“Taking The Long Way Down With 40+ Pound Packs”
Friday, April 20th, 2018
Several months ago, my excellent girlfriend and amazing travel partner, Jenn, invited me to join her and her friend Karin on a journey to Havasu Falls. I had only ever read articles about that place and the images were like something out of a dream. Beautiful aquamarine colors only seen in the most tropic of settings flowed deep at the bottom of a canyon through one of the most arid desert regions in the American West. The canyon is part of the Grand Canyon which in turn is a part of the Colorado River basin that has been developing over the last 70 million years.
The hike involved in this grand adventure will take us to Supai and all the waterfalls thereafter. Access to the falls requires a ten mile hike through the Havasupai Indian Reservation. Due to their increasing popularity, Jenny had to put in a request for the permits over a year in advance. The permits are extremely difficult to acquire, so If you do not put in a reservation by February or March, they will be sold out for the year.
This is definitely one for the ‘Bucket List’.
“Our backpacks were loaded to capacity and weighed like it too.”
Ready, Set, GO!!!
After staying up late the previous night for some last minute backpack re-organization in Kingman, AZ, Jenn, Karin, and I woke up before sunrise to get started with our 111 mile (178 km) drive to the Havasupai Trailhead. It was a one hour eastbound trek along old Route 66 into Hualapai territory where we eventually hit the northbound junction on Indian Road 18. There were signs of cattle and elk crossings throughout that 60 mile (97 km) stretch of highway.
“Karin takes the wheel since she got the most sleep…lol!”
At some point during that drive, we ran into a light dusting of actual snow! It didn’t stick, but it was surprising to be experiencing that this time of year. The biggest concern for a hike like this is heat, especially when hauling heavy packs. We seriously lucked out as the weather was so cold that we had to bundle up in our warmest garments. The unseasonably cold weather was actually a good thing considering the alternative heatwave in the following days to come. For now, we had to make sure that we had everything we needed because we finally reached the hilltop.
Havasupai Trailhead, AZGPS Coordinates: 36.1599283° N, -112.713601° W
Parking at the Hilltop is very limited and most people visit the night before in hopes of getting a spot near the trailhead. They sleep in their vehicles until dawn, but there is no guarantee that they will get a good spot even if they arrive the night before. Fortunately for us, our luck was working out great today as we found a parking spot less than a half mile from the trailhead along the highway. Once we got ourselves parked, it was time to get suited up and ready to make the long trek to Supai.
“Getting to the trailhead is relatively simple.”
The hike to Supai from the trailhead at the Hilltop is roughly 8 miles (12.8 km) through a canyon river wash. With the temperatures hovering at about 55 ºF (13 ºC) and mostly cloudy, this would be the easiest eight mile hike you could ask for since the entire trail was one, long, continuous descent in elevation. An easy hike was not on the menu however, since we were hiking with the addition of 40+ lbs. (18.1 kg) of clothes, water, food and camera gear. The elevation at the Hilltop is 5,200 ft. (1,585 m) whereas the elevation of Supai is 3,195 ft. (974 m). Even a downhill hike with that sort of weight on your back and shoulders can be quite brutal.
“The views from the Hilltop are vast and beautiful.”
The first mile of trail is a steep 1,000 ft (305 m) descent with several major switchbacks. This section of trail combined with loose rock and rubble made for a slippery hike, so we kept a reasonable pace all the way down to avoid injury. The folks coming up from the bottom of this trail portion looked like they were ready to pass out and with good reason.
“Karin and Jenn take the lead as I follow and document it all.”
“This is a brief video sums up our canyon hiking experience.”
“Further down the canyon trail, a mule train makes it’s way up from the Havasu Falls Campground.”
“Taking our time down to the bottom of the canyon made for a more pleasant hiking experience.”
Looking back up at the Hilltop, it was shocking to see just how much elevation we covered in less than a mile. No wonder the hikers heading up were literally dying of exhaustion and that’s with cool weather. Between the heat and sore muscles to come in the next few days, we started to wonder if we really should take the helicopter exit option. That’s a choice we will save for later depending on how we felt by then.
“One mile down, seven left to go!”
“The skies were mostly cloudy which made it cool, but when the sun came through, it got really warm.”
“Rock fragments the size of cars and buses rest at the foot of the cliffs from where they broke.”
Perfect Hiking Weather
The weather at the trail head was a mix of partly sunny with lots of clouds and the occasional patches of blue sky, however that was about to get left behind. Our path would take us deep into the canyon wash and toward a gray, looming mass of rainclouds. We were no strangers to hiking in the rain, so we pushed onward. Our packs were not waterproof, but lucky for us it didn’t rain constantly, just a few sparse moments at a time. I prefer to take on a hydrating onslaught instead of a hot, blistering heat any day.
“The trail swaggers down into the start of a canyon wash which will eventually meet with Havasu Creek.”
“Karin leads the way with Jenny and myself in tow as a light rain falls on us.”
“Our first stop at about 2.5 miles into the hike gave us a break from the rain.”
“At about 4 miles in, we found a good spot for a snack break.”
The Mule Trains
Another mule train passes us as we rest and have a snack. We had an opportunity several weeks ago to get our packs hauled in via mule, but after reading up on the abhorrent conditions that these poor animals were living in, we decided to haul our own packs instead. Over the last decade, there have been several big movements by animal rights groups and supporters alike to pressure the tribal council into addressing the state of these malnourished and overworked animals, but nothing seems to have changed.
Although we never personally witnessed any physically abusive behavior toward the animals, we did take note of the countless open sores and patches of missing hair on some of the mules. These were areas of friction where harnesses combined with heavy payloads rubbed the flesh raw. I am glad that we decided to haul our own stuff instead because I would feel like a total jerk if I had my stuff hauled in by these poor animals. If you wish to learn more about this and what you can do to help, please visit: www.havasupaihorses.org
“The gals and I wrapped up our snack break and prepared to do some more marching.”
“The 5 Mile Tree”
When the canyon started to narrow, we ran into the first luscious, green tree in the wash and it was a beauty! Jenn said she wanted to go hug it and Karin followed suit. Jenn was running a trail app on her phone and the moment she wrapped her arms around the tree trunk, the app stated “You have traveled 5 miles”….lol. The odds of that situation unfolding the way it did resulted in a very appropriate name for that tree, “The 5 Mile Tree”. The tree had neighborly foliage as well. A lot of the boulders were covered in a lush coat of ivy which made such a beautiful contrast of green and orange.
“Even the rocks nearby were draped in a thick, green ivy.”
Further down the way, we ran into a really cool “rock crash”. I say that because it looks like these boulders crashed into their current positions after taking a nasty fall off the cliff ledges above. I can’t even imagine the sound, let alone the quake that these massive rocks caused when they impacted the ground here.
“Karin stands next to the boulders for scale.”
“Jenn sizes herself up against these giants as well.”
We decided to make another stop at about 6 miles into the canyon. The weight of our packs was beginning to tear us down little by little and we needed a rest. Karin spotted another great place to have a sit down where we could take these backpacks off for a moment. My shoulders were starting to cramp up a bit and my quads were starting to get pretty sore. The gray rain clouds that were above us had now begun to part. This would have put the sun directly on us, but we were saved by the tall cliffs.
“Jenn was beat and I was getting there fast, but Karin seemed in better condition.”
“We watched as another Mule Train came rolling by.”
“We waited until they passed and then we started the last two mile stretch to Supai.”
“We knew we were getting very close to Havasu Creek, it was all the motivation we needed.”
“The cliff walls continued to rise as we descended further into the canyon.”
“WooHoo!, we were on the home stretch now and we could hear the rush of water nearby!”
With the posted sign, the trail made a hard left. The sound of flowing water became louder and louder until we crossed a small foot bridge and that’s when we saw the flowing life source of the waterfalls. It looked so clear and refreshing. A small trench was parted from the creek and channeled some of the fresh spring water along a thin canal next to the hiking trail. The water canal flowed all the way into the village of Supai which is a pretty nifty plumbing system I’d say.
“Arriving at the outskirts of the village, we breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that our destination was very near.”
“Jenn and Karin pressed on as we crossed neighborhood after neighborhood.”
We had a hot date with the Havasupai Lodge and a nice, hot shower! Jenn had booked our stay at the only form of lodging in the canyon and I was very grateful. The illusion of a hot shower was shattered however when we learned that the rooms were all linked to a shoddy water heating system that was about as reliable flat spare tire.
We needed rest badly if we were to continue our hike tomorrow to the waterfalls. My shoulder muscles were cramping badly and my legs were joining in the fun. Fortunately, I had brought an array of pain killers including some doctor prescribed Ibuprofen 800 pills. We all popped a single pill and ate a light snack before hitting the hay.
Saturday, April 21st, 2018
We awoke around 5 AM and slowly started to get ourselves together. Jenn made us some almond butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast. We sorted and revised our smaller backpacks for the day’s hike. The temperature outside was a balmy 46 ºF (7.8 ºC) so we had to bundle up for the morning’s venture. Once everyone was ready to go, we started hiking at 6 AM.
All three of us were smart this morning and conducted some pretty good leg stretches which helped immensely. I thought I would be in some pretty serious pain this morning, but the Ibuprofen and stretches worked wonders. Having some epsom salt would have rocked, but not with a faulty water heating system, plus it would have added a significant amount of weight to our packs.
The hike to the first falls was an easy 1 mile (1.6 km) hike. The whole area was still in shadow so we only spent a brief moment here. Jenn was excited to get in some water, so she made her way around some early morning photographers to find a spot to splash around in. The temperature was still quite cold at that time.
“Jenn was so happy to set foot in the crisp waters of Lower Navajo Falls.”
After a short while, Jenn had her fill of playing in the water, so we continued our trek to one of the most photographed waterfalls in the United States, Havasu Falls. The hike to the falls included a series of somewhat steep descents which was fine for now, but would become a strenuous hike on the way back to the lodge.
Continuing at a good pace, the hike to Havasu falls was a mere half mile. The only time we had to stop and pull over was for the occasional photo. Once the falls came into view, it was like stepping into a real life fantasy world. The ineffable beauty of these falls warrants the title of “Most Photographed Waterfall in America”, without a doubt.
“These warning signs were scattered along the trail from Lower Navajo Falls to Havasu Falls.”
“This bridge is the first point where the main trail and Havasu Creek switch paths.”
Havasu FallsGPS Coordinates: 36.2552001° N, -112.7000617° W
Havasu Falls pours fresh, spring fed water into a beautiful aquamarine pool nearly 100 ft. (30.5 m) below. The color is so unreal and enough to make anyone crack a smile. It was like Disney’s Thunder Mountain Railroad and Typhoon Lagoon had a baby. This place has been millions of years in the making thanks to erosion by fluvial processes. The vibrant color of the waters all along the Havasu Creek system is due to the large amount of magnesium, calcium, and calcium carbonate that comes up to the surface at the source of the spring. The mineral mixture in the water produces a bright aquamarine color which is only further amplified by travertine, a highly reflective form of limestone that makes up the bottom of the creek-bed.
“This is the first view of Havasu Falls as we descend from the trail above.”
“Our faces must have been priceless when the big reveal occurred.”
The Power of Travertine
After standing in awe for a good while, we continued our hike down to the bottom of the falls. The main trail continues into the campground, but we broke off to the right and hiked down a small ridge along a cliff to access the falls. Near the last portion of the trail, there is a sign that briefly describes the process that allows for the build up of travertine that is seen all along Havasu Creek. Essentially, along with the other aforementioned minerals, Havasu Springs also ejects a significant amount of lime in the water which mineralizes rather quickly. As a matter of fact, the ever changing flow of Havasu Creek is caused by the ever changing mineralization of lime into travertine deposits. Fascinating how a fast acting mineral has the power to alter the course of Havasu Creek.
“One last descent before we reach the falls.”
“It was even more beautiful up close!”
“Jenny spared no delay and hopped right into the tropical pool of aquamarine intensity.”
“This girl was on a supremely natural high, as were we all.”
“Hell, even Rudy had to get in on the action!”
“Jenn commandeered my camera and snapped a shot of me, she’s really getting good at it!”
After enjoying most of the morning at Havasu Falls and photographing it to death, we wanted to continue on the trail to Mooney Falls. This would take us directly through the Havasu Falls Campground which stretched almost a mile in length through the canyon floor. Having enough drinking water was definitely a concern because we had consumed almost half of our available reserves by this point.
“We heard there was a place to get water at the campground, so Karin led the way in search of the water station.”
A Natural Spring Hydration Station
When we followed the signs for drinking water, we were all pleasantly surprised that the source of water was coming from an actual spring. Fern Spring is a natural source of drinking water although from what I was told, it is monitored daily for purity. If you are unsure of the quality, you can always ask one of the campground rangers about the purity of the spring water for the day. We all stocked up our water bladders and bottles just in case we ended up hiking further than Mooney Falls.
“The campground has lots of really cool bridges that cross the creek to other camp sites.”
“This place is literally a playground for adults.”
Mooney FallsGPS Coordinates: 36.2631579° N, -112.710591° W
About another mile of hiking through the Havasu Falls Campground and you finally reach the tallest waterfall along the Havasu Creek tributary, “Mooney Falls”. At 210 ft. (64 m), this waterfall is both impressive and loud as the waters of Havasu Creek come crashing down into the vibrant pool below. Mooney Falls is named after D.W. “James” Mooney, a miner in 1882 who had an interest in the minerals along the tributary. It is told that he tried to climb the falls with an injured companion strapped to his back, but as fate would have it, they both fell and died.
“The cliff edge is a vertical drop all the way to the bottom.”
It was at this point that our friend Karin decided to part ways with us. We weren’t sure if the infamous cliff descent to Mooney Falls was just an option the way it was for Havasu Falls or not, but it appeared that it was the only way to keep going. Karin was going to hang out by the creek in the campground and read a book that she brought with her while Jenn and I made our way to the rocky path leading to the steep climb down. Judging from the line of people we saw down below, it looked like there was a pretty long wait to get down. We were apprehensive because we were worried that it would take very long to get back up, but we decided to chance it anyway.
“This video captures our descent to the bottom of Mooney Falls.”
A Long Way Down
To get to the bottom of the falls, you have to navigate a series of tunnels, narrow ledges, and anchored chains which line the cliff face all the way down. There is no room for two people to pass each other along the way, so the only way to go up and down is to wait. There was a significant line of hikers all the way down and we could only move as fast as the slowest person. Fortunately, the wait was not as long as we thought as we started our way down in about 20 minutes.
The water coming down from such a height at Mooney Falls was generating a windy blast of moisture which made the last half of the climb very slippery. To ensure your safety you had to enlist at minimum “Three points of contact” at all times. Once you get near the bottom, there are a couple of rickety, wooden ladders that you have to step down and then “Boom!”, you’ve made it.
“The sign did not exaggerate the state of the situation.”
“It was our turn to navigate the narrow tunnel, it was pretty cramped in there.”
“At one point along the climb down, there was a small terrace of travertine that gave a really nice view.”
“The last half of the descent was the most dangerous because of how slippery and muddy everything was.”
Once we arrived at ground level, Jenn and I got changed into our swim wear and searched for a nice place to set our packs. We waded through the cool waters and found a nice spot away from most of the other folks. Jenn floated around on her inflatable flamingo while I navigated the creek to capture more photos and video of our surroundings.
Eventually, we moved closer to the falls and Jenn wanted to conduct a brief ‘topless’ waterfall photo shoot. Havasu Falls was beautiful, but I feel like Mooney Falls is greatly underrated. The place just screamed of “Tropical Paradise”. Even some of the photos I captured looked as though they were taken on some tropical island and not in the middle of an arid, desert canyon.
“Jenn braves the onlookers and stands topless before the powerful waterfall.”
“The lighting was pure magic and I was just as excited for the opportunity to capture it all.”
“Everything about this place makes you want to stay, but we were getting hungry.”
“The only way out is to follow a line of climbers navigating their way back up the cliff face.”
“Jenn was working on deflating her floaty pal while I got my boots back on.”
“Up, Up, And Away!”
The climb to the top of the falls was exhausting and took more energy out of us than we had anticipated. We had stayed at the falls for almost three hours. Thinking I was just in need of catching my breath at the top of Mooney Falls, I realized that something was wrong when I couldn’t recover. I was fading little by little and that’s when Jenn made the call to just stop at the campground and get something to eat. I was concerned about Karin because I didn’t want her to wait for us to hit the cafe in town because it closes at 5pm and I knew we wouldn’t make it. Jenn managed to get a signal and texted her. Karin got the message and took care of herself.
We on the other hand needed fuel “STAT!” There were three small stands that were set up and run by the local Havasupai which offered similar meal choices. Jenn and I just ordered ourselves some Navajo Tacos and some cold drinks. It was nice to take a break and for a little while there I was starting to feel a bit better.
“They served up a reasonable Navajo Taco, but considering the location, I wasn’t complaining.”
After polishing our plates, Jenn and I set off on the trail again, only my deteriorating condition did not seem to get resolved with a lunch break. I was feeling like I was going to black out and I was experiencing very strong dizzy spells. The weather was quite hot compared to yesterday’s cooler hiking experience. Jenn made a logical diagnosis and said that I am dehydrated. I started to guzzle more water, but the damage was done, not only was I simply dehydrated, I was experiencing the onset of heat exhaustion and it was getting pretty bad.
We stopped at a small clearing by the creek to take a quick break. I had to get another photo of the insanely blue water flowing by. I was torn between wanting to relax and the need to get back to the lodge. We started moving again, this time with only a mile left to reach our destination, but it felt like ten miles by this point. I was in bad trouble unless I could get myself back in time.
We ran into Karin on our return and she was heading out to Navajo Falls before the sun went down. She had already grabbed some dinner at the village cafe so she was good to go. Jenn and I pressed on and finally arrived at our room. The evening was a mixture of soreness and malaise with wonderful rounds of nausea and over heating. I was going to need a lot of rest if I was to be in any shape to hit up Havasu Falls again tomorrow. Jenn was wonderful and took care of me until I was better. “What a sweetheart!”
Sunday, April 22nd, 2018
We slept in just a little to recover from yesterday. My heat exhaustion episode seemed to have mostly pass, but I still had some lingering effects that were not unlike a mild hangover that morning. Karin and Jenn were ready to go and I was dragging, but willing. We decided to hit the village cafe for some breakfast first. The place was not terribly busy, but the line to the register took longer than normal and the average wait for your meal was about an hour. Again, it’s in an isolated canyon, so no complaints here. Besides, it was that or a granola cereal with water again…lol.
We had our breakfast out on the patio where we could watch the helicopter come and go with passengers and payload alike. It was a chance to see how it worked since we were leaning toward the flying option tomorrow morning. There were quite a lot of hikers that were lined up against the fence at the helipad and from what I was told, some were there as early as 5 AM. It was not unlike a Black Friday ordeal. Well, after about an hour, our breakfast was ready and it wasn’t half bad to say the least.
“Egg, Bacon and Cheese Muffin, Blueberry Pancakes, and an Omelette with Bacon Strips and Hashbrowns.”
Hitting The Old Dusty Trail
After a decent breakfast, we were ready to put those calories to use with another good round of hiking for the day. We started our trek a bit later than the previous days, but it was fine since today was more of a day to relax. Naturally, I don’t really know the meaning of that word so I continued on with the photo and video documentation. We headed for our first stop at Lower Navajo Falls.
“The trail is mostly shaded in the beginning, but gets exposed pretty quickly.”
“We took an occasional break from the sun. “
Lower Navajo FallsGPS Coordinates: 36.2473557° N, -112.7005018° W
We finally got a chance to experience Navajo Falls without the chill factor and more sunlight this time. The place is remarkable and the sun’s light really brought new life to the color of the water as opposed to the previous day. Karin and Jenn were playing in the water further up the creek. I on the other hand, ran down to the place which I attempted to capture the day before, but the dynamic range was too high at the time. There wasn’t a single soul to be found where I was shooting, so I took the opportunity to grab some really great footage.
“A small access trail breaks off from the main hiking trail revealing one seriously breathtaking sight!”
“The creek flows continuously through the dense vegetation as it makes it’s way to Havasu Falls.”
“Taking a dip in the beautiful, blue waters.”
“Jenn came down to see what I was up to, she became my human subject for reference at the falls.”
“The views here were nothing short of pure magic, Jenn definitely approves of this location!”
“Such beautiful splendor, we couldn’t get enough of this place!”
We started our way to Havasu Falls after playing around at Lower Navajo Falls. The weather was a bit on the hot side, but the casual pace we moved at made it a very tolerable hike. We broke off the descending trail to Havasu Falls to explore a small cactus field we had seen the day before. This is the point at which Havasu Creek dumps it’s waters a hundred feet below into the glistening pools of liquid, aquamarine heaven. It’s also one hell of a fall if you get too close to the edge so it’s best to heed the sign and admire the view from a few steps back.
“This area of the canyon has lots of Prickly Pear Cactus patches so watch where you step!”
“These are also known as ‘Nopal Cactus’ used to make ‘Nopalitos’ which are commonly sold in Mexican markets.”
“Near the cliff, there is a derelict, wooden sign that reads, Warning, keep away from edge.”
“Just to the right of the sign, a glimpse of the last section of Havasu Creek is visible before it pours over the edge.”
Havasu Falls Part Deux
Once we hiked down from the cliff above the falls, we hunted down a nice spot in the shade to set up camp and enjoy the rest of the day. Jenn brought her hammock and we zeroed in on a tree that was perfect for it. Karin laid her towel out and got comfy while she grabbed her book for a good read. Jenn was totally excited to get back into the water again, but this time there were far more people in the water than the day before. Quite possibly a result of the hotter weather. The vibe for the day was one of laziness, but a very well deserved laziness since we had accumulated more than 22 miles of hiking by this point.
“Like a waterpark in the middle of paradise, people arrived in droves to escape the beating heat of the sun.”
“Our headquarters for the afternoon was set up and ready for relaxation.”
“Jenn took the first big jump into one of the many pools of water at the bottom of the cascades.”
“I had the distinct feeling that she was trying to sprout wings…lol”
After a couple of hours at the falls, we ditched our stuff and hiked out to the campground for a much needed meal. We had a choice of the same three food vendors so we went with another vendor who had a very small baby with him (Figured we may as well help out his new family). Not wanting to leave the third vendor out of the money action, I walked over and bought a gatorade and small batch of their home made chocolate cookies for $10 bucks. They were light and delicious. Jenn and I ordered two Navajo Tacos, but Karin had to get hers from another vendor as they had just run out of ground beef at our stand.
We sat at a small, shaded table which we shared with other visitors and enjoyed our lunch together. We talked about our plans for the next day and came to the decision that we would fly out of the canyon via helicopter. The temperatures were only getting hotter in the days to come, so to spare the anguish and potential revisit of heat exhaustion, we thought the flight option was best. After we finished our lunch, we went back to our shady spot at the falls and packed our belongings so we could get back to the lodge.
“We started our way back out of Havasu Falls and took our time to avoid any incidents.”
“The hike felt a bit easier with the sun hiding beyond the tall cliffs, but it was still pretty tiring.”
This was our last day to enjoy the falls and all the places in between. We had a blast and the evidence made itself present in the form of sunburn, blisters, and sore muscles. Despite all our aches and pains, it was totally worth it and I for one, would do it again if I get the chance. For now, it was time to get back to the lodge and start packing everything we had for the following day.
Monday, April 23rd, 2018
There was no time for sleeping in today, we had to get a very early start if we were going to get a good place in line for the helicopter. Karin said that she would go stand in line at 5 AM. This gave Jenn and I time to get our stuff together so we could check out of the room and join Karin. By 7 AM we had everything including Karin’s pack, so we wandered over to the helipad serviced by Airwest. Karin had secured a good place in line for us, so we dropped our packs and went to grab a bite to eat at the village cafe. The helicopter would not arrive until 10 AM so we had some time to relax and eat while we waited.
“The cafe was out of tortillas yesterday, but today they were in stock and we ordered up some breakfast burritos!”
Everyone standing in line had to wait for the list to be presented so that we could get signed up. There are multiple sheets with room for 25 names per page. Thanks to Karin, we made the first sheet. There is also a separate sheet that takes priority over the rest of us and that is for the locals who need to fly out for any reason. Once the the list of locals is finished, only then can the rest of us fly out. The price for the helicopter service is $85 per person and cash is always king here. You can use a credit card, but there is an additional $10 fee. The guy handling the money that day was a bit of a jerk so we just avoided him after the cash was handed off.
“Our place in line was getting closer with every return flight.”
Meeting A Physicist
While waiting for our turn to fly out, I met a man named George R. Jiracek who has a mountain named after him in Antarctica (Seriously, check this out: Mount Jiracek). He and I spent two hours conversing on a sundry of topics. We talked about plate tectonics, geology, electromagnetism, astro physics, and even touched on quantum mechanics and affiliated multiverse theories. I was honored when he said that he felt like he was talking to one of his colleagues since none of what he said went over my head…lol. Hell, he even learned a few new things from me like the Alcubierre Drive that NASA is currently tinkering with. He wanted to exchange information to stay in contact, “Very Cool!”
Most people get excited to meet celebrities and I do too, however, only certain individuals far exceed that experience like my new friend, George. He’s an 80 year old physicist from San Diego State University who used to jam with Steve Miller Band and the Buzzcocks. He is currently working with a group of geophysicists to establish geothermal energy as a reliable base when solar and wind energy are not available.
“It was our turn to ‘Get to da choppa!’…lol!, George came along with us too, how awesome!”
“The last hike was to the truck down the highway and then it was time to head home.”
When our helicopter arrived at the Hilltop less than five minutes later, we shook hands with George and parted ways. The helicopter ride out of canyon was the best thing ever and was totally worth the price of admission. We were beat, but we were very happy. This had been one of the greatest adventures that I assume any one of us had participated in our lives. Jenn made this entire experience possible and I feel both grateful and indebted to her. The next venture of this scale will certainly be one of my recipes. Havasu Falls is absolutely a good one for any Bucket List, but I am far from checking that entire list off. Many more adventures to come…
Until the next travel blog, remember to get out there and “Shoot the Planet!”
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