The purpose of this blog is twofold. First and foremost it is in preparation for an upcoming class that I will be teaching at the Lister Academy - it will allow for me to experiment with the technology that we will be using in the class, plus give a forum for my students and I to stay connected.
Secondly, this blog gives a nice side-effect that our friends and family can see what we're up to during our travels. I hope that all viewers (students, colleagues, friends and family) will enjoy the posts and feel free to leave your own comments.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Canyoning in Zion

Tonight, Carmela and I are scraped, battered, bruised, sore and exhausted - it was a phenomenal day!!! We left at 5:30 this morning so that we could join our tour down in Springdale, just outside of Zion National Park, by 7:30 - we were doing a full-day canyoning with Zion Adventure Company. After talking with our guide, Hank, about our interests and experience level, we drove a half hour out to an area called Lamb's Knoll.

For the next 6 or 7 hours we learned a bit more about setting anchors for rappels (we've actually done some of this before, but it's been a while), and a whole lot more about the ways that our bodies can contort in order to fit over and through very small areas between very hard rock. While Carmela and I have done rock climbing (mostly indoor) and rappelling before, it was never on this kind of surface - sandstone - or in such narrow situations. We've also canyoneered before, in Costa Rica, but this was completely different - no wide open spaces or waterfalls here.

Carmela and I always try to take pictures when we're doing activities, but today we had some fantastic help - Hank used our camera the vast majority of the day and got plenty of great shots - including ones with both of us. I wish I had a camera to show you the positions he got into in order to get some of these shots. The two pictures on the left hand side are of Carmela and me down climbing - this is without being tied in because there aren't large drops. Climbing down sounds awfully easy, but I found it to be some of the more challenging stuff we did today. The challenge is in the maneuvers - pay particular attention to Carmela in the two of these. The two pictures on the right hand side are of me rappelling (there's video below of one of Carmela's rappels). In the first picture of me rappelling, you can't really see where I'm going because it is in a corkscrew shape - but check out the shadow to get an idea of how close I am to the edge. I included the second rappel picture so that you can get an idea of our height - the blue dot above my head is Carmela standing down below.

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