Greetings from Zion National Park

I did the Narrows top-down in May 2021. I woke up in the middle of the night because I was warm, but I wasn’t sweating…which could only mean one thing.

Heatstroke was on the way. And when I rummaged in my pack for my Camebak, I discovered that it had leaked in the night so I only had a single cup of water instead of the quart I was counting on.

‘Oh no,’ I thought. 'I am about to be in big trouble.’

I’m a person of faith, so I started pleading with God for what to do. I received distinct impressions - slowly sip what’s left of my water, go outside and remove all clothing except the bottom layer, basically anything to get my core temperature down.

The next day went slowly, but it went. At the freshwater spring a mile or so down the river, we bumped into some friends we’d met at the trailhead. They graciously refilled our hydration bladders for us, and I sat in the shade of a tree and drank almost half a gallon before moving forward. We made it back almost three hours later than we planned, but we made it.

So why does Zion NP matter to me? It changed my relationship with God - and with myself - for the better and stronger. I’ll never be the same.


Zion National Park

Free-flowing rivers cut through multi-hued sedimentary rock to form Zion's deep and spectacular canyons. Park trails lead visitors to dramatic rock formations, hanging gardens, scenic vistas, ancient rock art and natural arches. People have lived in Zion’s landscape for at least 8,000 years, and the park's prehistoric art and artifacts tell the stories of the area’s previous inhabitants. The park also provides habitat for a variety of wildlife and large mammals, hardy desert plants like cholla and juniper, and rare and threatened birds like the peregrine falcon, California condor and Mexican spotted owl.

State(s): Utah

Established: 1909

“"Ever my heart rises as we draw near the mountains." -- Gimli, "The Lord of the Rings"”

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