Did you know that there are waterfalls at the bottom of the Grand Canyon?
Let me tell ya', these little gems are not easy to reach. Here's how we found our way there...
John & I flew into Phoenix early on Thursday afternoon and Ryan--our Phoenix connection and organizer of the trip--picked us up and brought us back to his place to wait for the rest of the IL crew to arrive. I kept visualizing all of the gear in my pack, praying that I didn't forget something crucial, like my hiking shoes. Once the prairie state folks had all gathered at Ryan's, we caravanned out to Seligman, AZ, where we stopped for dinner at CD's Cattle Co. (a.k.a. the bar that wasn't). There were a few people gathered for poker night, an empty karaoke stage, and equally empty tappers. John was offered an unclaimed "burger in the back if you want it?" when the waitress forgot his meal. Hahaha :) Poor guy!
After filling up at CD's, we drove down the road to the Supai Motel, where the hot new thing is the color TVs ;). Things weren't too exciting the rest of the night...sleep upon pillow contact.
The next morning we got up at the crack and drove to the rim, where we did some last minute packing and started the trek.
I was really nervous along the switchbacks down into the canyon since I have this knack for falling and visiting local ERs. In fact, on the way to the rim, John informed me that he had already planned for how to make a splint from his pack in the likely event that I would totally eat it.
After about a mile of switchbacks, the footpath flattened out, and we followed the canyon about eight more miles to the Indian village.
On our way down, we got a little too excited with the cameras. There was planking,
inexplicably awkward awesome "people of the rock" pictures,
and self-timer magic.
Just when my pack was getting to be too much, we arrived in the Supai village. Reservations for camping in Havasupai are taken via telephone, as they only allow a certain number of campers at a given time. You will be given reservation number over the phone but once you arrive in the village, you need to stop by the camping office to pay, receive wristbands, and snag a permit tag for your tent.
After we picked up our permits, we hiked another mile or so, rounded a corner and saw this beauty. The Havasu Falls is absolutely breathtaking. For something that thunders that loud, it's surprisingly delicate--the water is a perfect blue, with mist rising in all directions.
The Havasupai campground is beyond the base of these ^^ falls. We hiked the length of the campground (a little under a mile) until we found a place to set up camp. The campground is not as segmented or formalized as the campgrounds I've visited before. There was no little marker with a site number, no natural divisions between camp sites. You just picked a flat spot and if no one else had claimed it, it was yours. Here's where we set up camp, along a stream that served as a shower, a dishwasher, and an icepack for sore feet.
Even though we had just hiked nearly 11 miles and set up camp, we were so jazzed to be there that we started hiking again. The first stop was Havasupai falls and then we made our way to the Lower & Upper Navajo Falls where we played in the water, and swam in the natural pools.
By the end of Friday, I was absolutely beat. We headed back to the campsite, feasted on some Mountain Houses, and goofed off by lantern light (the campground doesn't allow fires). Day two adventures are coming soon! :D