5am, the alarm clock goes off. Head torch on, we head out of the lodge and start walking. It’s pitch black, but we can hear some noise as we start making our way into the canyon. There are deer and other animals here. Could be one of those. More noise. We’re not too sure what we’re dealing with. Soon enough, we realize it’s another human. But that hardly makes it any better — who else would be up so early?
“You’re going to Angel’s Landing?” he asked us. We told him we were, and he answered: “I’ve been up since 4am, I came cycling. It’s my birthday.”
His name was Daniel. And like us, he’d decided to go up Angel’s Landing for sunrise.
We soon reached the top, eager to take in a moment of serenity. Daniel had other plans. He started singing: “Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me!” He then turned to Ricardo and me and offered to share a joint.
30 minutes earlier, Ricardo and I initially had completely missed the landing (ha!) — half way through the way up, we figured we were there and started to change our clothes. When Daniel caught up with us, he started laughing: “Ha! I made that mistake before! You’re not there yet!” By day, it’s obvious you can keep going to the left, but by night, it wasn’t. A whole other section was waiting for us — one that required the use of chains.
We then came back down a bit and Daniel suggested we’d hike “Telephone Loop”, for a full day of walking and more stunning views of Zion. We had become good friends by now.
We finished the loop and saw what we had hiked in the dark a few hours before.
Down in the valley, the autumnal landscapes concluded a pretty incredible hike. Here’s a little wander.
Back at the lodge, we said “bye” to Daniel, who still had a long way to go on his bike. But the euphoria of a birthday well spent with angels probably gave him some wings.
Until next time! 👋
Oh you’re still here! Well, here’s a little extra — the photos that never made it to Instagram 🙂