Saturday, October 15, 2016

Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness-- Snow Falls & Overlooks

Purple Aster


Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness-- Snow Falls & Overlooks


Dana Koogler, Vickie Cunningham, and Mary Anne Brewer--The A Team.
( I pity the fool!) :-D

13 miles RT approx. 


Saturday Oct. 10, 2016


   My friends and I had long talked about hiking to Snow Falls in Laurel Snow Pocket Wilderness.  It got put off several times for different reasons.  I had a free Saturday and 
contacted them to see if we might try it finally? They agreed. We all realized the water levels
were pitifully low, but we knew the overlooks would still be pretty, the forest would still be pretty, and there would be NO PROBLEM crossing Morgan Creek at the end.  It had turned all of us around at different times in the past thanks to there being no bridge and the water was roaring and deep.     I just wanted to be able to say at last that I had been there.

        We met up Saturday morning and car pooled from Spring City to the trail head.
Some old dude in the parking lot warning us that he was going to lock the gate at 7:30 p.m.
I grinned like a possum and told him in a cheerful tone "We'll be long gone." 
Two blonde women were ahead of us as we began the hike.  Somehow we passed them, but as they approached Vickie courteously asked if they'd like to pass us since they might be moving faster?  The one woman looked at her with a clueless expression.   Vickie repeated herself. The woman's expression never changed.  I was annoyed with this brainless twit.  I got her attention and tried to break it down for her real slow.  She snapped out of it and said "Sorry. I'm still getting used to the accent."  Bitch please... do not try to lay your stupidity at our feet.
They did pass us, but made sure to tell us of yet another dire warning from old dude with the gate keys.   "Did you know about the mother cougar and her babies? He says there is one in here. "  I assured her I had just come from hiking in mountain lion country and was not concerned in the least.  She and her pal proceeded saying "Enjoy your day. Be safe."
"or dinner." was my reply.    We never saw them again. Maybe the cougar ate them? 
I'm going to start carrying a salt shaker with me. 

        Our hike was a pretty one with perfect weather. Hurricane Matthew had a good cool 
breeze blowing all day long.  We never got any rain. We could have used it as Richland Creek and Morgan Creek were as low as I've ever seen them.  Laurel Falls was just wet rocks.
Snow Falls had a tiny drizzle coming over it.  The first 50 ft bridge is still in place, but
bent and leaning.  Tree is off it now.  The 180 foot bridge further out is a real work of art.
I liked that.  The trail is well marked and pretty easy to follow. I had brought a map which did 
come in handy.  
 Looking across the final section of the big bridge.
 Anne getting fitter each day! 
 Vickie keeping her ears warm and getting fit. 


 Morgan Creek was no threat today.  

I am standing just above Snow Falls.  We had a tiny drizzle coming over.  We had to look for a way to the base which we did find.  The view was no better there. 


        We sat and had lunch in the creek bed of Morgan Creek at around 12:30. 
Once there we knew we were close to Snow Falls.  It really was a short distance. Perhaps 0.1 mile ?!  We did some checking around and found a way to the base of the falls, but did not bother going to the base.  None of us felt it was worth the extra effort for that trickle of water. 
We just wanted to know for future reference.  Now if we could just figure out a good balance of 
water on Snow Falls , but not too much in Morgan Creek.  It has to be possible. It has been done before.   We continued our hike toward the overlooks on this side of the gorge.  We walked the old dirt road to them, and once there picked up the trail at its far end to make a loop.

View from first vantage point

A little fall color at the first overlook

       We continued out to the second and bigger overlook.. Buzzard Point.

Fearless Vickie making me and Anne nervous.
Stunning view across the plateau from Buzzard Point
In the general direction of Laurel Falls which was only wet rocks.
Touch of Autumn creeping in at Buzzard Point

       Anne is over there across the split in the rocks at Buzzard Point.


       We had a leisurely hike back.  We stopped one time to eat a snack.  We had a good time with lots of laughter and great fellowship. I love these two gals. I am fortunate to have them in my life.  They bless me with their wisdom, sympathy, prayers, humor and laughter.  
We are kindred spirits for sure.   We saw several groups of people through the day. 
Everyone else we encountered was real friendly and understood our accents. Imagine that?
I caught some young buck who nearly slid off the bluff on a rock using it like a surf board.
He took five years off my life.   Vickie and I used the banged up bridge to cross on the way back. Anne didn't care to fool with it when the creek bed was simpler.   We made it out by about 5:30 pm. We were real buzz kills to the dude who wanted to lock us in. I had badly hoped he would be around for me to ask him if he wasn't scared to be locked in with me?  :-D

          Back to Spring City we went and parted ways. I hope it won't be long til we get together again for a hike.  Any place would be great with these two gals!  
Thanks again ladies for the company.  You are terrific! 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Trip Out West--Part 2--Grand Canyon South Rim, and Navajo Country


 Indian Paintbrush blooming at Hualapi Hilltop


Trip Out West--Part 2 Grand Canyon South Rim 


Kenny & Dana Koogler 
Thurs. Sept. 22 thru Tues. Sept. 27, 2016

Pictures are here: Grand Canyon Trip Pix


   We left Supai village on a rainy Thursday morning.  We had planned to ride horses out.
We met the drover along with another couple staying the lodge.  We saddled up after breakfast and away we went. I was on a no name horse so I literally can say "I've been through the desert on a horse with no name."   Aside from the drover I was the most experienced rider.  He told me I was the lead.
He had asked me to leave my rain poncho off for now as it might spook the horse. I was expecting this,and preferred getting wet to getting thrown.   The horse was  gentle and so smart.  I gave her plenty of rein so she could pick the path she liked.  I only had to correct her course about twice the entire time.  I am glad to have had that experience.  I would not change it.
The steep part at the end is sheer and a little scary.  The drover turns the pack horse loose and lets it  pace the rest of us.   You have to keep moving on that steep part, but you can't go too fast or it would be unsafe.    Two things happened when I got up to the top that I did not expect. First I found that my legs had turned to rubber.  Second once I had my land legs back......... I sat down in the car and wept.  I did not want to leave.  The Havasupai are a lovely people and their poverty deeply affected me.  I have experienced reverse culture shock before, but this was heart wrenching. I knew
that  I could not change it. I also knew it would ease eventually, but there is a permanent mark on my heart. I consider myself changed for the better.

      The drive back out along the Hualapi reservation on BIA Road 18 was pretty. The mat of cloud cover was lifting.  The vastness of the plain and the blooming desert was beautiful.  I stopped to take
a few photos on the way out.  My heart aches now for the Havasupai people and the Hualapai.  I am sure not everyone who comes here leaves feeling this way, but boys howdy.. you'd have to be a soulless someone not to be moved. I have a photo up top of this blog entry of the many pretty red indian paintbrush flowers growing along the road. 

           IMG_9010_1

        We drove out to Seligman on  the way to Grand Canyon Village and stopped to eat lunch.
Seligman is a tiny town along Route 66.  We ate at at Delgadillo's Snow-Cap Drive In restaurant.
It was really good food and a heavy dose of Americana.  The international tourists were thick
at this place.
Just outside the Snow Cap.
We can now say we have experienced Route 66.  It was really not that great, but hey...? 



Grand Canyon Village and South Rim 


  We got to the South Rim and were glad when we went through Williams that we cancelled our stay there.   It is just a blip on the radar screen which is odd considering it is so near a major interstate. 
We arrived at Bright Angel lodge and put our things in the room.  I will warn you now.... Bright Angel lodge is also not that great.   It was neat, clean, and pretty.   The restaurant was nice.
It is a convenient location.  Trying to sleep there was something else.  Each night there were 
lots of drunken, loud mouthed guests tromping up and down the halls making a ruckus.  
I think I'd try something else next time including staying in Tusayan ,and driving to the canyon each day to tour.   We took time that night to walk around and see some of the canyon views and exhibits before the sun set.   We got a chance to see Lookout Studio and the beautiful art works on display.   We loved the view from behind the lodge.  We were too tired to do much so later that night we hit the laundry and washed clothes and went to bed early.   The rooms have their own sink and toilet, but no shower or tub.  They provide several shower rooms some with tubs. You have it to yourself while you are in there, but you share that part with other guests.  It was not too bad. It was great to have a hot shower in a nice claw-footed tub.

Grand Canyon South Rim from directly behind Bright Angel Lodge
Fred Harvey was a strong proponent of womens opportunities and education for women. 

  The next morning we had breakfast at the Bright Angel restaurant and it was great.  The food here was perfect and the service good.  No complaints.   The history here was also an enjoyment and an education to me.   I learned all about entrepreneur Fred Harvey.He has become one of my heroes.
Fred Harvey was a strong promoter of women in a world where few opportunities existed for women. He believed in education and chances for advancement for women.  I admire this very much.  
We found the temperatures at night and in the early mornings at the canyon were quite chilly.
We did not pack an adequate amount of warm clothes for this.  We decided to start our day off with a loop auto tour that started with Flagstaff.  It was the nearest town with plenty of places to buy sensibly priced clothing.  The stores at the canyon wanted $60-75 for a pair of North Face pants.
They were not gauging,but I was not willing to pay those prices.  I came out of the Flagstaff Wal-Mart with entire outfits of clothes for what we'd have spent on a pair of pants!  Flagstaff was gorgeous. It is one of the absolute prettiest towns you'll ever see and sits seven thousand feet above sea level. The view of snow capped San Francisco Peaks is devastatingly beautiful.  It is one of the four sacred mountains to the Navajo people.   Any future trips west will include Flagstaff and Navajo country. Well worth the stop.  We bought lunch in Flagstaff and tucked it in the cooler for a picnic later.
Downtown Flagstaff with the view of San Francisco Peaks in the distance.  

Cameron & Navajo Country


 Our loop drive took us through Cameron and a little corner of Navajo country. We loved it.
It was beautiful. They operate this overlook on donations which we gladly paid.   We ate lunch at an overlook of the Little Colorado River and canyon.   The facilities are perfect.  The Navajo people were terrific.  I bought true Native American jewelry right from the artist at a bargain price.  They have a good craft market here at this spot.   I would have paid three or four times that in Seligman or 
at the Grand Canyon Village.  Save your money and spend it buying from the artist or craftsman directly.    You'll be glad you did. The lady was able to tell me all about the work and the stones she used and what they represent.  I bought unakite and fire agate necklace that I really liked. 

Little Colorado River and Gorge
 Picnic grounds at the overlook
 One of several interesting and educational sign boards at the facility.

     View of the Painted Desert in the distance from Cameron at yet another overlook.

  We had lunch. Visited a short while with the Navajos and grudgingly left to continue our trip.
It seemed like no time and we closed the loop and were back along the Grand Canyon South Rim.  
We stopped at the Desert Watch Tower first. It was one of the spots I had longed to visit.  It was just as beautiful as I had hoped.   


               Desert Watch Tower was designed and built by Mary Colter a female architect. 

View from the Desert Watch Tower.  The Colorado River in the far distance.  I thought of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watch Tower" .. he wrote it.. Jimi Hendrix immortalized it.  It is based upon Isaiah Chapter 21 verses 5-9

   We drove the rim of the canyon enjoying the views at various overlooks and stopped to
see most of the historic places.   We did not hit the Tusayan Ruins which I regret, but Kenny did not want to bother with.   Don't get me wrong... the views along the Canyon are outstanding and beautiful. Unless you hike down into the canyon or get to see other parts of it.. all the views from the rim begin to seem much the same.   The only way I'd be interested in coming back is to see the North Rim and/or to go down into the canyon to see it more intimately.   Several spots I'd like to see are 
Vasey's Paradise, Phantom Ranch, Roaring Spring, Elves Chasm and Royal Arches.   


Another view from a different overlook further down.   Temples and the painted desert. 

   We finally got back to the village and it had grown late.  We would get up the next day and hit up the Hermits Rest portion of the canyon, Mather Point, the visitor center, and the Geology Museum.
Dinner that night was again at the Bright Angel restaurant.   It was pretty good, but we were growing tired of it already as the menu is somewhat limited.  

 Hermits Rest 


    Next morning we got up early and after breakfast we gathered our stuff and waited in line on the shuttles to start running.  You can  only reach Hermits Rest and all the attractions along that road from March through October by shuttle or on foot.   The rest of the year they let folks drive it.
The shuttles are free.   We found that to be an excellent way to come and go and visit all we wanted to see.  We had already made up our minds we were not going to stop at every single lookout point. 
We picked the ones we were most interested in and hit those.   Once again.. pretty and I'm glad I got to go and see this stuff, but it all starts to look the same.  Lots of people to contend with and this is supposed to be the off season.   We tried Powell Point, Hopi Point, Mojave Point and Hermits Rest.
We saw elk and the forest out along the canyon rim was pretty.
 View from near Powell Point
 Hermits Rest.. Kenny looking on

    Mule Deer buck

               Once we got back to the village we hit Tusayan for lunch at a pizza place that was good.
We went to see the Geology Museum, Visitor Center and Mather Point.  All were pretty and all were crowded.  I liked the Geology Museum best.  I learned a lot about the layers of rock and the history of the canyon's formation.  I learned a bunch of things I did not know.   The layers of rock that are exposed on mountain summits in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachia are the basement rock of the canyon!  Shows how old our mountains really are and how weathered.  
 One presentation explained why there are so many "temple" formations in the canyon. It has to do with erosion and the rock layers.  They tend to form lots of these because of the way the layers wear away from wind and water.  This is taken from Mather Point
This lists the layers closest to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with the oldest rock being 
Elves Chasm Gneiss with is 1840 million years old. Just shy of 2 billion years!

I am including this diagram I found because I FINALLY understand what the Great Unconformity of Powell is thanks to this.   It is the Grand Canyon Supergroup of tilted rock between the layers of sandstone and the group of much older basement rocks.  Apparently somewhere out in this region is an area where the 550 million year old tapeats standstone  rests against the 1.7 billion year old 
vishnu schist.  Very odd. 



  Later that night we got cleaned up and went out to dinner at a steak house in Tusayan.  It was a cowboy style restaurant and had gotten mixed reviews. Glad we didn't pay them any mind. It was great!  Best meal we had the entire trip.   It was cowboy kitschy, but who cares?! It was excellent.
The name of it is Yippee-Ei-O.  We loved it.   The next morning we prepared to drive back to Las Vegas.  We had opted to avoid the boring stay in Williams and our ATV trip got cancelled.  That was the primary reason for staying there anyhow.  We went back to Las Vegas and stayed in The Stratosphere hotel two nights.   We went shopping in Las Vegas and went to Fremont Street to the light show and some great music.   That all worked out good.   
Nighttime view of Yippee Ei O!  It was a treat.  

 The Stratosphere Hotel from outside
Downtown Vegas--that is the pool area for the Stratosphere out there on the roof.


Daytime view of Vegas and you can see the shadow of the Stratosphere hotel.


Monday we visited Red Rock Canyon and did a little bit of hiking. The visitor center was interesting. 
We saw lots of tortoises there.  It is a pretty and different place, but not too great since we only found a tiny trickle of water in one spring.   Red Rock Canyon was something of a let down this time of year.   Not totally unexpected.  
 Red Rock Canyon and the various mountains.
 Red Rock Canyon and you can see Turtlehead Peak just over the top of the redcloud stone.
 Lost Creek Area of the Mojave at Red Rock Canyon
Mojave Desert


   I stood in the top of the Stratosphere at night looking out at the lights of Vegas.  I was thinking aloud.  I said "I wonder if I were rich and had the money that I could do whatever I wanted if I'd like this place any better?"  Kenny laughed and answered it for me.  "No.  It just isn't your thing. No amount of money would change that."  I'd say he's right.  Las Vegas is not a place I want to revisit. It is just a stop over .. a means to an end.  Tuesday morning we got up and packed and left for the airport and the long journey home.   Traveling is great, but it is always great to get home to your own bed which is far more comfy than any hotel will ever be.  



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Trip Out West--Part 1 --Las Vegas, Boulder City, Hoover Dam,and Havasu


Common Sunflower bloomed along the roadsides in Arizona.

Trip Out West--Part 1 --Las Vegas, Boulder City, Hoover Dam, and Lake Mead

Dana & Kenny Koogler

Saturday September 17 and Sunday September 18, 2016

Pictures are here: Grand Canyon Pix


   Kenny and I had long talked about taking a trip out west.  We both came to recognize that
if we didn't get moving with it, that was all it would end up being... talk.  Another one of those dreams that is never realized because we don't plan it and act upon it.   He was really keen on seeing
the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam.    I figured since it was so important to him we'd do that trip first.  I wanted to see things too, but admittedly the desert did not interest me as much as the Pacific Northwest.    We both wanted to see Havasu Falls.  It is a hard thing to get a permit to go there.
The entire rest of the trip would have to be planned around that event so that was our starting point.
We got the reservations for Havasupai Lodge and with that we were assured a permit to see 
the falls.  The planning process for this and reservations were done seven or eight months ahead.
Before I forget to mention it..  Denise Doyle of Doyle Travel.. an American owned and run business... was our travel agent.   She helped us save money, avoid many pitfalls of travel, and even
lit a fire under United Airlines when we missed a flight.  She indirectly helped a fellow traveler
get his flight situation remedied at the same time as she fixed things for us!  Hit her up if you need 
help planning a trip or booking anything.  You will be glad you did!


             Trip Overview & Highlights


    Rather than write an exhaustive, lengthy trip report detailing every single thing ...
I am just going to hit the high spots.   We arrived in Las Vegas at McCarran International Airport.  We got a rental car and drove immediately to Boulder City and stayed at the  historic Boulder Dam Hotel. It was beautiful and very comfortable. We had dinner at Evan's Restaurant down the street within easy walking distance.  I highly recommend it both for the excellent food and the atmosphere.  The following day we had breakfast at the hotel in their dining room.  The food there is outstanding.  We packed up and headed to see Hoover Dam.
We wanted to get there as soon as it opened to avoid the lines.    It was a wise plan, and put us
ahead of the curve all day.  

        Hoover Dam tour was much more interesting and fun than I anticipated.  It was Kenny's big thing he had always wanted to do.  I liked it a lot myself!  I enjoyed the structure as well as the scenery and the history.  The Pat Tilman Bridge was astonishing to see.  Photos do not adequately show the scope of the bridge or the dam.   Both are immense!  Impressive feats of engineering.   


Hoover Dam

          

Mike O' Callaghan--Pat Tillman Bridge



Winged Figures of the Republic at Hoover Dam.  They are the artwork of Oskar Hansen.
I had often seen them in photos and on television.  I did not know that there is more to this than just the winged figures.   The entire artwork before them on the ground is set up so that should an alien civilization arrive here in years to come this would leave a clue to them and to people of the future what the sky was like at the time this was constructed. See the brief telling of it on the photo below.

Story of the structure of Winged Figures and the star chart constructed with them. This was one of my all time favorite things about this tour.



        We grabbed a quick bite of lunch at the Hoover Dam cafe and headed to Lake Mead next to take a boat tour.   We got there and it was hot and the line was on the long side. They only offer these twice a day so we made sure to get on the noon cruise.  It was pretty and kinda fun, but not that great and I would not do it again.  The scenery is rather bland around Lake Mead.





Two shots taken on the paddle wheeler cruise of Lake Mead.  The water was a very pretty blue.
Lots of fish and turtles!


      Once we were done with the boat tour we headed on toward Peach Springs, Arizona.
We were to stay there for two nights and three days.   It was because we had to plan our trip around
one main activity... visiting Havasu Falls.   It is hard to get a permit and go see it and you have to take what you can get.   Peach Springs is the nearest settlement at the top of the canyon to Hualapi Hilltop .. and the trailhead.  We had thought it would be quaint to see some Route 66 scenery and a little Americana kitsch.   We stayed at the Grand Canyon Caverns Inn along historic Route 66 just outside Peach Springs.  It was clean, quiet and affordable.   It had a pool, mini golf course, horse back riding stables, hiking trails, the caverns tour, free breakfast, free wi fi,  cable tv, a nice store, a bar, a patio.
It was not a bad place to stay, but for any return trip I would stay in the Hualapi Lodge and just drive the extra 15 miles.  The Hualapi Reservation was better than the joint the white people ran by far. We joked with them about it when we were having dinner at the lodge.  Live and learn, eh?
The caverns tour was not that great. They charged full price, but gave us an abbreviated tour and the bums rush.   Staying out here was the weirdest experience. It was like living a full two days in an episode of the X-Files.   No kidding.  The silence and the isolation and the desolate landscape were a strange experience. IMG_8649_1
                    Grand Canyon Caverns Inn

IMG_8634_1
A   desolate landscape across from the Caverns Inn.


                Tuesday morning we got up and packed the jeep.  We headed to Hualapi Hilltop after breakfast. It was a 75 mile drive one way.  It is the trailhead for Havasu Canyon.  We were set to ride horses in and out.  We arrived there at eight a.m.  The lady in charge of the horse concession
said it would be several hours until the horses came up from the canyon to ride them back down.
We called the Supai Lodge and asked them if we would be charged for the horses if we chose to simply hike in?  The lady graciously said not to worry about it and that they would not charge us.
We hiked in and I am so glad we did. It was easy and is a much better way to experience the canyon.
The trail is not hard to follow.  We stopped once to eat lunch under a rock ledge.  It was drizzling rain, but we had our ponchos on.  We got to the village hours ahead of the horses.  We found the
lodge and got checked in.  Supai Village and the Havasupai people really got to  us in ways we
never expected.  How could I know that by the time I would arrive back at the hilltop on Thursday I would be crying and not wanting to leave.  A trip here may not change everyone, but it changed me and Kenny in good ways.  I pray we are fortunate enough to return here some day.

IMG_8703

Rock platform about halfway down the steepest part of the hike.  Only 1.5 miles of this hike.. the ones near the hilltop.. are steep. The rest is easy.

IMG_8706
Hiking down through the canyon on the way to the village.


Havasu



  We planned to stay 2 nights in the village.  We got there after the eight mile hike rather tired and wet and cold. Weird for a Grand Canyon hike, but this is their rainy season.  It felt good to get in the room and dry off and get warm.  No tv. No wi fi. Not great cell phone service, but it was passable.  We could do without the rest of it.  We brought all our stuff for two days/nights stay on our backs. 
It made me very glad I had gotten over the makeup and the need for so many toiletries and clothing.
The only thing I did not bring that I wished I had brought? A paperback book to read.  One I could have left behind if necessary.  I had a book about Havasu which I devoured cover to cover because it was all I had with me to read.   The village has a cafe, two stores, two churches, a clinic, fire department, police force, school, playgrounds, and the lodge.   We woke the next morning and the weather promised to be perfect.  We ate a quick breakfast and hit the trail.  We stayed out all day long.   We hiked six miles or more today visiting the waterfalls down the canyon.   I could not believe we were here at last.  It is amazingly beautiful.  

Hiking out toward the falls we got a nice view of this rock formation Wigleeva.. the guardians of the canyon.  The Havasupai believe that when and if they ever fall it signals the end of the canyon and the Supai tribe.  The trail rambled on down the village past homes.   We started passing pack mules and horses coming out with their drover far behind.  They are so smart.
Long walk out of the canyon and heavily laden.

Kenny poses by this massive cottonwood tree along the path.  Lots of these giants down here.  They also had lots of pomegranate trees and peach trees.  

The first pool along Havasu Creek. I have done nothing to the color of it. The bottom is just that white and the pool is just that clear!

     We continued down the stream further and came to a point where the roar of water was very loud.  We turned aside and could glimpse a waterfall in the distance.  We figured out how to reach it and it was our first look at Navajo Falls.  It was incredibly beautiful.  Life was abundant here in this spot. Every sort of green growing thing surrounded the stream.  We saw ducks, a great heron, crows, ferns, rushes, moss, and the desert bloomed with color from various flowers.
A look at Navajo Falls with the red canyon walls in the background.  I had tears in my eyes from the tremendous gratitude and blessing of being in this place.  It was incredible.

These are pools in Havasu Creek rimmed with travertine....it comes from mineral deposition.
This is between Navajo and Lower Navajo Falls.

Lower Navajo Falls with the beautiful red canyon walls in the background.

 Here are a couple of my favorite wildflowers we saw.  Mimulus cardinalis.. the Scarlet Monkey Flower grew in abundance in the canyon.


Angel Trumpets bloomed thick around Navajo Falls. All of them were open and in perfect bloom first thing in that morning.  These are in the Jimson Weed family and highly poisonous.

  As we continued down the trail we passed a spot just below the Navajo Falls where springs poured out of the bank.   The little grotto there was covered in maiden hair and other sorts of ferns and mosses and scarlet monkey flower.  It was a little Garden of Eden we were experiencing. 


Maiden hair ferns galore! 


Kenny hiking down the trail ahead of me. Scene like this looks great to a red dirt girl.

 Fifty Foot Falls below Navajo Falls.  No access to the base. The area around it is extremely unstable
ground thanks to the 2008 flood.  Rugged, crumbly, and unsafe! 

A little further on .. a shot of Havasu Creek.  


We hiked onward and a short time after the creek shot... we heard a loud roar.
The trail trended down sharply. I could tell we were coming to a drop off.  There to our right was Havasu Falls in all its glory.  It looks like you have just stepped into a post card scene.

Havasu Falls in profile

Another vantage point of Havasu from the base.  

  We spent a long time hanging out and exploring around Havasu Falls.  There are all sorts of springs, caves, grottoes, and pools around it.   We had lunch here.   I filtered some water from a headwaters spring.   We pulled a picnic table into a grotto to wait out a rain storm.  It was perfect.  Rain in the desert is special.  We had nice cool weather for hiking.  We talked to some very nice fellow hikers throughout the day.  

     Finally we hiked on down the trail through the campground.  It is very large.  They have a ranger station, composting privvies, and a fry bread kitchen.  Lots of folks staying in the campground.
We saw evidence of the old mines in this area of the canyon.  Finally we came to Mooney Falls. We could see part of it from the brink.  I tried getting to the base, but turned back. I was nervous about it
and I knew the climb down was only going to get worse.  I decided to just know my limits and sit this part out I told Kenny to go ahead if he wanted to and I'd wait for him up top. He headed on down.
I planned to sit down and read, rest, and have something to drink.  I encountered a man and woman who had been staying at the lodge across from us.  They had also been at the Caverns Inn. She was upset and did not want to go down. She also did not want HIM to go down to the base.  I tried to talk her into coming to sit down with me awhile.  I went on alone and ran into several more people including one funny Japanese fellow who was telling me he had no desire to climb down. 

       Kenny came back in a very short time which surprised me. He had gotten through the two tunnels and when he came to the chains to lower himself down he chickened out too!  He said it was just too much.   He did talk me into going back down to a ledge like a balcony that provides a great view of Mooney Falls without having to go to the base.   This was a good compromise for me. He also showed Ken and Janice how to get down there.  We spent a good deal of time there and finally climbed back up.   I was satisfied with what I had seen and was getting very tired. We still had a good three mile hike back to the village.  We began heading back in that direction taking our time.
 120 foot tall Mooney Falls.. the most sacred of the falls to the Havasupai.
Kenny got this far.  From here it is another 100 feet down.  lowering oneself on chains. 
Climbing Twin Vine.. a sort of climbing milkweed which I spotted on the hike back.
Very pretty, but not real flashy. 


   The hike back to the village was in the hot sun much of the way. All that cloud cover had burned off.    We hiked part of the way back chatting with two other hikers.. Valerie and Joann.  Very nice ladies.  We made sure they got to see Navajo Falls. They did not realize there was a way over to them.   We took our time and spoke to many of the Havasupai people as they headed toward their homes at days end.  Drovers bringing their horses back down.  School kids and parents going home after school and work.  They are good people and I wanted to know them better.  I later read after getting to the Grand Canyon that one of the things they don't like is for outsiders to come down there and ignore them.  They want folks to learn about their way of life.   I was glad I took time to talk.  
especially on knowing this.   

        We had dinner at the cafe and were very hungry after all that hiking.   After a shower I was pretty quickly ready for sleep.  I stayed up long enough to lay out what I needed for the next day, and I packed the rest.   I slept well and dreamed of all the beauty that had filled my heart and mind that day.  

Below are two videos of the falls in the canyon.