Wednesday, May 10, 2017

People of the Blue Green Water

That is what Havasupai means, and its name doesn't quite seem to do it justice. The stark contrast between the fiery orange rocks and the blue green water, the desert and the lush oasis, the calm flowing creek and the thunderous waterfalls, make this place... well, there are no words. It's special and unique, stunning and spectacular, grand and breathtaking... here, let me take you on a journey. It starts on I-40 heading west toward the little town of Seligman.



Yeah, that's me, your tour guide. I like to take selfies when I'm bored in the car. If you thought that one was weird, check this one out!



Did you know that the movie Cars is loosely based on this town? Well, this town knows it. We stopped at the world famous Snow Cap drive in for a burger... not a dead chicken.



Out behind the restaurant, there are all kinds of touristy Route 66 things to get pictures with. Hey kids, do you even know what this is? And did you know you can TIME TRAVEL in it? Yeah, just ask Bill and Ted. Excellent! (As a side note, apparently you can also poop in it... that's a pink toilet he's sitting on.)



Old timey gas pumps. Even I don't remember those.



Recognize this guy? No, not me! The car! There was another kitschy shop down the road with all the characters from Cars.



All right, all right... we got our kicks... next slide!



Soon after, we met up with our group in Peach Springs and then drove up to the Hualapai Hilltop parking lot. This, my friends, would be our campground for the night. If you think this is fancy, you should've seen the portapotties with poop piled up all the way to the level of the seat! We were camping in style! What do they call it... glamping? Oh yeah! A cold front had just moved in, and the wind was so fierce that it was rocking our car. I think a little AC/DC would be appropriate to interject here... "You shook me all night long!" Also, it was cold, and I thought I was gonna die the next day of frostbite or something.



The next morning, after a not-so-great sleep (and apparently a stinky sleep in the other car... glad I wasn't in that one), we loaded up our packs and got ready for adventure! My friends did not write this commentary and cannot be held responsible for any of the content found herein, but they are responsible for a bunch of the pics, for which I am forever grateful!! Team selfie!



I took it upon myself to take many of the photographs as well, and the result of that was that I slipped and fell on my butt straight out of the gates. Glad no one saw that... oh wait...



The first two miles were all downhill.



This is me happy... I mean, this is my thing. Adventuring. Just writing this is making me want to get out there again!



It wasn't long before it heated up and we had to ditch the jackets. Still feeling fresh!



Cindy is my friend who always makes sure to get a selfie of the two of us, and I love her for that!



Before we knew it, the downhill grade had relented and we were trudging through a wash. For a long time. No kidding, this is the most boring part of the hike.



Luckily the monotony was broken up with this cool rock overhang that made a great lunch spot.



Okay, this was gross. Do you see the mule hoof just sitting on that rock there? It got even more disturbing when we noticed the bones on the rock behind us. What the? Barf!



Soon we reached the creek, and this little bridge gave us hope that we were almost there.



Or maybe it was the sign that said we were almost there. Either way, NOT ALMOST THERE! See, because I think of almost there as like a couple minutes away at most.



"Will it ever stop? Yo, I don't know." I'm dropping beats like mad over here.



After two more miles, we saw this little place that was just like a magical oasis that floated down from heaven. Rootbeer floats all around and a couple Supai burgers, too! I was on a diet, but after eight miles, it went straight out the window. Gimme that burger! Hello, it was on fry bread.



Two more miles, and we were down at the campground setting up our tents. Boy did it feel good to get off our feet!



Dipping them in the frigid water felt good, too.



The next morning after snagging our neighbors' primo campsite when they left, we headed toward Mooney Falls. Apparently we find it necessary to look down over tall, deadly cliffs.



The path down to Mooney Falls was a sketchy, muddy, kinda slippery, totally awesome experience. It would've been like 100x better if we weren't behind Miss Scaredy Pants and her friend, Miss Scaredy Britches, who caused us to get stuck in the tunnel when the really stinky dude passed by, but still... at least we had time to check out the awesome falls. It was kinda like the line for Thunder Mountain... wait, scratch that. It was like nothing I've ever experienced before in my life.



This ladder was the bottleneck for the timid ladies in front of us, but our team got down no problem. Those girls probably rode the helicopter down, too. Just sayin'.



Downstream from the falls were more little falls... basically everywhere. The limestone in the water creates these awesome white terraces, which means ice blue water and lots of falls. Behind these particular falls was a grotto with hanging gardens. The awesome meter was already going off the charts.



There were little footbridges all over the place, too, which made it easy to cross the creek as we pleased.



Oh yeah, and ladders to help us up the steep parts, and some rope swings, too. It was like real life Pitfall! Kids, you have no idea what I'm talking about, huh? No alligators, though. Adam made sure of that so that Cindy would not be afraid to cross the creek.



Okay, this is Arizona. Nobody expects a full on jungle in Arizona. It was like a scene from Jurassic Park or something and totally mind blowing!





Behold, Beaver Falls... part of Beaver Falls, anyway. We didn't get many photographs because we were too busy getting videos of each other jumping off the falls.



We made the chest-deep journey to the other side of the creek so we could climb out the fun way! (And all our electronics survived.)



Somewhere around Beaver Falls, we found a radio that Ian used to try to call Cobra Commander for the rest of the trip. That is, until someone actually answered him when we went back through Supai. Annnnnywaaaay... the hike back seemed a lot shorter, and before climbing back up that sketchy path, we got one last pic at Mooney Falls.



For some reason, we didn't plan on having lunch on our all day adventure, so dinner tasted especially good. Like our new digs?



I love this pic of these guys just chillin'... they are the best of friends.



The next morning, we headed over to Havasu Falls. Awwwwww...



Ian, you are the bomb for taking this pic. This so perfectly depicts me having the time of my life!



Wait, where is the pic of us making fun of the girls who were throwing peace signs in the air? That's the whole reason we made this chilly, slippery journey up next to the falls!



For some unknown reason, my dad decided to jump off Havasu Falls when he was a boneheaded youngster. When he hit the water so hard that it split his shirt open, he waved his arms over his head and yelled to his friend, "Don't do it!" As you might imagine, the falls were so loud that the only message his friend got from that was, "All clear!" Here I am re-enacting that ill-conceived sign. (Did I really just use two hyphens in one sentence? Duuuuuude.)



Apparently the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree because when we heard the forecast called for rain, we decided to try to hike into a SLOT CANYON before the storm set in. Luckily, this so-called slot canyon was not that narrow.



Honestly, it was kinda boring, so there wasn't that much to take pictures of. Two stars for you!



Russ came close to jumping in the water from this little side cliff, but then chickened out. It's a good thing, too, or all the guys would have had to do it. Russ, you're a hero! A chicken hero. (Editor's Note: Russ said he did not chicken out, but concluded after his cost benefit analysis that it was not worth getting into the cold water for that puny jump. See, that's why it pays to be the family historian. You can make up all the details you want!)



After the hike, we were eager to get our hands on some of the fry bread tacos that we heard were sold next to the falls. As we were waiting in line, the rain started coming down with conviction. So glad the rain didn't keep the fry bread ladies away!



During the storm, we all crawled back into our cozy little tents and took a nap. As soon as the rain let up, we headed out on a muddy journey to Fifty Foot Falls.



They're not the tallest waterfalls, nor the most powerful, but they still may have been my favorite. The beauty is in the details.



Favorite picture alert!



Come on, guys... that spare tire around my waist is the result of wearing two jackets, not fry bread burgers and tacos!



It didn't rain much during the night, but the forecast for the morning wasn't looking too promising for our hike out. (Check out the sweet forecast for the week after... figures!)



We were prepared, though! Nice hunchback!











We were all dreaming of another rootbeer float when we arrived at the store, but they weren't serving anything during the time we were there. Curses! The hours didn't mention any break in service, but they do things on their own time in Supai. Oh well, the little break gave us a chance to get a picture of our group wearing ponchos.



Then it was back to mud bogging!



After lunch, the rain stopped and we were able to ditch the rain gear.





After eight long miles, we were back at the mighty switchbacks. Thankfully, they were not as bad as some people had made them out to be, and the cool, partly cloudy weather made the hike out especially nice.



This is the last view before cresting the hilltop. What an incredible journey!