The Subway at Zion National Park
Making the long treacherous trek on the Left Fork Trail to the "Subway" was the most challenging and rewarding adventure that Dan and I have ever been on. We packed our 50 pound packs and headed down the near vertical narrow rocky gully that led us to the bottom of a large valley and the Virgin River. We quickly realized that we packed way too much gear. The weight of our packs made the treacherous hike even more dangerous. We hiked for 4 hours bouldering and scrambling on an undeveloped trail. We must have crossed the Virgin River at least 30 times! We climbed up several staircase waterfalls flowing over very slick algae covered rocks. When we finally reached the Subway, Dan and I just looked each other in amazement at God's incredible creation. But we had to hurry, if you don't hike out of the valley before dark, you will never make it out until the next morning. We managed to make our way up into the highest part of the Subway clinging on to the rock walls for stability. We quickly discovered that the entire surface under the flowing water was covered with algae and was one of the slickest surfaces we had ever walked on. As I walked further into the middle of the rushing river to get to the spot I wanted to set up my gear, I lost my footing, slipped, and the river started sucking me down to the big green pool below the falls. Thanks to Dan's quick reactions, he grabbed my arm just in time to save me from certain serious injury. We only had 18 minutes to setup our gear and shoot because we had to get out of the valley and back up to our car before dark. The hike back was even more challenging than the hike in. Our quads were burning from the excess weight we were carrying and as the sun was setting, the temperatures dropped significantly. We finally made it to the trailhead and quickly realized that the hardest part of the hike was still ahead of us! It was a brutal climb back up! When we finally made it to the car, it was dark, and I had a bloody broken hand. Yes it was challenging, but we have never felt more alive and had such of a sense of accomplishment.
DSC8467Larry Marshall PhotographyZionZion National Parkbouldersbrycebryce canyoncliffscloudsriverrockssnowsonysubwaysunsettreetreesvirgin riverwaterzeiss