How To Expect the Unexpected at Your Adventure Elopement
This is a story about muddy boots, beautiful sights, an epic elopement, and microwaved pasta. Continue reading to see how they all connect: Zion National Park–what a place. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite spots to shoot adventure elopements! If you learn anything from this Zion elopement story, let it be that the time of year you elope plays a BIG part in the success of your adventure elopement location.
If you’ve ever been to Zion, you know that it’s located in southern Utah, right above the Arizona border. This tells you that it’s pretty warm most of the time, and it really doesn’t snow there that much. Except when I was there!! Kim and Caleb wanted to do a sunset hike to their adventure elopement location. Thankfully, Kim used to work in the park and she knew a secret access point to the Observation Point Trail that made our distance only four miles instead of sixteen. Thank goodness!!
A day or two before this February elopement in Zion National Park it had snowed a few inches on the mountains above the famous Angels Landing Hike. This left all of the red rocks covered with a beautiful white powder. The temperature stayed pretty chilly during the night but in the daytime it would warm up enough to melt the snow a little. The resulting effect of the snow melting and freezing again was a thick layer of mud covering the entire trail.
As we started our hike it was a little muddy, but about five minutes in the mud turned into a foot deep of thick, sticky muck. We then hiked through this for four miles in 20-degree weather. It was WILD. I don’t think I’ve ever walked through that much mud, but I also have never had more fun doing it! I was there with two of my closest friends in the photography industry, Dani Purington and McKenna Kleiner, who were the perfect hiking partners.
We knew how high the reward was going to be at the end, so you know what they say: high risk=high reward!! It was honestly one of the best hikes I’ve ever done. Getting to such a gorgeous adventure elopement location with a view like that was BEYOND worth it!
We shot until dark and then packed up for the trek back to our cars. By this point I was not looking forward to the sticky mud for another four miles. Since it was so cold, by the time we left the mud had frozen over so the hike back seemed to sail by!
McKenna and her husband Callum were staying together so after the hike they left for their hotel. My watch told me that we had burned about 1500 calories that day (INSANE), so all Dani and I wanted was some pasta. We talked about it the whole hike back, and the entire drive to our Airbnb.
About 10 minutes away from our place we had an unfortunate realization. It hit us that our Airbnb didn’t have a stove so cooking our pasta wasn’t even an option. After hiking in eight miles of mud and ice we were absolutely DETERMINED to have pasta. So, we ended up cooking our pasta in little paper bowls with water in the MICROWAVE. Let me tell you, it was tragic. Brutal, honestly.
But hey, if getting to a special adventure elopement location makes for a good story, then it’s worth it, yeah? I think so!
Got a crazy location idea for an adventure elopement? Obviously, I’m in!