Archive for January, 2011

The Crevice Is The Portal To The Alcove And The Bridge

Day 4: We woke up and had breakfast burritos filled with eggs, hash browns, bacon, cheese, bell peppers and onions. This was our day to take time to explore the history and geology of the canyons within Hole-in-the-Rock. We were all looking forward to using our technical skill sets.

We hiked to a crevice that allows you to get into the canyon. We had to lower our packs because they would not fit through the narrow space. We continued through to the gulch and it was getting dark. The water was up to our knees, and we continued until we reached an amazing alcove filled with soft velvety sand. We also spotted a table and chairs made out of rocks! We made aromatic curry rice torts for dinner. The alcove was so protected that we didn’t need to set up our tents. We just got into our sleeping bags and went to sleep under the Utah night sky, full to bursting with stars like Polaris and Cassiopeia, and constellations such as Orion, Perseus, Auriga, Taurus, and Andromeda…all of which we have been learning about back at Expedition camp.

Day 5: After we woke up, we replenished our water by boiling several pots and filling up our bottles. We then had granola and oats for breakfast. Everyone has their own creative spin on this delectable classic. Some of us add cranberry flavored raisins or peanut butter. I saw Beth add hot chocolate mix into hers and while the cocoa made everything in her cup turn brown, I got a whiff of the chocolaty concoction. I think I’ll try that blend soon, for sure! We continued our hike through the gulch. In the daylight we could see how absolutely amazing this canyon actually is. We arrived at our destination, a natural arch a hundred feet in the air. Being up that high, we could see four bends in the winding river below, with huge cliff faces rising up 500 feet. We started to hike back out of the canyon, taking an amazing trail that went about 300 feet up the side of the cliff.

Once we got out of the canyon, we hiked up the mile-long sand dune that leads back to the crevice that we had entered through. We stopped for lunch and had peanut butter and jelly torts. After lunch, we continued up the hill to the crevice. We hoisted all the packs up and over the crevice, then we hiked another mile or two up the hill. We set up our expedition camp and later had Mediterranean pasta primavera for dinner. We discussed the day’s events and right before we went to sleep, I saw a shooting star! It was an exhilarating experience because it was only the second one I had ever seen.

Day 6: We woke up, broke down our camp, and had bagels and cream cheese for brunch. We hopped into the truck for the long drive back to base camp. When we got back, we had Asian noodles with spicy pineapple for dinner, set up our tents, and went to sleep. I sleep so well at Expedition Therapy, and I think it’s because I have over fifty days of sobriety. Woo hoo!

Hole-In-The-Rock Road: Learning About The 1879 Mormon San Juan Expedition

6 – Day Expedition Notes: T.D here! Hope you are enjoying our blog. Days 1 & 2 of our Expedition were mostly about learning. On our way North, we took a break for lunch along Hole-in-the-Rock Road. There is alot of historical importance connected with this route. An Expedition of Mormon pioneers were seeking a route in the fall of 1879. After deciding that two longer routes were inefficient ways to get from the southcentral to the southeastern corner of Utah, the pioneers chose a more direct way to travel. When they got to the sandstone cliffs around Glen Canyon, they realized they needed to find a way to cross to the eastern rim. They had blasting powder and also used hand chisels to carve anchor points to affix their ropes right into the sandstone. They named their route Hole-in-the-Rock Road. Their ingenuity went beyond the ordinary road building techniques of the day. They also built a wooden track with posts to support 80+ large wagons and 1000+ head of livestock. The 250-person Expedition used this route to travel to their colony which is now called Bluff, UT.

We stopped and had lunch here and our Expedition Team had many opportunities to view the amazing 45 degree angled terrain. We imagined the pioneers lowering their wagons through the steep crevices with ropes and oxen. Giant boulders were strewn about as a result of the original dynamite explosions. We thought about what it must have been like to be a part of the original Expedition party. There was a huge amphitheater with excellent acoustics.The slickrock's texture was like sandpaper. N.G., being his curious self, slid down several feet of rock, picking up considerable speed. Within a few seconds, he realizes there is a huge hole-in-the-seat of his pants!

We were able to set up camp a few miles in and got organized for our hike through slot canyons tomorrow. We had a mac and cheese dinner with S'mores for dessert and bedded down to sleep in anticipation of continuing our 6 day Expedition in the morning.

Day 3: We awoke at 6:00 a.m. for our day of hiking. Several times we had to lower our packs and spot each other as we climbed down via slot canyons. Then came a very challenging part…a narrow slot with slippery walls and water in the bottom. Our Expedition Therapy Instructors have been teaching us canyoneering technical skills each week prior to this Expedition. There was no way to avoid getting wet and  the water was only a few inches deep. A.G., determined to stay dry, chimneyed 20 feet above ground level and did an excellent job of making it past the wet area.

N.G. decided he wants to scout further along the slippery, slime covered walls.We tie a safety line to his harness and he continues down, asks for slack and gets to the bottom and informs the Team we need to try another route as there is too much water and we convince him to backtrack to where we are. The sun was about to set and we set up camp. We took time to study the night sky to identify planets, and put our constellation knowledge to the test! We saw many shooting stars and realized Orion will soon no longer appear in this hemisphere.

Reconnecting With Family: Canyoneering & Hiking

Believe…In T.D.’s Own Words

Believe. What does this mean to me?

"I believe in my family and that they will always be there for me and love me unconditionally. I believe in myself, that I am a strong, smart, caring individual. And the light inside me can never be extinguished.

I believe there is hope and love that no matter the situation is that I will find it. I believe my friends will push me and help me achieve my goals. And I believe that the time I spend with them is worth whatever pain of losing them comes. I believe that no one is happy all the time and that it's o.k. to have bad or off days. I believe I  have options and choices in regard to how my day evolves. That is refreshing."

Expedition Camp: Service, Learning & Teamwork

At Expedition Camp, we learn therapeutic concepts, communication skills and how to move forward in our lives.

Pictographs, Canyons, Toadstools: Backpacking & Canyoneering Expeditions

In T.D.’s Own Words: “At War With Myself”

Before I came to Expedition Therapy, I was at war with myself. I have come to the realization that this war was about my emotions and not wanting to feel them. I always felt overwhelmed by all of this suppression. After starting to learn how to express emotions here, I have become significantly happier due to reduced stress and learning how to resolve conflicts rather than avoiding them. I am no longer at war.

A few thoughts I want to share about leading an expedition: I had teaching experience in high school, teaching my own physical ed class as well as teaching an elementary class. My leadership role in Expedition Therapy is similar, except I have more responsibilities. Checking group equipment, having enough water and food, is a valuable practice. Even when I ask  for verbal confirmation if water bottles are full, some students forget whether or not they filled theirs or perhaps they don't want to slow the group down and say "yes" regardless of the actual volume of water in their bottle.

As the leader of an expedition, I must account for all of these types of unknown variables by bringing everything necessary for essential safety such as extra water and food. Other things, such as tp or our expedition seats that may seem to be an inconvenience and have little to do with safety, can be left unaccounted for. Enough about the technical talk and on to the emotional. I feel an increase in self-confidence knowing I can administrate this kind of expedition. I also feel a renewed sense of internal motivation.

Our 5-Day Expedition To The Lake Powell Shoreline

Look Forward To Who You Want To Become At Expedition Therapy!