Monday, June 18, 2007


We came, we were inspired, we conquered!

Havasupai was everything I ever dreamed it would be and more. Fourteen crazy female adventurers met at 4:00 am in Phoenix to begin the trek north to the Havasu Falls trail head five hours away. After last minute packing, gear swapping, and weight redistribution, we finally hit the trail at 10:15 am to hike the 10 miles to the campground. It was later than we wanted to and thus the trail was very sunny and had a lot of mule traffic on it. But the day was still beautiful for us desert rats as the max temp was in the 80s (although it felt hotter). We quickly came up with a story to tell the many hikers who asked us what our group was doing (like women can't backpack by themselves): we were nuns on one final fling before signing our lives over to God. We had to address each person as 'Sister Mary [their name]'. It was fantastic and that is how we roll. After several lunch/rock climbing breaks, we finally got into Supai (the Indian Village) after four hours which is 8 miles in. We paid our fee and kept on trekking the additional two miles to the the most incredible site I have ever seen. After 8 miles of hot dusty trail, we rounded the bend to see the beautiful Havasu Falls (first pic). We immediately dropped our packs and ran into the amazing, turquoise water which is relevant as the 'Havasupai' means blue green water in its literal translation. Following some cliff jumping, we continued another mile down the trail to camp near the second 200 foot waterfall known as Mooney falls.

After making up camp beside a gorgeous river under tall trees, we mixed up some adult beverages and watched the sun set from a vantage point of the falls. We heard stories from everyone in the group and I felt very honored to be part of such an awesome circle of women. Two of our companions had even attempted to row across the Atlantic Ocean before capsizing on day 45. Early the next morning, I awoke before the main group and decided to get up and do some exploring. I free rock climbed up a wall I had noticed the day before and got high enough to get a birds eye view of Mooney Falls and the entire campsite. After slowly back climbing (i really appreciate being harnessed in...) I took a swim in the brisk natural shower that was running past our site.

That day we hiked the extra 8 miles downriver to Beaver Falls. It was one adventure after the next. The trail (or lack thereof) was hard to follow so we spend a lot of time climbing through rock tunnels, rock scrambling and river walking looking for the next hint of a path (which was WICKED fun!) On one of these lost periods, we found a secret waterfalls that we are the only people to ever have seen. Okay probably not but since the trail was nowhere near, I am pretty sure the typical non directionally challenged group doesn't find it. It had a secret cave behind the waterfall which was rich with green moss hanging from every part of the ceiling. We named the falls "Sister Mary Falls" after our group's alias.

We finally reached 'Beaver Falls' and spent an hour exploring it, jumping off it, swimming against the currents and generally screwing around before someone walked over to tell us that "no we had not reached Beaver Falls, it was still 1/2 a mile down the trail". Oh well, we enjoyed our pre-Beaver a lot. By the time we actually reached the said Beaver Falls it had taken us 3 hours to get there. Our adventurer rower promptly found a 50 foot cliff (not actually the one in the pic) and persuaded the group to jump off of it. We made the trek back to camp and arrive starving ready to dig into the 'dried beef stroganoff delight'. Ummm delicious.

Since we consider ourselves very intelligent women, we feel that we learn from our mistakes and so decided to set our alarms for 3:30 am to avoid the heat while packing out. We were on the road at 4:30 am which was an awesome idea because got to see the canyon awake. For whatever reason, it took us over 5 hours to hike in, but less than four hours to hike out. Ah, go figure, so we may have slacked on the way in. The last 2 miles of the hike out is an obnoxious continuous uphill climb out of the canyon. It was my favorite part, as I simply cranked on my mp3 cell phone with its external speakers to some good music and motored all the way out without stopping. We finished dirty, tired and happy and made a beeline for the incredibly overpriced ice cream being sold from the reservation hippy trailer.

Overall it was fantastic and I swear now, that I will make this (or someplace cool like this) a yearly trip.

*Some pictures courtesy of fellow adventurers since I destroyed my camera on day 2 climbing through a cave on my belly while dragging my camera through the sand.

1 comment:

suda said...

sweet a picture of mine made the cut