Women Who Explore | Zion National Park
It's hard to believe that just a week ago I was sitting in a beautiful lodge in Utah with a handful of girls that I'd never met before. My anxiety level shortly before arriving was through the roof. If you know me, you know I'm very much an introvert yet love to connect with new people. Living on both ends of that spectrum has always lead me through a roller coaster of emotions when taking on new adventures, so you can imagine what my heart and mind were going through at this time.
Earlier this year my sister and I went out on a limb and decided to sign up for a Soul Sister Getaway which is a series of weekend retreats hosted by Women Who Explore. When November rolled around I was getting really nervous about meeting some new people and having to spend a weekend with them. The outdoors is my getaway and go-to when stress and anxiety begin to loom in my life. I treasure that quiet time spent with the Lord and don't usually venture off with other people for the sake of being able to enjoy the moment and not having to work around others' motives.
My preconceived notions about this particular adventure immediately vanished as I started chatting with these amazing ladies! Everyone was so down to earth and truly after a genuine adventure in a new place. Not to mention just how inspiring their current journeys in life were. Saturday morning rolled around and we hopped in our cars to head down to Zion National Park; my first time visiting. We headed straight to Angel's Landing which is one of the most visited trails in this park. There were HUNDREDS of people on the trail. It was actually a little sad that this beautiful place was so polluted with foot traffic. Angel's Landing is about a 5.5 mile round trip with a 1,488ft elevation gain and is rated strenuous with exposure to long drop-offs, and they aren't exaggerating. Six deaths have occurred on this trail and it doesn't surprise me. The edges do drop off drastically and the actual trail close to the top is barely wide enough for your own body (with traffic going in both directions). People were gliding down and jumping around each other like there wasn't a risk in the world that would stop them.
Regardless, we made it to the top and the views were so worth the climb. Time was on our side and our group got to enjoy the small space at the top quietly for nearly five minutes before it got so populated with folks that you could pass by someone without brushing up against them. I'm still working on trying to find the words for this experience and the views. So for now, these images will have to do.
Sunday morning we were partially on our own. While some of the girls explored other areas of the park, Tanner and I went back to explore Emerald Pools Trail. It was a less crowded trail, easy and beautiful water under the seemingly skyscraping canyons.
Below are some more photos of our time on the trail snapped by the rest of the girls!