“Are you guys lost? Are you looking for someone? ” – Me
“Yes. We are supposed to be at Winter Quarters 101 waiting for our hike group to Angels Landing.” – Strangers
“Did you just said hike? Zion National Park?” – I asked getting excited
“Yes. We are going to Zion National Park and others are supposed to show up here.” – Strangers
“Can I come with you guys?” – Me
“Yes. You can join us.” – Strangers
I farewelled my soccer team who were waiting for me to get inside their apartment for Cinnamone bread treat. We just came from an intramural soccer game. Today’s game was very competitive. We won the game. But before the start of the game, the organisers denied me from playing the game. They said that I was not cleanly shaven. But I just shaved my beard in the morning before the game. We had heated arguments. Finally, one stranger handed his electric razor and I shaved in front of their eyes. Then they let me play the game. This rule to be cleanly shaven in BYU is really frustrating. How can you measure a person is clean shaven or not? It really depends on the personal preferences of the observer. Anyway, I had suffered a lot from this ill-defined rule of BYU.
I asked the strangers to wait for me as I would be taking a quick shower. I took a quick shower and invited the strangers into my apartment. I started packing for today’s hiking. I put bandages, pain relief gel and other medical items in the bag. I had an ankle injury months back in Seattle. Till now the injury hasn’t healed completely. Maybe I haven’t rested enough for it to heal completely. But I couldn’t let go a golden opportunity to visit Zion National Park. Despite having pain in my left leg, I was determined to go for today’s hiking. I packed few fruits and nuts. Other people started arriving. From the group of nine people, I only knew two of them.
We started our journey around 11:00 am from Provo. We were in two cars. It took around four hours to reach Zions National Park. We got lost after reaching the park but travelled through a magnificent 1.2 miles tunnel under a big rock. After contacting another group, we figured out the location to the trail head. We parked our car in the visitor centre. Then caught a trolley that took us to the trail head. Meantime in the trolley, I applied the pain reliever to my left leg. It was swelling because of the soccer game in the morning. We got out of the trolley. I found out that my water bottle has spilt inside the bag. All the stuff got wet. Drops were falling from my bag.
We started the trail. The tail was paved well with cement. It was nowhere like our tails we had in Nepal. The trails were manually crafted between huge mountains. It was getting windy as we moved upwards. One of the members of the group started feeling uneasy. She decided that she couldn’t continue. Then another member decided to stay with her. Rest of us continued towards the trail. After half an hour I could see metal chains placed carefully along the trail for our safety. It was an awesome adventure to pass through the dangerous cliff climbing steeply upwards. I was having difficulty climbing due to my injured foot. Anyhow, we reached to the top of Angles Landing. The view from there was enchanting. There was lots of squirrels and chip monk on the top. We rested for a while and started descending down.
After few minutes, I saw two girls that we left earlier in the beginning of the trails. She started to feel better and both of them decided to continue the trail. I followed them towards the top. For me, I went to the Angels Landing twice. We all started descending down. I was limping my foot whole way down. It was around 8 pm when we caught the shuttle heading towards parking place from the trail head.
It was an awesome experience to hike with strangers. The park was breathtaking. It was like our Upper Mustang with deserted huge mountains with red rocks. There was humorous conversation while returning back in the car. Reached home around 1 am at night. It was a tiresome day with a competitive game in morning and a challenging hike. Today’s hike was my first hike with other people in my first five months over here in Provo.