In my first blog post, I mentioned my “Bucket List.” Many people are familiar with this wonderful concept, and many probably saw the Morgan Freeman/Jack Nicholson movie with the same title. It was that very movie that planted this idea in my life. My younger brother loves this movie, and made his own five-month-bucket-list, and I decided to make it lifelong. Unlike the Bucket List movie, I’m young and healthy, and I hopefully have more time to complete mine.
For those of you who don’t know what a “bucket list” is, it’s a list of things that one would like to accomplish before they “kick the bucket” (die). My bucket list has a few items that are not really related to my hunger for adventure, for instance, “have a library of 500 or more books”—though a really great book can take a person on an extraordinary adventure. The majority of my bucket list contains goals related to adventures. These include: stand under a waterfall, hike Angel’s Landing (in Zion National Park), visit all of the National Parks in Utah (Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Arches, Capital Reef), go rock climbing. Some of these I’ve already done, but I wouldn’t mind doing them over and over again.
The first item crossed off my bucket list, happened before I was even old enough to fully comprehend that someday I would die. I was about nine-years-old, in the summer of 1996, when my parents planned a trip to Zion National Park. This is where my desire for adventure was born. My mother grew up believing that Zion was “her park”. Her parents, my grandparents, were engaged there, and her family spent every Easter weekend of her childhood there. My five siblings and I grew up hearing these incredible stories about Upper, Middle, and Lower Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock, West Rim, East Rim, and Angel’s Landing. We were all so excited to finally get to see these places for ourselves.
They were all everything we had ever dreamed of. Our first visit to Zion did not include Angel’s Landing because my parents didn’t dare take an eight-month, two-year, five-year, 6-year, 9-year, and 11-year-old on such a dangerous hike. We eventually hiked that notorious trail, thirteen years later, but that story is for another time.
A lot of the trails we hiked had tadpole ponds, and we all had fun chasing them around the ponds. We left each trail soaking wet and covered in the infamous reddish-orange dirt that southern Utah is famous for. Weeping Rock must have been somewhat happy when we went, because it wasn’t weeping as hard as usual (according to my mom).
Emerald Pool was my favorite trail because I was born in May, making the emerald my birthstone. In my nine-year-old mind, I imagined a pool of little green gems. When we arrived at Emerald Pool, I didn’t see any green gems, but I did see a beautiful waterfall pouring into the most beautiful, bright-green pool below.
My first experience enjoying hiking in the great outdoors occurred in the summer of 1996, and during that summer adventure in Zion National Park, the Extreme Adventurer was born.
Until next week!