Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Havasu falls: continued

Reflections from the Backcounter
The power of nature has reconfigured the landscape of Havasupai. This picture shows a new waterfall that was the result of the flood and the gouging of the wall above the creek to form a new gorge. Currently, it looks like strip mining and is painful to see given the previous lush foliage that surrounded the creek. The raw beauty of the turquoise water is breathtaking in spite of the devastation and it is only a matter of time for the travertine pools to build up and there will be another gorgeous fall and pool. This waterfall is on the way to Havasu falls and the campground.

Havasu falls Mooney falls are about another mile below the campground and are spectacular. However, the trail leading to the falls is not for the faint of heart or for those with a fear of heights or closed spaces.. It includes a cavelike tunnel and a climb across a chain ladder afixed to the rock face of the cliff. As a mother of teenage girls who of course were game to go...I had to add reason to the argument and put a halt to our progress toward the falls. Our photo was taken from the trail just before the cave tunnel. I was happy with this view and tried to ignore my inner voice that was stage whispering "jump...jump" what is it about heights that brings out the jumper in all of us? Home sweet home!! Our lovely campsite next to the creek. We were in a great location and slept soundly in our tents. Surprisingly, no mosquitos.
A great trip and one that I would recommend ...but take the mule option and put your packs on the mule train...it is a lot easier and makes the hike more enjoyable. We unfortunately were rookies and spent a lot of time head down on a forced march.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The trek to Havasu falls...the inside edition

Still happy and enthusiastic

Reflections from the Backcounter

My calves hurt. In fact muscles that I did not know existed are hurting and might I remind you...Gray's anatomy is not a TV show for me...it was my anatomy textbook. Hiking the Grand Canyon is a laudable goal at any age and at my now ripe old unmentionable age it was a personal victory, triumph, bucket list???. Of course, the trek down was preceded by hysterical downsizing of the contents of the backpack...who needs a sleeping bag anyway??? I remain amazed at the weight of a packet of instant oatmeal and the unfathomable density of Trader Joe's dried blueberries. The pack became progressively heavier as we marched toward our goal of the Havasupai camping grounds. We reached Supai village, victorious in our accomplishment, only to have our hopes of rest and relaxation dashed by the realization that it was 2.2 more miles to the campground.
Looking a little less happy and not so enthusiastic

We arrived with barely enough strength left to lift the packs off our weary backs and still had to pitch tents and cook food....luckily, we had been given explicit instructions in tent pitching and camp making by our outfitters who conducted our pre trip instructional seminar with unbridled enthusiasm and zeal for the full backpacking experience. Armed with our new found knowledge and state of the art equipment, we dispatched with the camp set up and feasted on our tamale pie and cornbread following which we collapsed into our tents and slept throught till dawn wrapped in the tent tarp...did I mention that the sleeping bag was left at the trailhead along with my water filter and extra pants. Any strategy to lighten the load...

More on the experience later...things started to look a lot brighter in the morning once I found the spring water, a portable water filter bottle from our neighboring campers (Israelis) and the coffee.

Here are a few pics to start with. Notice our naive enthusiasm as we approach the beginning of the trail...as my daughter said as we passed hikers starting down as we were on the way out...Look at those people...they are still laughing and talking....

Peace and packing,


Monday, June 1, 2009

Chickens on the loose/Havasupai Falls

The Backcounter Backyard Chicken project enters its fifth month and is happy to report that we have eggs...yes the little red hens have produced and we are getting between two and three eggs per day. There have been a few days with four eggs but that is not yet a regular phenomenon. The eggs are brown and varied in size. We are still waiting for the blue eggs from the Aracauna hens.

We are becoming risk takers and are letting them run loose in the evenings while taking careful watch for neighbors ...unfortunately, these hens have found their voices and the squawking volume is very loud....

Our family is getting prepared to embark on a backpacking adventure to Havasupai falls in the Grand Canyon. The challenge will be the food...Our outfitters are good friends who have assured me that they will provide us with appropriate gear and an in-service tomorrow night. Hoping to see the raw beauty of the falls but know that the recent serious flooding has changed the landscape....