I had a plan. Hike Angel’s Landing in Zion, smooch my special–lady friend on the summit, take some pictures of the sunset, then head to dinner in Springdale. It was a perfect plan, and like all perfect plans almost none of it actually happened.
Taylor is a pretty badass chick, but she has a few issues.
Wind and exposure both are exceptionally challenging to her psychologically due to some traumatic experiences as a child, and as a result Angel’s Landing might not have been the best choice for a romantic Valentine’s Day evening. Instead it turned into a gripping trust exercise during which she had to completely rely upon me to safely get her up and back through the exposed “chain section.”
On the positive side, we survived. On the negative side, Taylor did not enjoy the experience, and was feeling particularly demoralized because she felt responsible that my well–laid plans were not going to be realized. The light was boring, so we left Scout Lookout and headed back down the trail. Deep back in the slot canyon I didn’t realize that the setting sun had just dipped below the cloud cover, and a fiery sunset was beginning. Fortunately as we rounded the final corner onto the main headwall, I was almost knocked off my feet by the spectacle.
I quickly assembled my tripod and set my camera up only to fire off one of my favorite images I’ve ever taken. True to form, the old line about everything happening for a reason came to mind, because had we summited, it’s likely that we would not have made it out of the slot canyon in time to witness the light show.
Feeling reinvigorated, we finished the hike and had a nice dinner at Wildcat Willy’s, clearly the obvious choice for romance. All in all, probably the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had (sorry for scaring the pants off you, babe, you’re the best).
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