Zion National Park holds a very special place in my heart. Since my first visit to the main canyon and The Subway, I've been head-over-heels with its wild, red towers of stone, flowing green rivers, water-shaped walls, and unique geography. Waking up in the morning to the sun hit the cliffs above and turn them fiery orange is always one of my favorite moments.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to WPPI (a huge convention for wedding and portrait photographers) in Las Vegas. After I was done with classes, and looking at new albums and bags and cards and cameras and products, Jen, Sarah and I headed out to Zion. Sarah, one of my 2014 brides and also a rock climber, had sprung on my idea to try canyoneering in Zion, so she'd flown out from Denver to join me.
After a beautiful evening walking through the park at dusk, we woke up the next morning and headed out with our guides from the Zion Adventure Company. They took us to a slot canyon called The Huntress, tucked away about 45 minutes from Springdale and about three miles long. Ben and Baker, our fantastic guides, cracked us up all day and taught us all sorts of things about knots for canyoneering, canyoneering shoes and how to climb in them, repelling, anchoring in a bunch of different ways, geology, cool rocks, and general safety when in itty bitty slot canyons. We splashed into waist-deep pools of water and slid down rocks like a slide. It was an amazing day, and not just because we got to go somewhere you can’t just hike through and do all sorts of new things, but oh, THE LANDSCAPE…
I’ve hiked The Narrows, and been up Kanarra Creek. I’ve been to Water Canyon. I’ve seen a lot of truly amazing Southwest beauty. There is something so uniquely intimate and awe-striking about squeezing through a tiny spot carved by water, with red zebra-striped walls surrounding you, skies so blue above you, and light beaming down like fire. Some of the bits we snuck through were barely wide enough for my shoulders and hips, and we can to go through sideways.
I’m hooked. I will definitely be back for more canyoneering.
Here are some postcards from our adventures, both in Zion and out in The Huntress.
My adventure companions: Sarah, Jen, Ben, Baker, and our ridiculous-yet-awesome Secret-Service-ready Cadillac crossover.