Day 3: Zion Canyoneering Guides

David Bassett is an endurance athlete who moonlights as a Sol Zion canyoneering guide and amateur photographer. Enjoy this journal excertp from his 2007 Redrock Backpacker: Soutwestern, Utah trip.

“On our second evening, we head up off the canyon floor in search of a bivouac. We find a flat patch of red earth and I rush off with camera and tripod in search of magic light and a composition. Upon my return, Melanie is standing at our campsite soaking in the evening. In almost a reverent manner, she invites me to look around. I sense she is not asking me to simply enjoy the grandeur of the canyon at sunset. She is inviting me to discover something. Something worth discovering. I survey my surroundings and there it is – just a few feet away at our same height, nestled under an overhang in a rock wall. These bleached bones are nothing like I’ve ever seen, as I’m staring at the intact skeleton of a big horn sheep. Properly named. We stare together. It is beautiful – if such a thing can be said about bleached bones. The discovery invites more questions. Did this old fellow simply come to this overhang in a moment of turmoil after a life patrolling these canyons, only to loose the struggle? Or was it a cougar? It’s a question that naturally needs to be addressed. We do our best but arrive at no conclusion. But for what it’s worth, Melanie decides we should position our sleeping bags close together on this night, in this place. Just in case.”

David is a resident of Denver, Colorado, and logs his own epic adventures in his blog, //

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