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The beginning of the Watchman Hike

Doug wondered about how much hiking he would be able to do this trip, so we took it easy with a moderate two-hour hike up the Watchman trail to check out what he could manage. Hiking at child’s pace is enjoyable and includes many photo stops. Luckily many flowers presented themselves, along with a few birds.

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At the viewpoint on the Watchman Hike

When we planned this trip to Zion, the hike to Angel’s Landing was on the books. It’s rated as a strenuous four-hour hike, with the last section a route along a steep, narrow ridge to the summit.

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A view of Angel’s Landing in the early morning

So the next day, Doug decided that he would “stick his nose in it”, knowing that he could turn back and do it another year if it was too much. (Wendy was glad she didn’t need to “park” him at the first pass.) With a bit of planning of where to step, and some fall-back on his mountaineering skills, slowly and surely he made his way upwards. Actually, he was not any slower than most of the hikers. We kept climbing steadily and were on the summit in two hours from the trailhead, without breaking a sweat. Going down was a little more challenging because of Doug’s lack of knee flexion, but the permanent chains allowed for a quick “batman-style” descent on some of the steeper sections. We celebrated with a steak dinner, and hoped that the hot-tub and physio exercises would be enough to allow him to walk somewhat comfortably the next day.

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Doug starting the upper section to Angel’s Landing

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The trail down

The next day, all body parts were working; with Doug’s new knee feeling better than the left knee. After he warmed up, all was good. We took it easier and started with the mostly flat, shaded trail at the end of the canyon that gave us a view of The Narrows. We will have to come back when the water is not so high to do that watery canyon hike. We watched lots of yellow warblers and ground squirrels and also saw three mule deer.

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Hiking the Kayenta Trail

After that, we took the bus down canyon and hiked the Kayenta trail from The Grotto to Zion Lodge; a hike that was in full sun most of the way. We also stopped to view the Court of the Patriarchs (which is the cover photo of this blog.) As in the other days, when we returned in the early afternoon, we woke Tali from her nap in the air-conditioned trailer. She much prefers the pleasant walks in the long grass throughout the RV park and hardly missed us.

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