My first hike in 2011 made me realize just how out of shape I am. Breathless and warm (or more like overheated), one year after I attempted the Angels Landing hike in Zion National Park, I made it to the top thanks to the smell of bacon on my way there. Yes, bacon. It was only a few yards into the hike when I got a whiff of bacon. I stopped, closed my eyes, and wondered if I was on the way to Angels Landing or to heaven.
It wasn’t until we got to the refrigerator that I realized it was the BBQ flavored sunflower seeds my guide was eating that put off that heavenly scent. I’ve been thinking a lot about this…bacon as a motivational tool. How many people would choose to finish a hike, or even a project if there was hope of receiving a strip or two of this heaven sent – heavenly scented gift of the gods?
I remember catering for the Breast Cancer Recover Foundation’s retreat on Madeline Island where the smell of bacon cooking brought women into the kitchen seeking to forfeit their evening cookie snacks for that of bacon. I remember one woman who looked me in the eyes and said, “I love the pig.” I know. A recent post I made on Facebook about the smell of Bacon Bourbon Brownies filling the house spurred some interest in recipe sharing, which included Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie.
The pig has power. I have to admit, it helped me to reach my goal of getting to the top of Angels Landing. Although there were no bacon rewards at the top, I found something that was worth the trip – a spectacular early evening view of the sun in the western sky, eventually setting behind the West Temple in Zion National Park. By the way, we didn’t start the hike in the morning, we started at 4:30 p.m and were back to the base of the trail just 3 1/2 hours later.
I’m posting only a couple of photos because I’m determined to do it again, by myself in the next couple of weeks, spending some time taking photos on the way up. My focus will be more about the beauty of the journey and less about my worries of not making it to the top or falling off a cliff. Seriously.
I was finished writing this first post, then I began to proof it. I smiled when I read the title, “Finally Landing with Angels in Zion.” I had to laugh. It’s another story.
I’m a gypsy girl in my heart and always have been. I was born with a spirit seeking travel and a colorful life, and for the most part I’ve lived my life that way. After spending over a week this past January in southern California on a road trip with my three best friends, The Bluebird (my car), camera, and laptop, I returned to my winter cabin east of Zion, knowing it was time to come down from the mountain and head west. My mind was thinking Las Vegas, LA, or even Seattle, but The Bluebird landed in Virgin, Utah.
“Finally Landing with Angels in Zion.” I know I’ll be processing that title more and over analyzing it, and then as a friend suggested, I will write about it on my blog.