Sometimes you find yourself in a location and you wonder to yourself " How did I get here?". With kayaking I find myself asking that question often. There seems to be something special about having the view from the water instead of from the shore. It makes you see things you have never seen before.
This past weekend I found myself asking "How did I get here?" over and over again around every turn of the river. Fortunately I knew how I got there and it was not easy. But all the hard work paid off as I found myself in the one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring places on earth.
The Zion Narrows are most commonly enjoyed by hikers during the the late summer. There is very little water during that time and people escape the heat of the desert by hiking through the deep slot canyon. But during the spring the North fork of the Virgin river is full of runoff water and allows you to navigate through the canyon in kayaks.
It is a 15 mile paddle that starts up high in the snow covered hills. It was 28 degrees when we put on in the morning so we were sure to put on plenty of layers to stay warm. When we got the permit to paddle the canyon, the ranger asked us to keep our eyes peeled for any belongings of the two men that died in the canyon the week before. They entered the canyon unprepared trying to run it in a homemade raft. They likely died of Hypothermia. As far as we know we were the first kayakers to get a permit this season so we would have to be extra careful for any surprises. We had a great team for this trip that made it even better. The trip consisted of all members of the Rapid Progression Kayak School team, Pitt G, Mark G, Smitty, AT, Curtis C, Jake M, Jake S, and Garrett from Hammers Inc. Photography.
The first 3 miles were spent hiking, dragging our boats, deeper into the canyon. There was not quite enough water to make the paddling enjoyable at first but we eventually got in our boats. We put on at 8am and reached the Temple of Sinawava parking lot at 5:30pm. It was a full day. Every hour was full of the best scenery this world has to offer. It was a great kick off to the 2010 kayak season!
Now this is Kayaking!!
Curtis taking advantage of a little bit of water before entering the canyon
Snow bridge in the desert
15 ft waterfall that would have been a highlight but it was full of logs so we had to walk it.
Jake asking himself "How did I get here?"
Hammers Inc. photography came along with us and is producing a video that will be off the hook. Check back later for that. If any of you have questions about the run feel free to leave a comment or email any of the Rapid Progression team.