7 Summers Ago

When I was little my family took summer trips all the time. Disneyland, Yosemite, San When I was little my family took summer trips all the time. Disneyland, Yosemite, San Francisco, Catalina Island. But, as I got older, softball became more serious. I played competitive travel ball and any trips and traveling during the summer became centered around softball. I went on to play at the collegiate level and summer after Freshman year, I realized that besides working out and practicing on my own, I’d actually have time off. My mom had (and still has) a bucket list of hikes and places she wanted to cross off and at the top of that list was Zion National Park. So we did just that. We enjoyed an incredible 5 day trip exploring Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. And ever since that first summer, like the Morgan Wallen song, “7 Summers,” we’ve crossed off some pretty spectacular places every summer since 7 summer ago.

Summer 2016

Zion National Park & Bryce Canyon National Park

This was our first big hiking excursion 7 summers ago. We drove into Kanab, Utah on a Thursday. Friday we hiked Angel’s Landing, which some consider one of the scariest hikes in America. I thought it was incredible.

The trail starts with a moderate hike, offering glimpses of towering sandstone cliffs. As you progress, the path becomes more demanding, with steep switchbacks. Like really crazy steep switchbacks. The final stretch is the most exhilarating, requiring the use of chains to navigate the exposed ridge. However, the effort is rewarded with awe-inspiring panoramic views of the vast canyon, overlooking the Virgin River, and the majestic red rock formations that define Zion National Park.

Saturday we headed down in the canyon of Zion National Park to hike The Narrows. The Narrows hike is considered easy-to-moderate. because there are no steep inclines or declines, and since it is an out-and-back hike, it can be as long or as short as you want it to be. But, the further in you go the deeper the water gets and harder it becomes to hike through. As you venture into the canyon, the towering walls of red sandstone rise above you, creating a dramatic and narrow pathway carved by the Virgin River. It was so vastly different than hiking Angels Landing the day before but equally incredible.

Sunday we headed to Bryce Canyon National Park. I can’t remember exactly what trail we did but it took us through a scenic route of a lot of the park. I remember climbing down these switch backs into a red rock amphitheater, seeing the hoodoos, and the bright orange coloration all around us. It was a third stop that was again so very different from Angels Landing and The Narrows but equally incredible.

After Bryce we headed home and that completed our first National Park excursion! And ever since that first summer, 7 summers ago we’ve planning adventurous family trips each year.