Looking over the Colorado River from a cliff above the Potash Road.
I spent last week near Moab, Utah with First Descents, a non-profit group that works to give support to young adult cancer survivors. They offer adventure camps in rock climbing, white-water kayaking, or surfing for cancer survivors age 18-40. If you know me at all, you won’t be surprised that I chose to go rock climbing in southern Utah!
With help from my belayer, “Little Bit,” I was able to make it to the top of this crazy crack, about 50-75 feet up a sheer cliff wall near Moab.
Fifteen cancer survivors from as far away as London attended this First Descents retreat, and we each received nicknames upon our arrival at the lodge. My nickname was “Eagle Eye” which I shortened to “Eagle” to make it easier. We laughed at the end when we realized we didn't know each others’ real names!
Here I am, further up the crack.
The love, strength, and support — in such an awe-inspiring environment — that everyone shared throughout the week was so transformative. After a week of pushing my limits, both physically and emotionally, I felt like I could accomplish anything! And I left with 26 new friends who I can totally count on.
I finally made it to the top — time for a break!
Canyoneering the Medieval Chamber.
On our last day of camp, we pushed our limits even more, with a hike through the desert, and two big rappels into deep canyons. We were all beginners, so it was pretty overwhelming at first. Everyone came away intact, and we left some nice gifts for geocachers at the bottom of Morning Glory Arch.
The view from the top of Morning Glory Arch, at the end of Negro Bill Canyon near Moab, Utah.
Watching my fellow campers rappelling down from the top of Morning Glory Arch, after coming down myself. I’m not gonna lie, dangling 100 feet in the air was a little bit freaky!