The Vacation That Changed My Life: Canyoneering with Outward Bound
All By Myself
On Day 6, we backpack along the Muddy Creek to our next destination. Needing a rest, I'm more than ready that night when it's time to start Solo -- our 24 hours of solitary self-reflection. I'm assigned a spot, and since there are no good rocks on which to hang my tarp, I decide to sleep alfresco. After vanquishing two curious spiders, I drift off and wake up the next morning in a frost-covered sleeping bag. Once thawed, I spend the day doing absolutely nothing, without ever feeling bored.Worth the Weight
The day after Solo brings a grueling 10-mile backpack followed by a dip in the river. We spend the following morning sans packs, splashing up and down the creek, which winds through a tall, narrow canyon called The Chute. Five minutes into the hike, we plod right across it, and with a smile I recall the beginning of the week, when we were still trying to keep our socks dry. As one of our instructors said, "When you're canyoneering, the sooner you get your feet wet, the better."
That afternoon, we trek to our resupply point, where we'll enjoy a campfire feast before walking out of the canyonlands at dawn. I don't know if it's because I'm more fit, or because I've eaten a few pounds of food out of my pack, but now that the trip is almost over, I finally feel comfortable carrying my own weight.
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