When I booked a canyoneering adventure with Red Desert Adventures for my family I was so excited to break out of my comfort zone and do something new and different together as a family (minus our two yr old who was too young for the adventure). What I didn't know was what a tremendous learning and growing experience it would be for all of us.
Me, my husband Chris, and our two girls Lucy(8) and Willow(5) met Nathan, our guide for the adventure in La Verkin, UT. He drove us up Kolob Terrace Road to a beautiful spot just outside of Zion National Park. Nathan was so friendly and good with the girls. They warmed up to him immediately.
We put on the helmets and harnesses that were provided by Red Desert Adventures, Nathan went over some guidelines, and then we headed out. The hike to get to the canyon was so beautiful and so much fun for the girls that they didn't complain once.....yay!
The first spot where we needed to use our gear was a simple climb up some steep rocks. Nathan tied off some ropes, we clipped in and used the lines to safely climb the steep rocks. It was a great way to get the girls warmed-up, and they both did great.
Next, we walked along a cliff with a narrow ledge with a steep drop off. Again Nathan set up the ropes and we all clipped in. Lucy went first. She hesitated for a minute, but she did great. Nathan walked with Willow and helped her out just a little. Willow was beaming from ear to ear.
The first repel was a first for all of us. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I was brave enough, but I felt very confident in Nathan, and I knew we were 100% safe. Chris went first. He was such a rockstar and didn't hesitate for a minute. Next was Lucy's turn. She started out completely confident but as soon as she hit the first ledge, game over. We had to coach her with lots of positive affirmations. It took some time, but she eventually went over the ledge and made her way to the bottom. There were tears involved and lots of "I'm scared"'s, but she did it, and when she hit bottom she was so proud of herself.
When it was my turn I didn't think twice; I just went for it. It was a little nerve-racking going over that first ledge but knowing that we were 100% safe made all the difference for me. It was so exhilarating to do something I wasn't sure if I was capable of doing.
After seeing how hard it was for Lucy, I had my doubts about Willow. Nathan took such great care of her though. We gave her lots of coaching and positive affirmations, but in the end, Nathan clipped her on to him and they came down together.
We had two more repels after that, and they both went about the same as the first one. Lots of coaching the girls and lots of positive affirmations. Nathan was so fantastic and patient as he coached and guided the girls down.
The last repel was the most fun for me. I loosened up a bit and had fun with it. I was jumping off the walls and even took the time to savor the beauty of the canyon.
There were so many great take-aways from our time with Nathan at Red Desert Adventure. The memories we made will always be so special to Chris and me, and I think they will be for my girls as well.
Watching my girls work through their fear was pretty emotional for me. I was so proud of them, and they were so proud of themselves. It was also incredibly hard seeing the uncertainty on their faces and the tears running down their cheeks, but what an amazing lesson for us to learn in such a beautiful way! Life is full of fear and uncertainty, but when we overcome it, that is truly living.
I can't wait to go canyoneering again with Nathan at Red Desert Adventures. There are so many more canyons located all over Southern Utah that I am excited to explore. If you are looking for a family activity that you will never forget you need to book a canyoneering adventure with Red Desert Adventures. Click here to check out their website for all the details.