Kanara Falls - Zion National Park - Utah
Dedicated to Misty. My partner in crime since the beginning of time.
We walked through the lot where young couples made out in their trucks. Everyone was there for the privacy, and we were there for the heights. It was like everyone was moving at a different speed than we were, but we kept our heads down and tiptoed through to the mountains. The sun had just dropped, and we felt around in the dark like creatures of the red rocks. We followed the glow of the white light that shone over our hometown. We had made it to the big lit D that lit up the mountain. My sister did not stop there. We climbed over the rails past the warning signs until we clambered over real life sparkles.
I followed her to the top of the gigantically lit letter. We sat on top of a large flat rock. Then Misty said, “turn over.” And we switched our position and swung around. Then we laid upside down on the rock and tucked our feet into a small crevice to hold us up so when our hair and arms hung over the ledge we did not fall down the mountain. Suddenly the town spun around on me. The sky looked like a big body of water, and the town looked like a kingdom on a mountain. “Welcome to the St.George Reservoir,” my little sister whispered.
We went on to talk about the future. We are the only ones in the family without boyfriends or girlfriends. We talked about our future husbands, our fear of getting divorced, and our promise to beat up our husbands if one of them were to ever cheat on us. We talked about baking strawberry shortcake. Misty talked about the boys who ask to be kissed in parking lots because they’ve “never kissed anyone before,” and I told her they use the same kind of pitiful virgin excuse for sex too. We talked about dads and moms and babies. We talked about Utah, Costa Rica, and every place in between.
After the night chill started to creep up the mountain, we decided to creep down like the shadows we felt we were.
It had been a while since we had wanted to venture out onto one of the local mountains, but Costa Rica was just around the corner…And the thought of leaving a place reminded one of how much they loved a place. And so we visited Dixie Rock…And the sentimental fever clung onto us through the night and was still present the next day.
In the morning, Misty and I were standing over our suitcases and backpacks. We had finished packing (almost), and I took a big sigh.
“I wish we had done one more fun hike before we left.”
“Well, why don’t we?” She replied.
Ten minutes later, we had packed PB & J sandwiches, slipped on our hiking shoes, and pulled on some sports bras. We were ready. Siri told us we would hit 92 degrees at noon, so we decided to head out to Zion National Park and hike Kanara Falls. We had never hiked it before, but we heard a lot about it from friends and family. We also knew we would get wet, and the temperature was perfect for some splashing around. Thirty minutes later we were at the base of some giant red rocks, and the first few minutes of the hike were spent on us realizing how much we appreciated living so close to hikes like Kanara Falls.
We stopped and hiked up little rocks on sides of the path. We sang songs (mostly by Twenty One Pilots). We examined lizards and different flowers we had never seen before. We shouted against slates of rock to see who’s echo lasted the longest. We even paused to properly describe the texture of different tree branches. For some reason, the more outdoors we got, the nerdier we became. It's just a strange tendency we have as dweebs.
I tripped and slid on a branch, and I kid you not, Misty reached out and caught my left hand. She saved me from a big painful splash. Another time I was not paying attention, I almost stepped right off a ledge. Misty, again, reached out, yanked me by my trusty blue backpack, and saved me…big time. On the way down one of the tougher waterfalls, Misty held on by the lone rope that hung from a chain. I stood under her (I went down first). I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch her, but I knew I could break her fall if she were to slip. She made it safely. I didn’t have to break her fall.
I know a lot of people say that they will be there to catch you when you fall, but I meant it. I can’t say I know a lot of people who mean what they say anymore. But there are still the people who do mean what they say, and I’d do my best to break their fall should they slip. But I really hope those people don’t slip. And I really hoped Misty didn't slip.
Hiking through the trees made me wonder what great hikes there were around Boulder, Colorado. I wondered if I would like it there if I moved there. And hiking with Misty made me want to stay in Utah, maybe go up to Salt Lake City where I could still spend every few weekends with my sister without breaking my bank. The winters would suck. Black ice would suck. But it was affordable, and pretty hoppin’ downtown or so I heard. I heard the creek and thought of Boise. I felt the mist from the waterfall and thought of Oregon. Everything in between made me think of Montana or even California. I was on the right hiking trail, but the thinking started to make me feel lost. I would have a week when I returned from CR to choose a place and make it home. That was going to come quick…
But the Utah mountains won against my brain. As Nux once said, “Oh what a day. What a lovely day!” And I finally let myself get lost in the canyons that surrounded Kanara Falls. We danced and splashed around. We held our breath as we climbed up slippery slopes and laughed when we made it without falling. We swung around on ropes, and trekked up muddy hills. I felt like a little kid again. A kid who didn’t think about what “home” was or where it would be. I felt like a kid who just saw a mountain and wanted to climb it. And that was all.
By the end of the day, I had spun my hat backwards. Misty had run so fast her hat fell backwards and hung from its reins around her neck for the rest of the hike back. Misty and I had peanut butter and jam smeared across our faces. We took turns throwing grapes into each other's mouths in between nibbling at our soggy P B & J’s. I passed Misty the water bottle, and she took a swig. She handed the bottle back, I slipped it back into my backpack. What a lovely day...We sat like that for a few minutes listening to the clicking of crickets and humming of the birds. She was the first one to break nature's silence:
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”