So last week as the teaching assistant of the UVU Outdoor Leadership course I spent spring break in "the Swell". We had spent the last 2 months of class preparing for the trip which is based off of NOLS (The National Outdoor Leadership School). Having taken the class last year, been on a NOLS course, and having extensive backpacking experience, I had the opportunity to TA the class this year. Betsy, the instructor, also let me teach several sections of the course which has been a great experience.
The preparation for the course went smoothly and on Tuesday March 11th we headed south. We spent the next six days traipsing around the Swell. Our course took us down North Salt Wash, along the San Rafael River, up Virgin Springs canyon, and over Sids Mountain. We didn't see a single soul aside from our group which included 12 students, Betsy, and myself. We saw desert big horn sheep, amazing petroglyphs, huge canyons, river crossings, steep pitches, and we had great weather. I felt successful as a leader and had a awesome time. Hopefully the students learned a lot and had a great time as well. Some of the canyons we have in Utah are just amazing and this hike was no exception. Absolutely beautiful!
The trip was not only a lot of fun but was a fantastic leadership opportunity for me. I have really been able to hone my skills as an outdoor leader this past year and this opportunity was the climax. We will see where my experience takes me this next year. The journey sure has been fun. Cheers and happy trails!