Shortly after my Accomplice and I became a couple, the Employee Recreation Committee at Grand Canyon National Park announced a group hike to Havasu Falls. I’d been wanting to hike down into the canyon, and to see the Colorado River, and my Accomplice, who’d hiked every trail on the South Rim, told me this was a hike not to be missed, with many waterfalls (more on that when we get to M!), and lovely pools of turquoise water colored by rich travertine deposits, which also formed the ever changing falls and pools.
I’d never been backpacking, so, once my newly ordered pack arrived, I loaded it up with books and practiced carrying it around the trails that surrounded Moqui Lodge.
Of course, that couldn’t prepare me for a ten-mile hike into the mountainous desert terrain of the canyon! We ambled, taking hours to negotiate the steep descent filled with narrow switchbacks, rickety bridges, and the mules and horse caravans of the Havasupai Indian people, to whom this land belongs.
Our time was filled with easy connection, rambling conversations both casual and profound, effortless silences as we each absorbed our own experiences and thought our own thoughts.
And, then, at last, after a stop at the reservation store to purchase a few snacks that had been brought to that location by the horses and mules – there were no roads into or out of the reservation, and therefore no motor vehicles – we came into view of our destination – Havasu Falls, where we sat together for an hour or maybe more, reveling in the water’s color, its music, and the way it fell with placid power over the travertine cliff. I looked up, and up, and up, to the rim of the canyon, where we’d begun our day in the desert.
Here, below, it was a different world – lush with trees and grasses, tucked away between the walls of the canyon. Later, we fell asleep not far from the banks of the mighty Colorado, staring far up at an unbelievable tapestry of stars flung and woven across the sky.
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Have you ever hiked in an untamed setting? Taken yourself far off the beaten path, and found the magic of time and distance from your everyday life? Here’s a chance to relive that memory, and revisit the scene of your escape!