Author Archives: Anna

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About Anna

Born in Jacksonville and raised in Memphis, Anna Rehkopf now calls Zion Canyon home… for the time being, anyways. When Anna isn’t in the store telling stories about Zion and detecting the subtleties in visitors’ accents, she’s usually playing outdoors by rope, by boat, or by her own two feet.

Celebrating 15 Years

I created this video, which debuted at our big celebration on September 15th, to commemorate ZAC’s big 15th Anniversary this month. It’s my attempt to capture the scope and magic of the people and adventures ZAC has encompassed over the last decade and a half, which is really a lot to boil down into a nine-minute video. I really enjoyed assembling the movie for everyone; I got to learn so much about our history and our staff. So many amazing people walk in that door… some work for us, but of course most do not. EVERYONE, however, is responsible for making this thing called “Zion Adventure Company” work. Thank you for your love and support, and cheers to many years to come! Anna

Posted in Canyoneering, Gear, Guided Events, Hiking, Hiring, Human History, Lake Powell, Local Events, Mountain Biking, Mountainbiking, Outdoor Leadership, Reflections, Rock Climbing, Seasons, Springdale, The Narrows, Videos, ZAC Events, Zion, Zion National Park | 1 Comment

Advice for Hiking The Narrows During Your Period

Hiking in water isn’t regular practice for most people, so most of us don’t exactly know how to prepare for it. At Zion Adventure Company, we have developed extreme expertise in helping average people prepare themselves for hiking in a river all day. But despite all our efforts, there are a few special cases we don’t prepare folks well for. One of these is having your period whilst wading in waist-deep water. Several times a year, while I am outfitting a group, a woman will approach me and shyly divulge that she is currently on her period. This is very personal and can be scary, but I really respect and appreciate these women who are brave enough to ask for help. I usually don’t have the time and privacy to offer a fully detailed response, so I thought I would offer advice here, in hopes it will help the ladies out there. A Woman’s Options Here are the options for women hiking the Narrows (or other waist deep water hikes) while on their period: 1. Wear a pad. It will get wet and bloated with water, but it may still absorb when you are walking in water that is lower. You … Continue reading

Posted in Canyoneering, Hiking, Techniques, The Narrows, Zion | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

New ZAC Video: Lake Powell Canyoneering

When I think back on my time in the Lake Powell canyons, my heart sinks a little. Our experiences in life are fleeting; only memories remain and at some point those fade too. I will forget most moments from this trip, but I will hold many with me until my mind falters in old age. Watching people push themselves for the sake of getting better astounds and encourages me. Overcoming my own obstacles is immensely satisfying as well. Here is a moment I will not soon forget: When I stemmed across the pool Chris talks about in the video, I was so afraid, but so determined. That combination of emotions is hard to sustain for long, but when you get the opportunity to use them to make yourself better, that is a gift. Immediately following me across the pool was Chris, who shared emotions and challenges similar to my own; I had the privilege of helping talk her through the traverse and supporting her emotionally on her way across. When she made it to the other side, it gave me as much joy as it had when I had reached safety myself. This is canyoneering at its finest – when … Continue reading

Posted in Canyoneering, Guided Events, Lake Powell, Trip Reports, Videos, ZAC Events | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

ZAC Spring Training: Preparing to Give You Our Very Best

When I think about what training means to me, I feel an immense urge to smile. In many places, training is a stressful endeavor – here, not so much. That’s not to say there is nothing stressful about ZAC training, but everyone shares the process, which helps us make the most out of our time together. No one is out of the loop, so to speak. Our managing partners, multi-year staff, and new team members all sit down together to hash out how to make this place great for customers and each other. Part of that process is identifying similarities and differences between us all, but the most important part is forming relationships with one another. Our group at Zion Adventure Company is unique, in that we are all friends. When I got the assignment to put together a video highlighting moments in our training, I was psyched. Training is something I look forward to. We spend time talking about ZAC philosophy and shop duties, then we go outside… TO PLAY! Training this year involved canyoneering, climbing, biking, hiking, and fording the Virgin River in dry suits. Obviously, however, not everything is fun and games… One of the most amazing … Continue reading

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Springing Into Adventure in Zion National Park

Last week, I read Into the Wild, the story of a man in his early 20s (not much different in age from myself) who goes off to live life as a vagabond. At one point, he decides to travel into the Alaskan wilderness, planning to live off of the land for four months. I often think about what motivates people to go places and have adventures. Part of being an Outfitter is getting to the root of the experiences people really want; sometimes folks are open enough to explain why they seek these experiences. No two people are the same, but there are many similarities between the people whose big adventure is simply driving through the Park, and others who want an Extreme Adventure Canyoneering day. Often, people want freedom. Some wish to experience awe. Many want to set eyes on things they have never seen before (except maybe on TV). For me, I want to experience wonder and peace. The great thing about Zion is there are so many ways you can experience the Park or the surrounding areas. There are many levels of hikers out there. Be careful to overestimate your abilities, and perhaps more importantly, don’t underestimate them! … Continue reading

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When Rain Falls in Zion

In a store that sees tens of thousands of people walk through the door each year, sometimes I forget the specialness of each individual. Inevitably, there are those I remember, and many I do not. In my second season at Zion Adventure Company, I find myself cherishing my moments more. Meeting our visitors, our clients, improves my quality of life tremendously. The slow rainy days especially make this apparent. These are the days I can actually sit down and get to know people, on a much more personal level. I share Zion every day, which is simple and extraordinary, but when I have time to ask people about their experiences, to exchange stories and adventures, it takes those relationships to a entirely different level. One of the best experiences I have had in my two seasons here was meeting some ‘blokes’ outside of the shop recently, Mark and Robbie, from England and Scotland. These two are on a three month journey from L.A. to New York City, and they devoted 5 days to Zion! Spending time with them reminded me it isn’t what you do, it’s who you do it with. I hear that plenty, but it is so true. These guys … Continue reading

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Anna’s Top Picks for Dinner in Springdale

In opening, I’d like to applaud the awesomeness of the Springdale food scene. Springdale has so many great places to eat; I could easily spend all my extra money on food instead of gear. The below restaurants are a few of my favorite time-tested, Anna-approved dinner locales, an expanded version of what I tell folks in the shop who are looking for an evening bite. Hopefully, you are staying in Springdale for more than one night and you’ll get to sample more than one of these fabulous establishments. CAFE OSCARS 948 Zion Park Boulevard 435.772.3232 Oscar’s cannot be beaten on service. They have the nicest employees I have encountered; they treat you like friends and family would in your own home. There is nothing better than a big hug from Tim, some casual conversation with Ludo, or talking big walls with Zach. This place is full of personalities… oh, and should I mention the food? Oscar’s has delicious burgers, tacos, salads, and mmm-mmm good desserts, piled high with whip cream or other goodness. The Whoop Ass Burger always strikes my fancy, as well as the decadent carrot cake. BIT & SPUR RESTAURANT and SALOON 1212 Zion Park Boulevard 435.772.3498 The … Continue reading

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Around the World in a Day

It is amazing how many accents we hear in the shop from all parts of the world. I find so much enjoyment in figuring out the German from the Dutch, the New Zealand from the Australian, and so on. Every now and again I put my foot in my mouth – “So you’re from Holland?”… “No we are Swiss, we speak French there.” Oops! Some voices are a special treat – Scottish and Irish are my particular favorites. One of the beauties of hearing so many different dialects and pronunciations is you reach a point where you can pinpoint so many countries of origin. For instance, with my two favorites, I know Irish folks sound very much like they are asking a question, typically ending with a higher note and more inflection (I wish I could better articulate how that sounds). Scots sound to me like they are talking with friends, as if they are telling infinite stories. They have throaty, round voices. Every time a new person walks in the door, odds are they talk differently from myself. Their accents are immediate reminders they are not from here, just visiting, taking in the spectacular cliff faces, canyons, and riverside … Continue reading

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