Friday, March 7, 2008

Havasu Falls

We arrived at the trail head first thing in the morning. One heck of a sunrise greeted us there. Gorgeous pink clouds over a rocky landscape that dropped into the canyon below us. Wow. And my camera was packed under freeze dried teriyaki and fleece pants. Oh well - I put my 33 pounds of gear (10.5 pounds of that was camera gear and tripod) onto my back and the six of us headed for the trail.

Eight rocky miles to Supai - and two more to Havasu Falls and the campground.

Spectacular.

Here's one shot I took - the only one I've had time to process. It's not even my favorite. But it gives a good view of this amazing place.
Supai is a tiny village - and the villagers aren't exactly swimming in money. There are no roads to the village. You can get there on foot, on a horse, or by helicopter. Not many jobs in the village, minimal medical care, etc. I've heard a lot of negative comments about the village from other people who have visited - and from information I've found online. There is a lot of trash around - I think stray dogs and tourists contribute - but some of the villagers are certainly part of the problem. It's not as bad as I thought it would be, though. The villagers were polite to us - they waved or smiled when we passed. They kept to themselves, but weren't rude at all.

A tourist was murdered near the village not too long ago, and I suspect that the villagers have made an effort to change their attitudes towards visitors as a result. I'd guess they are concerned about losing their major source of income if tourists stop visiting. They've hired security guards and installed composting toilets at the campsites. They're taking the problem seriously - as far as I can tell - and I'm glad to see it.

I hope visitors will act as guests here - it's a beautiful place, and it should be protected.

More to come... Navajo Falls, wet feet, a death defying climb, Mooney Falls, more wet feet, a mile of briars, two nights in a tent... and much more... including more wet feet.

8 Comments:

Blogger Justin said...

Hello Varina,

Unfortunately neither Bonnie nor I know about the area you mentioned. Sorry!

As for Havasu Falls, that place is amazing! My dad actually jumped off the top of the waterfall (off the ledge above the water) and he landed wrong and nocked his arm out of its socket!

My favorite part of the Havasu area were the Moony Falls. They were really cool! Glad you enjoyed your trip!

-Justin-

P.S. Sorry it took so long to get back to you, I've been really busy with college and scholarship stuff!

March 8, 2008 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Varina Patel said...

Thanks Justin - I guess North Canyon Wash is pretty remote. We've found a little bit of information, though, so I think we're set. We want some photographs of the area, so we'll hike down from the North Rim. We hope to get some friends to go with us. We'll camp half way down and shoot some of the surrounding area as well. It should be fun. :)

I can't believe your dad jumped from the top of Havasu Falls! There are signs all over saying they'll fine you for jumping, now. :) I guess it's pretty dangerous - as your dad found out. Wow. I'm not much of a jumper, I'm afraid. I don't like the drop. I don't mind high places, or deep water, or tough climbs - but you won't see me jumping from anything high. :)

I loved Mooney Falls, too - the climb down was fantastic. :) And the location is spectacular. I can't wait to go again.

Good luck with your college work - sounds like you have a lot to do.

Varina

March 8, 2008 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

Yeah he's one for adventure thats for sure. He's always caving and such with his young friends (when I say young I mean like 20 years younger than him haha). As for college I find out if I get into my dream school, MIT, in about 13 and a half days. They haven't released the official date but that is the estimate. I'm really excited for it because I've been waiting probably about six months for this decision and it is finally here! :D

March 8, 2008 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Shaffer said...

looks beautiful.

March 8, 2008 at 6:50 PM  
Blogger Varina Patel said...

Thanks, Shaffer. :) It's an awesome spot. See you guys next weekend!

Varina

March 8, 2008 at 6:57 PM  
Blogger Varina Patel said...

It must have been fun growing up with a Dad like that. :)

And good luck, Justin. I hope you get in to MIT! It's a darn good school. We'll keep our fingers crossed for you! Let us know what happens!

Varina

March 8, 2008 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

Hello again,

Well I applied to MIT Early Action and was deffered (December 15th). Regular Action decisions were on March 15th and unfortunately I was not accepted :(. I am sad that I didn't get in, but the experience that I went through in applying is one I wouldn't give up for anything. I plan to apply there again, whether for undergraduate or graduate I haven't decided yet. I really love that school and I guess we'll see whats in store!
I do have plenty of backup schools that I have been accepted to as well, MIT was just my #1 choice.

Talk to you later,

-Justin-

March 22, 2008 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger Varina Patel said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you didn't get in, Justin. I have to say, though - I love your attitude about it. I understand your disappointment, but the fact that you intend to try again... and beyond that... that you can appreciate the experience in spite of the outcome, is very impressive. An attitude like that will take you a whole lot further than any education you'll ever receive. I'm glad to hear that you have other options for school. Good luck - and thanks for letting us know how it went.

Varina

March 22, 2008 at 4:20 PM  

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