USA 2015 – Part 7 : Zion and Los Angeles

The trip was winding down after Denver and Canyonlands and I was looking forward to getting back into my own bed. But I still l had a few more adventures on my mind, including revisiting the first place that made me fall in love with Utah: Zion National Park.

But I almost didn’t make it. As I was driving across the desert at 80mph in a van getting buffeted by ex-hurricane winds, knuckles white as I gripped the wheel for life, the camper kept getting pushed into the way of semi-trailers trying to overtake me. I’d never been so thankful to see snow on the ground, as it meant I was back in the mountains where the winds were more placid.

Eventually, after many, many coffee stops to calm the adrenaline, I set up camp in Zion. And headed straight to the Narrows.

I walked in for about an hour, opened up a beer, then heard this loud “WAHOO” echo of the walls. A rope came crashing near my feet and some adventurers abseiled into the canyon right next to me.

It was a blast watching them come in and listen to their canyoning adventures. Unfortunately, I got a little distracted and the sun set while I was chatting.

All of us took off running down the Narrows, trying to catch the last bus back. We heard someone yelling “LAST BUS” somewhere down the canyon, but managed to get on it just in time. A little cold after splashing through the water in almost freezing temperatures.

The next day was my last hiking day of the trip and I had planned 2 big hikes that would last me all day. I started early and got to Angel’s Landing. I pulled out a beer and saw a beautiful rainbow down the canyon.

I turned around and saw lightning and snow coming up from the other end of the canyon. It started flurrying so I legged it straight out of there. Barely had I got off the scramble when the sleet and rain kicked in. As I sat freezing on the bus I decided to call it quits. Thunderstorms while hiking are bad enough, but throw in snow and I’m done. I huddled in the heat of the visitor centre, jummped on the internet and booked myself a hotel room. I spent the last night of national park adventures in my hotel room bunkered down in a comfortable bed, under a heater, streaming the cricket on my phone. It wasn’t how I imagined my holiday ending, but goddamn it was amazing.

When I finally emerged 16 hours later, there was still a smattering of snow on top of some of the high passes.

The drive back to LA was pretty boring, mainly desert. But goddamn it felt good being warm.

I spent the end of my trip exploring places in LA, eating as many tacos as humanly possible, hanging with my friends and spending way too many hours hypnotised by the skateboarders in Dogtown.

And that was the end of that adventure!

There’s a gallery of a few more selected images below, not that I took much on this part of the trip, otherwise if you like any of these pictures you can buy a print, canvas (or more!) in my webstore: If the photo you want isn’t in there, let me know!

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