With the internet flooded with images from the Narrows in Zion National Park, it is hard going in without a preconceived vision of what the place should look like. When thinking of the Narrows, most will think of the blue waters and the infamous "glow"..our trip was nothing close to the preconceived sort..we are actually lucky to have been able to see it at all. Ideal conditions for Narrows is usually around 70CFS..they close the narrows if it raises above 150CFS and keep it closed until it's been under 150 for over 24 hours. Two weeks prior to our departure..the water level skyrocketed to 1472CFS! Keeping a close eye on it the following weeks..it would fluctuate between 125 and 400CFS. The evening we arrived in Zion the water level had just bordered below 150CFS for 18 hours, meaning that it would be open if it stayed that way til morning. Luckily it did. Ranger in the morning said that it "should" be open. Upon arriving at the trailhead, there was still a closed sign, but we had been watching the levels and weather and knew it would go down some while we were out so continued on..
After our first step into the water we realized that any preconceived visions were not going to happen. The flooding that had hit a couple weeks prior was still churning up dirt and making the water a murky green. .Water was already up to our chest around the first bend..clouds were overhead as we made our way up the river. What should have been a hourish hike out turned into close to 3 due to the water flow. With visions of what i wanted to capture out the window, i decided to just hike and not worry about the pictures..no blue waters were hapening and the clouds were hindering the chance of the glow. Legs were burning around the 3.5 hour mark..with other destinations to prepare and get to that evening I headed back..going with the current was soooo much better. A couple bends before coming back upon Orderville Canyon, the sun broke out of the clouds and I got a slight taste of the "glow" at this scene.
All in all I'm glad I got to witness the Narrows in the conditions I had, I luckily got a keeper from the trek, but more so I'll have the memory of feeling like a kid again..not worrying about the dangers..letting my curiosity go wild looking forward to what was around the next bend..that I go out for the adventure...