Monday 11th October. By Paul.
We hiked for a week around the escalante river and organized a pick up at noon on Monday at the end of a 4WD track. Zion NP was the major goal that week but first on our agenda was shower, laundry and burgers.
Time slipped by before checking the weather forecast and it looked grim. The first winter storm was heading across Utah in a few days time and our plan involved the famous slot canyon, the Zion narrows.
Slot canyons and rain are a bad, bad mix as flooding can be sudden and severe. So I called the park and there were permits available to start tomorrow if we got there by 6pm. Suddenly we had to leave and drive the 120 miles to the park. To cut a long story short we arrived at 6.05pm and just managed to get our permits.The rain was coming Wednesday night and we should be out by then.
We were busy well into the night packing for a hike that could involve swimming with our packs. Still, good to go, and we show up at the shuttle bus the next morning. The problem was that the weather was trending worse, so we talked about it and decided to postpone until after the storm. If the river flooded we could be stuck in the narrows for a couple of days.
So, it was time to swan around and wait for the storm to pass. The next day and a half were gorgeous but the weather arrived early and ferociously. The water flow and height in the narrows swelled to flood levels in a matter of hours and snow fell in the upper parts of the park.
A few days later we did the walk with the river particularly cold now with snow melt. Jodie regretted not renting canyon shoes and we both regretted not having dry suits as the water was colder than expected. However it was fun and different from what we had done before. The scenery was difficult to capture with a camera as the canyon walls were so tall. Definitely great and definitely a good move to postpone the hike for a few days.