We took a very long hike today. The alarm clock went off @ 5:30 a.m., however, we didn't climb out of bed until almost 6! We dressed, filled our 'camelback' backpacks w/ice and water, threw in some snacks, lathered up w/sunscreen, laced up our hiking boots, gave the 'skuttle butt' a kiss goodbye and off we went to Zion to hike Wildcat Canyon Trail. By the time we filled up w/gas and grabbed some breakfast we arrived @ the trail head about 7:30. There were several 'young' hikers gathering around, laughing, getting their gear together. I felt a little intimidated, after all, they were my children's age and I was attempting to hike a 10 mile trail and overcome a fear that has plagued me for a very long time. It's not the actual length of the hike that scared me, it's the heat and being afraid of becoming dehydrated. I must give thanks (again) to the 'hub'. He ordered a 'camelback' hydrating backpack to help me be better equipped on the hike. It arrived yesterday via UPS. It is quite snazzy. Baby blue, lots of room and pockets for my stuff. But most importantly, a bag to hold water....lots of water!!! So today I stood @ the start of the trail and wondered if I would make it or chicken out. We started off @ 7:46 a.m. It was actually cool, with a nice breeze and much of the hike was in the woods. However, I knew the return would proof to be the most challenging w/the sun and heat cranked up. 2 hours and 15 minutes later we arrived @ the end . 1/2 way there. We turned around and headed back. Going back was even more beautiful and we lingered here and there as we retraced our footprints. Poor 'hub' his shoes didn't provide much cushion and I know his feet were crying on the way back. He didn't complain. About 1/4 mile from the car I drained the last of the water from my sack. I begin to smile, feeling pretty proud of myself. My walk was a bit staggered.....a girl can only consume so much water before she 'busts a gut.' I had hiked 10 miles, 5 of them w/the sun bearing down hard. As I sit here I am surrounded by pamphlets detailing hikes both in Zion and Bryce Canyon. My dad and I are going to leave either Thurs. or Fri. this week and take the trailer up to camp for the weekend. The 'hub' will join us on Sat. afternoon. The plan is to take another long hike on Sunday morning. I'm feeling pretty pumped. Just like all fears, when you take them on...they diminish. As much as I love being outdoors this one just had to be conquered. The 'hub' is talking about hiking the Grand Canyon from the North to the South Rim. Now that would definitely put my fear to bed once and for all.