as I grinned at my sister with a triumphantly. "Yeah, let's go."