The next morning, we had only one goal- to tackle Keyhole Canyon on our own. We secured a permit at the visitor’s center and then headed up to the trailhead.
Since we were solo canyoneering for the first time, I was a tiny bit nervous, but another couple was heading in just in front of us which soothed my nerves. It was nice to know that if we had a problem, we wouldn’t be the only people around.
The approach to the canyon is easy and quick and pretty soon we were donning our harnesses and ridiculously inadequate wetsuits for our first descent.
We’d left our good camera behind, hoping to protect it from the sand and water that is ubiquitous in these kinds of environments. We took a few shots from our waterproof phones, but free of the camera, we were able to enjoy the scenery and the challenge in a different way without worrying about capturing it perfectly (or destroying our equipment).
As expected, the bottom of the canyon was cold, and the water that we needed to swim through was take your breath away freezing. Toward the end, my knees and legs were bright, freezing red and my feet were rapidly losing sensation, giving me the feeling that I had useless blocks for feet. Remembering our rough trip through Spry Canyon a few years ago, I felt grateful that this canyon was so short! Before long, we’d arrived back into the sunny desert heat, happy to have had such a good time. Next time, we’ll rent better wetsuits.