A Girl Should Be Two Things: Classy & Fabulous. - Coco Chanel


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Havasupai - Take 2

When I went to Havasupai in October 2013, I honestly didn't know if I would go again. Not because I didn't think it was great, it's just hard to get permits and it's kind of a big ordeal to get it together and go. However, over the last couple of years... as I have become more outdoorsy and adventures and bought better outdoor/camping gear (which I started because of my last trip to Havasu) I started to get the itch to go again. Last time I went, the trip was SO short, I just got a teaser of it really. I wanted to go again and spend quality time there and experience it the way I wasn't able to the first time. Plus I had better gear this time around for it to be more comfortable and enjoyable.

Luckily I was invited to an event (Tigabo) at Havasupai this summer by one of my Instagram followers... since I wasn't able to reserve permits myself because I couldn't ever get through the lines. Also lucky that I had a group of friends that had never been and really wanted to go. So I put it together. Since I had been before, I knew the drill.

Well, the adventure happened this last weekend. It was great! Where do I begin? Although I had been before, this time was going to be a little different. I was going to be there longer and it was going to be HOT. Last time I went it was the fall. We left Thursday morning to drive to the Grand Canyon and get there that night. To beat the heat, we wanted to hike at night. At least I did. I was actually really nervous about hiking in the heat because I do NOT do well int he heat. I just don't. I know this, so I prepared for it the best I could. We got to the parking lot to where you start hiking a little after 10:30pm. We got there just in time to pick up our Tigabo Swag bags. A few started hiking right away after that, but the rest of us decided to take a nap for a few hours before hiking the 10 miles. I may have dozed off a couple of times, but I couldn't sleep. I was anxious to get the hike over with. A little before 3am we started our 10 mile hike with our packs. I remembered last time that I got bad blisters and my heel was bleeding and I lost a toenail from that hike. So I brought blister tape to prepare. However, my new hiking shoes are amazing. My feet were tired (to be expected) but they didn't hurt nor did I have any blisters. So that part was great. I also am in great shape from my personal trainer (Thanks Josh) so the hike with my pack was not bad at all! Not hiking in the heat helped a ton. I also have gotten pretty good at packing light from all of my backpacking trips... so I probably had the lightest pack out of the group. I didn't weigh it before my trip, I weighed it after my trip... so adding food and water to that weight, I'm guessing my pack was 35 lbs or so. That is really good for a 3 day 3 night backpacking trip! So far so good! We hiked 8 miles to the village in about 3 hours. Not bad. Once we got to the village, we rested for about an hour before hiking the last 2 miles to the campsite. We rested longer than I wanted to. I just wanted to get there and set up camp because it got to be 100 degrees outside. Once the sun came up, it got hot fast! I think by 9am it was already over 90 degrees. Don't want to be hiking in that with a pack on.

We made it to camp before 9am. It was already so hot. We luckily found a pretty decent campsite that we could all hang our hammocks (since that is how we were all going to be sleeping) AND we were by the river. big win! We were right by the path that goes through camp, but most of the spots are, so we were ok with it. So the rest of that day we set up our camp (so glad I brought my tarp for shade) and played in the river by our campsite and took naps to recover from our hike in. I have to say, I LOVED hammock camping. Sleeping in a hammock is SO much more comfortable than on a sleeping pad on the ground. Plus, it was so hot, I don't know how anyone slept in a tent. I even brought my twinkle lights. So great.

The next day we decided to make the trek to Beaver Falls. That is another 8 miles round trip from the campsite. Not a flat 8 miles, that is 8 miles trekking in and out of water and climbing and in chacos that were tearing up my feet. Of course we had some swimming in there to beat the heat and the scenery from the hike is all worth it. In that 8 mile hike you first pass Moony Falls. The way down to Moony Falls is a climb. I actually remembered it being a lot scarier than it was for me this time. I don't know if that is because this time I was wearing more secure shoes than flip flops or if it's because I'm also stronger and in better shape and had an easier time climbing up and down. I don't know, but this time, it didn't scare me at all. Moony Falls is powerful and gorgeous.

Then it was on to the rest of the trek to Beaver Falls. Beautiful green plants, red rock and turquoise water.

Then we enjoyed the falls before hiking back to camp.

Day 3 we decided to spend at Little Navajo Falls and 50 ft Falls which is right next to it. I was pretty excited to go, because last time I saw it from the hike to and from the village, but didn't get to spend any time there or see it up close. It was cool enough that we ended up spending the entire afternoon there. We swam, some did some cliff diving, and I even made friends with a lady who told us about a secret cave behind the waterfall where you have to swim under the wall to get behind the waterfall. That was the scariest part for me, because I don't open my eyes under water, so I couldn't see where to go. However one by one everyone was going and not coming back, so they were either dead or made it to the secret cave (which they call the green room). One of the guys swam under the wall and was on the other side and stuck out his hand for me to hold and he pulled me under and in the cave. I was happy about that. If I had goggles, I would have had no problem... to me it was not being able to see where I was going or how far that made me nervous... but eventually we all made it in the room behind the waterfall. We swam there all day and had no idea that it was there until someone told us about it. How cool is that? To leave the cave, there is a little opening where the waterfall is shooting down. you exit that way. It was a fun little adventure. Navajo Falls is beautiful and I was really glad that I was able to spend time there this go around. I loved it.

The most photographed waterfall there is Havasu Falls. That is right next to camp, so we went there a few times. While we were there at Havasupai, there was a group of divers. Now, typically if you dive off of the waterfall, you would get fined because it is dangerous and people have died in the current of the waterfall before, but because this was a group of professional divers, I am pretty sure they got special permission to dive there. So we found out when they were diving and we went to watch.
I also did Glowga there one night (Yoga with glow sticks) with the Tigabo group we were there with which was pretty cool. Plus we just would hang out there because it is beautiful. I even caught a great sunset there which ended up being the best picture I took on that entire trip (in my opinion)
*Side note. Allison, Becky and I had to get this picture together. Back in January we got a picture together on the yurt trip. We said our next picture together was going to hopefully be at Havasupai if we could get permits. We weren't sure if it would happen or not, but here we are. Some wishes do come true.

Last day we hiked to the village, and went through a mini war over the helicopter out. That is kind of a long story, so I don't really want to write it all out, but there were over 100 people wanting to helicopter out and some people spent the night at the village to be in the front of the line, we got up at 3am and got there by 4am... but in the end, it didn't matter because the Natives don't care who is there first, they put down the clip board of the list and whoever gets their first to put their name gets to go first. I ended up having fun waiting around with a bunch of strangers and even made some new friends. The helicopter ride out was awesome and I was SO excited because I got to sit up front next to the pilot which IS the best view.

After we all got to the car, we said goodbye to Allison and Kassie and we had our 9 or 10 hour drive home. Everyone was tired and ready to be home by that point, but overall, we had a great trip with a group group of people. I'm glad I put it together and I am glad it all worked out. I'm also glad that I have Instagram followers that let me know about it because otherwise we might not have been able to go. So glad I was able to do round 2 of Havasupai. It was a different trip than the first time and I will even go as far to say that it was even a better trip than the first time. I am thankful for friends that adventure with me!


Lori said...

That sounds like an amazing trip Tracy! I really really want to go there.... one of these times... your pictures turned out great! I want to experience the cave room behind the waterfall! Although, I would be totally scared to swim under too.

jamie hixon said...

Wow, that sounds pretty epic. I would NOT be ok with the heat. I live in Arizona, and I look at people jogging around and I think they HAVE to be crazy. The cave room sounds scary as heck, but I'm claustrophobic when it comes to caves and underwater passageways that I can't see... so....