Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Orderville with Andy

My adventurous summer continued into September with an invitation from Andy and Emily to hike Orderville Gulch/Orderville Canyon with them. I love slot canyons. LOVE THEM so I couldn't say no. It was kind of short notice and a little tricky to get work off but as I've been able to do with every other trip this year I managed it. They called me on Monday, I picked up some trekking poles on Thursday and Friday we were heading South. We camped that night in Zion and grabbed a few geocaches and ice cream cones in town. It and the first time I'd been down there in years and the first since they had the trams going. They worked out really well. Andy and Emily made some blue cheese mac'n'cheese for dinner, Emily's brother slept in the car, Em and her mom took the tent and Andy and I just rolled our bags out on a tarp. It was so warm in fact I think I was only half in my bag that night.
In the early early morning we caught a van up to the top of Orderville which is a tributary to the Narrows. It's shorter by a few miles but has a little more canyonerring involving some ropes and swimming along the way. We hiked for awhile and saw some great rocks, grottoes, slots, plants, tree jams...then we hit the water. We tried to high step it and stay dry at first but by the end we'd all gotten dunked more than once and had to swim with our packs over our head or throw them to each other and jump in a pool. We had to rappel down some really cool spots with boulders and waterfalls. I tend not to be in a lot of those shots as I kept going down first and taking everyone else's picture. A few times all you could think of was getting to the end and putting on those dry socks you knew you had in your pack. We got back as the skies turned gray and we heard thunder up above. The last couple miles through the Narrows were a lot different and I'm glad we did Orderville instead. We grabbed some Elk burgers in town before the long, tired, dangerously sleepy drive home.

Group picture at the beginning...all dryThese are a few of the first obstacles we came to. They got better and and better but unfortunately there was more water at each one and eventually we were over our heads and swimming and it's not too easy to swim and take pictures at the same time so some of the best stuff I can't show you.
The first jump. It was pretty cool at the time but eventually we all had to do some that were worse.

This the official Zion National Park sign in the canyon. The tax payers really paid a grundle for this one!

This is my favorite picture I took. It was at the very end of the day in the Narrows.

Group photo at the end about 10 hours later and all wet.

Another Amazing trip! Thanks Andy and Emily!

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