A few months ago, myself and a very good friend of mine went on an adventure. We decided to go on a hike, and not just any hike, a 16km canyoneering hike into the Zion Canyon in Utah, USA. We weren’t really prepared for it physically, but we’re both strong, independent women who can take on any challenge just as well as any man can! We had to do a bit of a crash course on abseiling and canyoneering as there were a couple obstacles along the route. So we went on a 4 hour course with a very interesting guy called Jeff that lives in a town with only 547 other people. As we were driving along to the outskirts of town in his big black pick-up truck, we asked Jeff why he wasn’t married. Shortly before answering us, he rolled down his window and spat out a spit ball of chewing tobacco… Let’s just say, my friend and I didn’t really need an answer after that! The next day we got up early, packed our survival backpacks, ropes, shoes, helmets and GoPro and set off on our long day of canyoneering. The weather was perfect and we were in awe of the amazing landscape around us. There’s very little signage on the route, so we had to rely on my diving watch compass and the map that I downloaded onto my iPhone. The directions went something like this: “Go east for a very long time until you see this tree.” So naturally we thought we were lost a couple of times, but managed to follow cairns that previous hikers left behind. Eventually we entered the canyon. This was the part where we had to abseil and climb through tiny holes and swim through icy cold water and look out for signs that a flash flood might be on its way. We were at times so cold and showing signs of hypothermia and even thought of giving up. The only thing that kept us going was the fact that we didn’t want to sleep in the canyon, because the rescue teams only come for you the next day. Eventually we saw the Subway part of the canyon, which was beautiful and so worth it! After exiting the canyon we still had a couple of hours hiking left to make it back to the Left Fork Trailhead. We eventually found the sign with the trailhead written on it, and an arrow pointing to the right. There was one little detail that the map on my iPhone forgot to share with us. To the right was a steep mountain that we had to climb! We started at 8am in the morning and this was around 4:30pm, so we were gatvol. Even my friend who rarely stays quiet unless you pay her to wasn’t even making a peep. After climbing and panting and thinking we were on the verge of a heart attack, we eventually made it back to the car. We couldn’t walk, sit down or get up properly for 3 days, but we felt invincible! People couldn’t believe that we did the trail alone, and no-one believed that we swam through that cold water without a wetsuit…to our discovery afterwards. We just pretended that we didn’t want to take wetsuits with (meanwhile most people say it’s a requirement on that route). But we came out alive and in turn have an awesome story to tell!
This is what these last couple of weeks is starting to feel like. Every day there’s a new challenge that I have to face before I can move home. My “To Do” list is just getting longer and time is running out. The only thing that keeps me going is the thought that I want to be home before the sun sets. Just like when we did the hike. Find one motivation and just keep going one day, one step at a time. And it will all be worth it in the end:) Thank you to all my friends and family for your support so far! I will be forever thankful. I will soon be updating my Adventure portfolio with all my GoPro footage of the hike!