To The Falls And Back Again
Day #3 – Cliff Climbing and Dare-Devilry
I had every reason to sleep very soundly – rum, fun, lack of sleep the night before, and 10 miles of hiking – all produced fitful slumber, such that, when I started to regain consciousness, I thought I was at home, and it took me a few minutes to realize that I was in a tent in the bottom of the Grand Canyon next to Captain Amazing.
It was still dark, probably 3 or 4 a.m. since I usually wake up at that time. I had strategically placed a neatly organized pile near the tent door which contained a flashlight, headlamp, toilet paper, and my shoes. My pile wasn’t as tidy as I had originally left it – oh yeah, my fun was little crazy last night –
I couldn’t find the flashlight, so I grabbed the headlamp and my shoes, unzipped the door, and clambered out into the cool dark air.
FYI – there are about a gazillion more stars at the Grand Canyon than anyplace I have ever been. I was dizzy from looking at the stars (yeah, that’s why I was dizzy). #startrek
I made my way in the dark toward the bathroom. However, my headlamp was fading. There was a couple walking ahead of me, so did my best to keep an eye on them and not trip, turning off my headlamp from time to time to save the battery – in case I didn’t have a guide for the return trip back to the tent.
The bathrooms at this campsite were awesome – They have a terrific system there – no odor at all.
Returning to the tent was difficult – I had almost no light, so I walked carefully – Ouch, tree stump! At least I was on the right path.
Since it was still quite dark, and nobody was awake to play, I tucked myself back in and managed some more sleep until the sun came up.
Mr. Luge and Mr. Julie McCoy walked by, shook our tent, and made girly orgasmic noises to awaken us. I laughed – #ohohoh
Oh yeah – it’s all coming back to me now.
We got ourselves moving and joined the other boys at Mr. Bobby’s military compound for breakfast.
Captain Amazing and I are coffee drinkers – YAY- so we shared a mug of coffee and shared our oatmeal, drinking from the mug and eating from the same bowl –
If we weren’t so awesomely cool, and if we were actually a “couple,” we probably would have been accused of being one of those irritatingly syrupy sweet couples that are joined at the hip and do everything together and dress alike – GAG.
Thankfully, that is NOT the case! We are too cool for that – and there is nothing syrupy going on here…just saying… #nostringsattached
I am relieved that there wasn’t any teasing of THAT nature going on – because THAT would have embarrassed me…
On the contrary, it was decided that the “code word” of the day, if we got into trouble, would be “Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh God – YES” in girly orgasmic tones.
For some reason, that was not embarrassing to me.
Friends are like orgasms: You can never have too many, but just try to watch out for the fake ones.
The plan for this fine Saturday was an expedition of the epic kind. We were to explore the Canyon – taking a trail leading to Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls.
Ms. 3L had contracted a wicked case of blisters. Since Mr. Bobby had hiked in with a complete medical kit (probably including gurney, stethoscope, anal thermometer, and speculum – because one never knows what one might need in the eventual case of Zombie Apocalypse), his military compound became the 4077th MASH unit.
He played Trapper John and treated wounds with Neosporin, gauze, needles, moleskin, bandages. (I don’t think anyone needed a pelvic exam), while the rest of us gathered up our gear and prepared for the day’s hike. #lockedandloaded
Our gear consisted of light snacks, water, cameras, swimsuits, and water shoes.
Except for Mr. Bobby – who wanted to be Rambo.
We began our trek, not knowing what we would see or find. It was this day that reminded me most of The Lord of the Rings because of the terrain and we didn’t really have proper shoes.
As we walked through portions of the campgrounds that we had never seen before, Captain Amazing commented on every tent and piece of camping equipment that we passed. He knew every brand, how much it weighed, the various other styles each tent came in, its best use, the optimal temperature for each bag, hammock, tent, and tarp, and how to properly accessorize each – It was very educational 😉 #helovestoys
The site for next year’s trip was also determined. We would go “back here” where there was more shade.
The path led us through gorgeous blooming cactus. One would expect to see cactus in Arizona…but everything else we saw and experienced was nothing short of surprisingly spectacular.
It was not long before we came upon the first waterfall – Mooney Falls – which was larger than Havasupai in width and height.
In order to get to the bottom and go for a swim, we had to climb down –
– first through a cave/tunnel –
That was the only millisecond of hesitation I had. I was not going to chickenshit out of anything on this adventure, despite my fear of heights. I laughed in the face of fear – ha ha ha!! …and I pretended I was at Disneyland.
The side of the cliff was equipped with chains and large stakes, along with some ladders to assist climbers with their challenge of reaching the bottom…alive… #yolo
At certain points in scaling the side of this mountain, it was much easier for me to climb down backwards, finding hand holds, grabbing chain…and of course, not dying… #yolo
There was a couple immediately in front of (below) me carrying pool noodles (WTF??????) who told me that at peak times of day, it could take up to 45 minutes to climb down because of the “nervous nellies” who would change their minds about going all the way down and be frozen in narcissistic fear, not able to go down or up, holding up the line.
That would NOT be me – NOT TODAY!
I had nothing to lose – My sanity was already gone – so I kept my pace steady and careful, so as not to die.
…and there were moments of pausing and waiting for the people below to continue on, so I had to pose for the camera – and shout a WOOT and do a little dance.
It’s quite impressive to see our accomplishment.
HAZZAH! We made it down…alive. We walked across the penninsula to some trees and a smaller water fall, where we were told there was a cave. The boys wanted to swim and take pictures in the cave.
Like Havasupai, Mooney Falls generated a great deal of icy misty wind. This water was freezing cold. I waded in thigh high. That water was not touching my parts!
The boys, however, felt the urge to have their parts race right back up inside their abdomens. #shrinkage
The boys were nuts!!
Do women know about shrinkage?
What, do you mean, like laundry?
No…Like when a man goes swimming… Afterwards…
Like a frightened turtle.
I don’t know how you guys walk around with those things.
And Mr. Bobby had his chance to play Rambo 🙂
It was time to towel off and move on to the next stop – Beaver Falls – which interestingly enough the name was not teased – at least I didn’t hear it – I was waiting for it though.
We grabbed our things and continued forward. I would tell you the direction, but I have no idea. We will pretend it was north.
The path traversed the river a few times, and we paused under a cave-like overhang for more pictures. We hiked over logs, leaped over small ravines, climbed over hills using trees as hand holds.
I went on a hike in Alaska when I traveled there on a fishing trip in 2008 – similarly a guys trip – therefore, very fun! That was one of the most beautiful places I had seen, until this day.
The Canyon walls were more colorful in person than any picture I had ever seen. And we came upon GRAPES – fields and fields of grapes.
It was unreal and so beautiful. We stomped through the fields of grape vines, listening for the velociraptors hunting us. #Jurassicpark
The path was thick with foliage but still quite functional and well traveled. We stopped and took pictures at every picturesque site we came upon…listening or the velociratpors 🙂
There was a point where the path took us adjacent to the Canyon wall. This rock was very different from the cliffs we were climbing, and I wanted to touch it. I left the path a bit and dashed up a small hill and touched the wall. It was warm and smooth.
I kind of felt like Nemo when he touched the boat.
Oh look at me. I’m gonna touch the butt.
Mr. Julie McCoy asked why I did that when we have been climbing all over rocks today.
“It’s different. This is the Canyon wall. It probably has mystical powers or something. And it’s just special. I don’t want to be this close to the edge and not touch it.”
He followed suit, and so did Captain Amazing.
Our directions for reaching Beaver Falls were simply to follow the trail and when we reached the palm tree – the only palm tree in the Grand Canyon – then we could continue forward and up the plateau or change directions … which was a little vague and we didn’t quite understand that.
I don’t know where the directions came from – perhaps a tribal elder whose English was not altogether cohesive.
Nevertheless, since we were all now experienced “mountain goats,” we chose the climbing route – and scaled more cliffs and climbed higher toward the end of the Beaver Falls territory and had fantastic views of our next playground….
This was Beaver Falls where we spent quite a bit of time and ate snacks on the cliff wall. The darker areas in the water are just shallow spots. The water was beautifully crystal clear.
…and Captain Amazing flew!! – I knew he had more super powers 😉 #yoloswag
I did go all the way in – not bad for a cat – meow!
Jumping in, however, was going above and beyond my fear factor – so I opted to climb down, and Captain Amazing amazed me again, by assisting me and making sure I was safe…
It probably wasn’t a bad vantage point for him either…hand on my ass…thank you!
“You got it, Babe,” he said. “Do mind you mind if I call you, Babe?”
He he he!!! 🙂 I think I had an orgasm on the ladder – “Be cool,” I told myself –
“Not at all, I love that!”
Not sure how cool that was, but I was warm and fuzzy inside, and that was the only time I was ever concerned about what I said or what my reaction was – and it was fleeting.
We played and chilled – figuratively because the water here was actually quite pleasant –
After eating our snacks along the cliff wall, we determined it was time to journey back to camp, taking the other route so we could see new and different things.
And the Canyon did look different going in this direction.
Quotes above are by Jarod Kintz and from Disney’s “finding nemo,” and “Seinfeld” – The Hamptons episode.