My friend, Holly, invited me to go canyoneering over Memorial Day weekend. It was a first — I was psyched, drunk with excitement and maybe a tad scared for my life (literally as I’m still lacking health insurance… yes, I do ride around on a motorcycle without health insurance…).
I eagerly accepted Holly’s offer and fueled my shopping addiction with trips to Black Diamond and REI. Hey, Memorial Day sales, it was a good time to shop anyway! What can I say? I know, I know… My name is Lansia, and I’m a shopoholic. At least I admit it…
A few (too many) credit card swipes later, I eagerly geared up as much as my bank statement allowed — new Keen H2 sandals (thanks ShoeSteal.com for arriving so quickly and just in time!), Petzl climbing helmet and locking biner. Couple all that with the gear I already had — Black Diamond ATC belay device, REI climbing harness, Camelbak hydration system, clothes and grub. Hot diggity! I was ready and fully amped to go.
Soon after a series of… forgotten keys, an eager co-worker ready to head out and a rush to the market for pears later, Holly and her friend Ryan came and grabbed me for our adventure.
I won’t bore you with the exasperating details that are only memorable to myself and those that came, but here’s a quick rundown so you have an idea of our time breakdown…
3:45pm to 4:30pm-ish: Road trip: start!
4:30pm to 5:15pm-ish: Meet in Provo for our total group of seven.
5:15pm to 8:30pm-ish: Drove out to Price for dinner — Winger’s. It was a slowwwww dinner: we waited over an hour for our food to arrive, finally brought from the kitchen by very apologetic servers.
8:30pm to 9:00pm-ish: Quick grocery stop (and Red Box run) before we headed to camp.
9:00pm to 10:45pm-ish: Some exciting Marry, F*ck, Kill and Would You Rather games later… We finally arrived at our camp site: Sandthrax.
10:45pm: Thanks to Ryan, Holly and I slept in the shelter of a tent. Although, we still awoke to much red sand in all the orifices of our sleeping bags and…
7:00am-ish: A sleepless night later (Holly notes that I’m a “princess” in all reality), we ate a quick breakfast and skit, scat, scram!
8:45am-ish: We parked near the end of our route and hiked about 2 miles towards our start.
8:45am to 10:30am-ish: North Wash. Monkey Business — about a 2.5 mile canyon, just the canyon (doesn’t include the hike in and out). As we pitter-pattered down the wash towards the start, my anticipation was growing.
10:30am and on: Helmets were on, hair went back — ahhhh!! Sorry, these photos couple possibly be a tad out of order…
As short Asians, Holly and I needed help from the boys descend this “birth canal.” There was no way we could’ve done this canyon without those strong, burly, helpful (gentle)men…
Tight squeezes got me a bit claustrophobic at times… but I think adrenaline had the best of me. No freak-outs. None. Whatsoever. Nope. Boo-yah.
Lunch! It was around 11.45am when we chowed down. The seasoned outdoors-men made fun of my sugar peas and Holly’s earrings. It was a first for seeing either of those items on a canyoneering trip.
The typical bridge canyoning shot.
The totem pole shot.
Spencer is über fast.
Second rappel. I love rappelling — but, needless to say, that’s not me rappelling. I had gone second! Um, after someone went down to catch me… should it come to that…
The men scouting ahead and surveying the route.
The third rappel. The best rappel. It was an easy start, walk, walk walk, and half-way down: you free-hang. I love free-hangs! They are the best!
A finish to any more Monkey Business.
2:45pm-ish and on: We walked off merrily into the desert oasis — okay, not so much, but it did have trees and bushes and that puddle of water. The hard part was over…
Just kidding! Boy, was I ever too quick to judge… To get out of the canyon, we had to climb out. Who ever would’ve deducted that? Not I… Well, yeah, we did… we had to scramble out of the canyon.
It started off exciting — a fun bouldering activity to accompany our canyoneering.
That quickly turned into an exhausting, dehydrating and dangerous climb. I was too scared to pull out my camera, and perhaps too focused on making it back to the car for more water. I was also drowning in red sand, sweat and loose sandstone — my energy was quickly dissipating. Oh, did I mention the part where there was some scrambling to retrieve a pack? Yep, didn’t pull my camera out… Sorry.
I did, however, take a photo when we go to the top, finally!!!!!
Yes, I was beaming with pride that we had just ascended that… But I was not happy about the additional 2 mile hike back to the car — we went even up and down through a valley!
5:00pm-ish: With the exception of several cuts, rashes, scrapes and bruises, I was still alive. Oh wait, I was also the only one that got out of there covered in mosquito bites — the two of us have always had a love/hate relationship.
Final words? It was insane. It was incredible. I’m ready for another! Uhh… as long as there are people who know what they are doing. I’m not ready to lead any expeditions just yet.