Zion Canyoneering

Dreaming of Dynamite

I couldn’t fall asleep last night. I was too busy thinking about the logjam on Sol’s guided overnight Redrock Backpacker: Southwestern, Utah trip. The logjam grew by at least 4 feet between my May and August, 2007 trips, forming a waterfall out of what used to be a simple rock chute dropping into a deep pool of water. Who knows how big the logjam is now. Countless numbers of weather alert texts from weather.com have tipped me off to the probability of a flash flood in the Virgin River.

I remembered how we used to get rid of invasive beaver dams when I was a biologist – DYNAMITE! Someone should just blow that thing up.
I lost all interest in counting sheep at that point. The visual of what just one stick would do was fixed in my minds eye. One blast would dislodge those massive tree anchors, break up the cemented sand, and send the smaller debris drifting downstream. We would slide happily and easily down the little rock chute into a refreshing pool of teal green; nobody would be afraid, there would be no obstacle to overcome…

WAIT. Why did I choose this spectacular canyon just outside of Zion National Park boundaries? Why attempt Zion canyoneering? Isn’t the whole idea to test myself, to expose others to fitness challenges that make their heart pound, focus dial-in and spirits soar? My own heart was beating faster just thinking about it. Besides, logjams and flash floods are the forces that formed this narrow slot canyon. Consider it a work in progress, a canyon in the making.

Alright, forget the dynamite. I’ll settle for a 100-year flood event instead. That should do the trick and blow the logjam out. Finally, a vision as sweet as counting sheep ran through my head: the video clip of Sol’s Redrock Backpacker: Southwestern, Utah

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