To The Falls And Back Again
Day #2 – The Descent
The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places.
At O-Dark-30, approximately 3:30 – 4 am, it was time to get our gear on and get our butts down the mountain. We unpacked the back of the car, divided our first-class food rations to go into our packs, organized our packs, took bathroom pit stops, put gloves on and hats on…
…and Captain Amazing wanted to weigh packs with his hanging scale…The man loves his toys. Mr. Bobby’s pack weighed in at approximately 85 pounds. That is really heavy, if you need a frame of reference. #insanity
With our headlamps on, we took our first steps onto the trail that would lead down into the Grand Canyon. It was as if we were astronauts walking on the moon. It was surreal and dark.
If you look closely, you can see the ridge the background – it’s there. #truestory
At that point, even though I was hiking into the canyon, I still hadn’t seen it.
Spoiler Alert (we survived!) – On the climb back up on our last day, when I could see the path fully and was making each careful step up over giant rocks and railroad ties, I was completely in awe that we were able to hike down in the pitch black dark, with just the light of our little lamps…and not die.
Of course, we did have Captain Amazing with us – who did outdo most others in the Toys & Gadgets Department.
“That’s not a light,” he said to Mr. Bobby, “…THIS is a light!” (said with the Crocodile Dundee enthusiasm and accent) – and he turned his headlamp brights on to demonstrate the awesome power of his LED.
Yes, that Crocodile Dundee line did come out again when they were comparing knives. #crikeymate
We marched, single file, chatting yet being careful where we stepped, over railroad ties, dodging boulders, and of course, staying on the trail rather than over the edge of the cliff.
As we went down, the sun came up. We were able to turn off our lights just before reaching the canyon floor.
We found a ledge at the bottom where we could regroup. It was significantly warmer at the bottom of the mountain. We stripped off the extra layers of clothes and took some pics. If there was a chance for a photo op, we took it. We have over 549 pictures! #supermodelswag
Packs back on, we forged ahead over river rock and gravel – It was not easy terrain. As much as I wanted to look up to the see the vast beauty that I was trekking through while I was trekking, one misstep was going to mean a broken ankle. So I took quick peeks and used my peripheral vision –
…and we did stop to admire the beauty and let those who needed a little recovery recover.
Ms. 3L was carrying quite a load – 3L of wine is heavy, especially when it is packed with water and a Costco-sized bag of tortillas (she didn’t have Captain Amazing or Mr. Julie McCoy helping her prioritize her gear)…
…and of course, Mr. Bobby – Again – ROGUE survivalist with +85 lbs – He had everything he needed to live comfortably, just in case the Zombie Apocalypse occurred on this trip.
Mr. Bobby had a staff-like walking stick – I wanted one too (my idea – and I didn’t want boring ski poles from REI!), but the man who made it didn’t have another one on hand for me (bummer).
I know Mr. Bobby was going for the Gandalf look…poised, dignified, badass…
…but watching him walk once he got started again (he needed assistance standing up every time he sat down – his pack was THAT heavy), his legs were wobbly, and the way his backpack sat on his back gave him a hunchback look, and the manner of cane use reminded me more of this character from Disney’s Aladdin.
…not quite the majesty and elegance of Gandalf… 🙂
We eventually made it to the village of Supai, where our camping fees were paid and we had yet another pit stop. This was the mule haven.
At this point, the terrain changed from gravel and river rock to soft, soft beach sand – great for the calves.
My mantra: Mini-skirt legs, mini-skirt legs, mini-skirt legs.
The boys may have been chanting that as well, although for slightly different reasons. #hotchickswag
We knew that from the village, we had just 2 miles remaining before we reached camp.
Our trail followed a river with light turquoise clear water flowing through it, with small waterfalls varying the stream…until we rounded a corner and came upon the first waterfall, the namesake of the trail, Havasupai Falls.
Camp was just down the hill – the very, very steep hill.
And we all thought, “Holy shit, we have to climb back up this thing when we leave.”
It seemed significantly steeper than our first downhill climb in the dark. But the darkness plays tricks on the mind – I wasn’t worried about it.
Of course, I’m a superstar ninja goddess, and I can do anything 😉 #ninjasrule
The quoted material and characters from Lord of the Rings are the property of JRR Tolkien. I’m in awe of his creative genius. This is just a blog and just for fun.