Canyoneering Grand Staircase
by Leigh McAdam
Canyon Slot from above
I wanted to just send you some pictures and posts from our travel blog site called HikeBikeTravel.com
We had a fabulous time at your Inn. However, your "backyard" sure is a wonderful playground! We decided to try Canyoneering - here's a recap.....
It’s dark outside as we climb into the car. I’m already wondering what I’ve got myself into. I could still be in bed enjoying my Bryce Canyon view. Listening to birds. Drinking coffee. Relaxing. Reading.
But no – instead I have a pit in my stomach from fear of what lies ahead. No matter. I have every intention of going through with my first canyoneering experience.
John and I watch the sun rise as we drive east to the small town of Escalante in southwest Utah. We need to be there by 8:30 to meet our guide, sign our waivers, medical forms and confidentiality agreements….all four pages of it. When we arrive we’re warmly greeted by Jim Clery, our guide and Amie, excursions director of Excursions of Escalante.
Upon arrival we all nervously peer over the edge. That pit of fear in my stomach has morphed into a ball of fear and is growing by the minute. I know I’m not the only one that’s feeling a tad scared. I can see it on the faces of Gene and Betty too.
Once I started rappelling I remembered just how much fun it is – nerve wracking for about five seconds and then exhilarating. I used to rock climb and rappel but I hadn’t been near a set of ropes for at least 13 years. It’s amazing how quickly it all comes back.
The bulk of our afternoon was spent negotiating about a mile of slot canyon. It was so narrow in places that you had to flatten your body to get through. In hindsight it’s just as well I didn’t know what lay ahead. But in the end it was okay. And the beauty of the sculpted rock took your mind off your position.
We were greeted with the sight below when the slot canyon came to an end. I felt such a sense of deep satisfaction when we got here knowing I’d conquered my fears and made it out in one piece.
Overall I would say that this canyoneering experience is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.
It’s beautiful. It’s exciting. It tests you physically and mentally. It’s a challenge but ultimately it’s incredibly rewarding. I’d go back in a heartbeat.