So last weekend a bunch of friends and I headed down south for some camping, hiking and canyoneering in Parunuweap Canyon near Zion. It really was a perfect trip. Long, challenging but also fun and refreshing. We got to the campsite pretty late. Like 4:30 in the damn morning. We had about 30 miles of sandy roads to drive to our trail head so it took us forever. We were going to have to get on the trail by 8:30 the next morning if we were going to get everything done we had planned, so we didn't bother to pitch tents. We just rolled out our pad and slept under the stars.
It always takes me a long time to sleep. It can seriously be a hassle. Especially when I'm trying to cram a night's worth of sleep into a couple of hours. And let me tell ya, the worst thing to do when you're trying to go to sleep is try really hard to go to sleep. It just doesn't work. After a 45 minutes or so tossing around, I was just at that moment when I was about to drift away. You know that feeling. Finally your body and your brain has relaxed and you start floating. It's a good spot to be in.
Right then, I heard some coyotes howling in the distance. It was just enough to wake up my brain. I took great effort to not move at all, so as to not shake away my well earned sleep cocoon. A few minutes later, I heard the coyotes again but this time much louder. My curiosity got the best of me and I looked up, ruining all of the sleep progress I had worked so hard for. Now, a coyote isn't going to do a thing to a human. I think. I actually have no idea. For all I know they feast on human flesh. But I wasn't scared. I was, however, very awake. And my mind was flowing. And being the product of way too much pop culture mediocrity, the thing that popped into my mind immediately was this scene from "Three Amigos".
"Three Amigos" is one of those movies that I love just as much now, as I did when I was ten. And for the same reasons.
- El Guapo: Jefe, would you say I have a plethora of piñatas?
- Jefe: A what?
- El Guapo: A plethora.
- Jefe: Oh yes, El Guapo. You have a plethora.
- El Guapo: Jefe, what is a plethora?
- Jefe: Why, El Guapo?
- El Guapo: Well, you just told me that I had a plethora, and I would just like to know if you know what it means to have a plethora. I would not like to think that someone would tell someone else he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has no idea what it means to have a plethora.
I was kind of hoping someone else was awake, heard the coyotes and had the exact same thought process as me. This of course would result in a spontaneous sing-along. There needs to be more real life, spontaneous sing-alongs in my opinion. Not the gay, Broadway, jazz hand kind of sing-alongs. But like the one in "Almost Famous" where the tour bus sings Tiny Dancer. It would make life much more interesting. But it didn't happen this time. Everyone was sleeping soundly.
It was close to 6:00 now and I knew this was hopeless. I may be hiking 12 miles the next day (that day) but I'm not sleeping tonight. So I got up to enjoy the sunrise.
Parunuweap Canyon is just outside of Zion National Park that is just as stunning as the famous Narrows. Well, maybe not quite as stunning. But still amazing. This was 4th of July weekend and one of the busiest times of the year for Zion. I guarantee that The Narrows was packed. We saw one other group our entire day.
While hiking out, we were hit with a massive rain storm. We weren't in any flash flood danger or anything. It was just a nice refreshing shower at the end of the day. But as we we're climbing out, there was a massive 400 foot waterfall of rain water gushing over a cliff. My camera got some moisture in it, so it looks like this photo was taken in a sauna. But you can kind of see the waterfall, although this photo doesn't do it justice. It was one of the hilights of a great trip.