Cascades on the Left Fork North Creek,
Zion National Park

(order ID # CT45-00009)

To get to this spot in Zion National Park you hike four miles upstream along the bottom of a ravine 500 feet deep. My guidebook warned me that the trail is difficult and often hard to follow, but I dismissed its warning as meant for casual hikers, not for someone as experienced as I....and then I proceeded to make just about every boneheaded mistake any tenderfoot could ever make. I took too little water and food, I stayed too late (taking this picture) and got caught in the dark of night, my flashlight's batteries proved to be dead, my paper map disintegrated, and I tried a "shortcut" up the ravine's walls that cost me a couple of hours. I finally cached my photo gear to lighten my load and eventually found the trail and headed up, but quickly lost my way and wound up crawling almost vertically hand over hand blindly in the dark. Why I never grasped a cactus during my fumbling is one of life's little mysteries. My joy at cresting the lip of the ravine was short lived as I still faced an unmarked hike across bouldered, scrubby land. I was lost and blind, inching along, trying not to run into or fall off of anything. I finally stumbled onto the roadway and hitched a ride back to my truck. (Good thing I got the ride, too, for of course I had chosen the wrong way to head along the road.) I think I learned a lesson about hubris that night.

But then again, I did get the picture....

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