Return from Arizona

It was a great trip but now I’m back from Arizona. The weather was very dynamic in Arizona but lovely. When we landed in Phoenix, the temperature was 88 degrees but at one point during the six hour drive to Supai, the temperature had dropped to 24 degrees. At 7:30am when we started our hike down into the canyon, the temperature had risen to 36 degrees. We hiked in long sleeves and light jackets but the sun and movement kept us warm.

The difficulty of the hike down to the reservation was masked by the beauty of the canyon. A number of switchbacks helped us drop almost a half mile in elevation overall. The trail was at times medium sized gravel which was hard on the thin soles of my trail shoes. At other times, it was thick sand that was hard on the knees and filled my mesh shoes. All along the trail we passed mule trains and Havasupai natives on horseback that were headed to the trail head to pick up supplies, deliver mail, or pick up the packs of hikers with the forethought to hire them to carry their packs.

Despite the moderately difficult trail, everyone on the hike did a great job of keeping pace and keeping spirits high. We were all very supportive of each other and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and adventure that we were on.

We were awe struck when we reached Havasu Falls. Pictures do not do the magnificent scene justice. The roar from the falls, the cool mist it produces, and it’s crystal clear blue water were breathtaking. The water gets its color from the high concentration of lime pulled from the surrounding rocks as the water flows. The water, however, was freezing and you could only take a dip for short periods of time. We did manage to swim out to the falls and go behind the falling water. The noise from behind the falls was deafening and you couldn’t see a thing from all the mist.

Our camp was just a short distance from the falls and from the portable toilets. After an 11 mile hike with 40 pounds of gear, this was very beneficial for it provided a short hobble to the bathrooms. Two miles from camp was another set of falls, Mooney Falls. These falls were just as impressive and worth the extra mileage to see.

The helicopter ride out of the canyon was very cool. It only lasted about 10 minutes but we flew inside the canyon walls so the rock faces towered above us and offered a very unique view of the canyon landscape. Having never been on a helicopter, this was very exciting for me and I don’t think I stopped smiling from the time we ushered onto the chopper until well after we landed.

Once we were out of the canyon, we took some time to explore other areas of Arizona including Montezuma’s Castle, a mud house built into the side of a canyon wall, and Route 66 in Seligman. Seligman was the basis for the fictional town of Radiator Springs in the Pixar movie Cars.We also visited my Dad’s cousin, Mark, and went to an awesome steak and western bar that featured live music and bar-b-q pits to roast marshmallows.

Arizona is a great place and I know that I’m very much looking forward to visiting again. I’ve already found a few more places I want to hike and some places I want to photograph there. I know why Sean wanted us to visit this place so much and it definitely lived up to the hype.

More pictures from the Havasupai Trip

2 Responses to “Return from Arizona”

  1. Kelly Cole
    May 8, 2008 at 7:54 am #

    WOW!! It looks absolutely beautiful!! I’m glad you all had a good time!

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  1. 2008 Year in Review - Part 2 | Shawn's Bits - December 30, 2008

    […] May, I found myself in Arizona, backpacking the Grand Canyon to reach Havasupai Falls. My friend Sean had done the trek before and always wanted a group of us […]

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