Kenric.net

My vacation website

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Iceland 2011

I took a trip to Iceland in September 2011 with Bill and Michelle. It was a quick week long tour that brought us to see pretty much every site on the southern portion of Iceland.

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Machu Picchu 2011

In May 2011, I did a 4 day 3 night hike on the Inca Trail totaling 24 miles in Cusco, Peru. Below is my video from the hike.

This is the classic picture of Machu Picchu taken from the trail on the way to the Sun Gate.

This was a short one week trip. We flew from Miami to Lima to Cusco. From Cusco, we rode a bus for 2 hours to get to the trailhead and began hiking on Day 1. We got to camp around 3:30pm at the Llulluchapmampa camp site. On Day 2 we hiked over Dead Woman’s Pass and camped. On Day 3 we hiked to Winay Wayna and camped our final night. On Day 4 we began our hike at 5:30am and reach Machu Picchu around 8am.

Here is a great flash movie showing the itinerary on the trip.
http://www.andeantravelweb.com/peru/treks/inca-trail-to-machu-picchu-movie.html

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Havasupai 2010

My second time going to Havasupai to visit the falls.  I went there back in 2008 (Hiking and Camping in Havasupai) and it was a great time.  However in four months later in August 2008 there was a major flood in the canyon which changed the landscape of the waterfalls.  Here are some great pictures of it during that time (www.havasupaiflood.com).  This caused the campground to be shut down for the spring of 2009.

I was anxious to go back and see how things have changed.  Instead of going through the daily routines and activities.  I’m just going to be posting photos with little excerpts and stories.  This will be probably alot more interesting than hearing our itinerary.

Photo 1: Starting our 10 mile hike from the Hualapai Hilltop.  This is where we rent our horse to carry our heavy stuff.  One horse can carry up to 130 lbs worth of stuff.  That way we only have to carry 15 lbs in our packs.

Photo 2: After hiking 8 miles and passing the town of Supai, we begin to hike next to the Havasu Creek.  Eventually the area opens up and we saw our first waterfall.  This is the new unnamed waterfall that was created during the flood.  Navajo Falls used to be just upstream of here.  I don’t believe they have named it yet.

Photo 3: Another 1 mile of hiking and we reached Havasu Falls.  It is now only a single waterfall where in the past there were two.  Havasu Falls is just upstream of the campground.


Photo 4: We arrived at the campground around 4pm and find a good campsite.  Campground permits are tough to get, but even if you get them the campground spots are a free for all, so you don’t want to get there too late.

Video: The next day we are hiking to Beaver Falls.  It is about a 3 mile hike down stream.  We will hike past Mooney Falls which is a 200 foot waterfall.  We approach Mooney from the top and will have to descend to get to its bottom.

Photo 5: After Mooney Falls, we hike towards Beaver Falls.  The landscape is very different post flood.  The creek is very shallow and we are able to hike down the middle of it in some places.

Photo 6: Chikara decided to do the rope swing.  This is the same swing that I did in 2008, but the water is so shallow now that you can only land in a small spot.  The blue area on the left side is the deep end.  Look at the difference in color from this photo before the flood (kenricswing.jpg)

Photo 7: We arrived at the top of Beaver Falls.  The water is much bluer and deeper.  Next time we will make it to the Colorado River.

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Mt. Kilimanjaro 2010

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January 2010

Day 1

My trip began with a 30 hour total plane ride from Phoenix, AZ to Minnesota to Amsterdam and finally to Tanzania, Africa.  This was my first trip out of the country in over 10 years.  I decided not to get any of the recommended vaccinations, but I did bring pills for Malaria, some antibiotics and Diamox for altitude sickness.

I was doing the 8 day Shira Route.  8 days and 7 nights on the mountain would seem like a long time but we needed these days to help us acclimatized to the altitude.  Our hiking days would be relatively short and probably somewhat easy… if you didn’t get altitude sickness.

I stepped off the plane and immediately felt the hot humid African air.  The airport in Arusha is the smallest airport I’ve ever been to.  After waiting an hour to get my visa I found my ride along with 4 others who were making the same trek as me.  The roads in Tanzania are very dim.  Cars have no lights on and there are huge speed bumps everywhere.   We arrived at Iboru Safari Lodge around midnight and checked in.

Our lead guide and our guides.  They called themselves the Dream Team. I called them New Edition

Day 2

I spent the second day walking into Arusha from the lodge.  I had no agenda, there was nothing planned for the day so I just wandered about.  The locals came and talked to me and tried to get me to go to the market or offered to find items for me.  But I wasn’t in the buying mood today.  I figured I probably walked a good 5 miles that day just wandering about.

We had our orientation meeting at 4:30pm where we met our lead guide, Obote.  He told us what to expect during the next 8 days and also gave us our rental gear.  We also met almost everyone in our treking group.  There were 12 of us total and it was a very diverse group.  We had 5 from the USA, 3 from Australia, 2 from the Netherlands and 2 from Ireland.

Our first view of Kilimanjaro.  It looks far and would remain that way for the next 5 days.  We never seem to get closer to it.

Day 3

Today was our first day on the mountain.  We drove from Arusha to the entrance of the park.  We had to sign in at the gate.  I snapped a photo of Jessica Biel’s sig. as she and her group had climbed this route 7 days before us.  It was noon when we finally got to the beginning of the trailhead.  It was here that we met our entire support group.  There were 49 total people, 1 cook, 1 lead guide, 5 assistant guides, 33 porters and 9 helping porters.  After eating a box lunch we began our slow walk towards Kilimanjaro.  Pole Pole (pronounced po-le po-le) means slow slow in Swahili.  It was continous uttered throughout the climb.

We reached our first camp around 5pm.  Dinner was served in a mess tent.  Our first mountain meal consisted of fried talapia, potatoes, spinach and zucchini soup.  It was a pretty good meal.  We were at about 11,600 feet.

Atop of Shira Cathedral.  Reminded me of the floating islands in Avatar

Day 4

I didn’t get a good sleep my first night on the mountain.  I went to the bathroom 4 times.  Because of the altitude, we are all told to drink alot of water and stay hydrated.  Because of this, everyone is constantly waking up and going to the bathroom at night.  At 6am the assistant guide knocks on your tent and asks you how your night was, how you feel and what you would like to drink.  I tell him and he comes back a minute later with hot tea.  Then they bring you a pan of warm water so you can wash your face.  At 7am, it’s breakfast time which was eggs, bacon, tomatoes, porridge and bananas.

While we are eating, the porters pack up our tents and the rest of camp.  Once we are done with breakfast, we grab our daypacks and begin our day’s hike.  Today, we hiked to Shira Cathedral which is high into the clouds.  At the top I began to feel slight altitude sickness.  On the way down, we had some slight rain but luckily it was the only rain we came across during the entire trip.  We ended the day at Shira 2 at  about 12,500 feet.  This is the highest I’ve ever been in my life.  And I would be saying that every day for the next 5 days!

Early morning on Mt. Kilimanjaro.  It’s very cold and even our tents are frowning.

Day 5

I woke up with a headache and decided to begin taking Diamox for altitude sickness.  Today we hiked from Shira 2 to Moir Hut.  A side excursion took us to Lent Hills which is at 14,400 feet.  I was feeling pretty bad during this hike, but unlike regular sickness, resting doesn’t really help.  The only cure is to descend.  But I knew that I needed to go up if I was to have any chance to make the summit.  Basically, each of these days is all just altitude training for the final day.  A couple guys on the trip had paid for personal oxygen systems.  They each had 2 cannisters of oxygen for the trip.  They used one cannister today going up Lent Hills so that they could get used to how it worked.  We spent the night at Moir Hut, elevation 13,670 feet.

The view from the top of Lent Hill looking down at our campsite and the yellow tents

Day 6

Today we went from Moir Hut to Lava Tower which was 15,200 feet. It was about a 3 hour hike and we were camping right below Lava Tower.  I was feeling a little better today and decided to climb up Lava Tower, which was optional.  After Lava Tower, we all did the hike to Arrow Glacier.  I wasn’t feeling that great going up this hike and wanted to turn around many times, but the voice inside my head kept saying, “this is good for you.”  I knew it was right.

To add insult to injury, my stomach decided that it didn’t like the food anymore.  After 4 days of the same mountain food, I couldn’t blame it.  At this point I was on way too many pills.  I was taking the Malaria pill, diamox for altitude sickness and an antibiotic for my stomach.  Who knew which one might have been causing it.

The hike back down from Arrow Glacier.  Lava Tower is the big rock in front of us.  You can see our tents to the right of it.

My video of my Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb

Day 7

This was going to be our toughest day yet.  I woke up feeling pretty good.  I was worried that I wouldn’t have the energy to do this hike, but my headache seemed to have faded.  My stomach still wasn’t feeling great and I had a small breakfast.  I decided to stop all pills except the diamox too.

The hike from Lava Tower to Karanga would take us down and up two valleys and the Barranca Wall.  This wall looks very intimidating from far away and doesn’t look much better when you are under it.  Many of the people in our group who had not shown any signs of altitude sickness had trouble today.  Luckily, I had a pretty good day.  Climbing the Barranca Wall wasn’t that bad.  It was probably because in Phoenix we do tougher scrambles on almost every hike we go on.

We arrived at Karanga after a real long day of hiking.  The camp at Karanga is sloped and nobody’s tent was level.  It was probably the worse campsite we had so far.  This didn’t matter much to me as I was not getting much sleep anyway.  By now, everyone is tired of hiking and anxious to get to the summit.

This is the start of the Barranca Wall.  It’s gonna be a long day.

Day 8

Karanga to Barafu, our final campsite before the summit hike.  I don’t remember much from this hike except that I couldn’t wait to get there.  We arrived at Barafu at noon and signed in.  There were selling cans of Coke there so i bought for $4.00.  I expected it to be the best Coke I’ve ever had but was greatly disappointed.  It had to be the altitude.  Barafu is at 15,200 feet and it felt like all the fizz escaped the Coke real fast.

I took a nap at 2pm and woke up to eat dinner at 6pm.  Then we all tried to sleep again before our 1am summit attempt.  Our summit hike begins at 1am and if everything goes right, we should get to the top at about 7-8am.  The next day was going to be a real long day.

Snow starts to fall the day before our summit hike

Day 9

At 1am we woke up and started our hike to the top.  It was very slow going in the dark.  You basically looked at the feet of the person in front of you.  About 1 hour into it I was feeling real tired and had to rest a few times.  They tell you not to look up, because you don’t want to know how much further you have to go.  This last day you are going from 15,200 to 19,340 feet, a 4,000 feet elevation change!

At around 4am I almost kept falling asleep on my trekking poles.  It was a very tough hike.  I wasn’t feeling any altitude sickness symptoms, I was just tired.  But I just kept trudging along, staring at the feet in front of me.  What was interesting was that most of the younger hikers had issues on this day and the older ones did not.  Younger meaning under 40 years old!  The sun came up around 6am and it definitely changed my mood.  I was no longer sleepy but I was still tired.

At about 7am I had to give my backpack to one of the guides to carry.  I probably could have made it up with it, but why take the chance when he’s there to help you?  I made it to Stella Point at 7:30am.  We gave each other a bunch of high fives and took a 10 minute rest.  We were lucky because it was sunny and clear and probably around 20 degrees.  20 degrees on top of Kilimanjaro is really warm!

Stella Point isn’t the top top, we had another hour to go to reach the Uhuru Peak.  At 8:30am I finally made it there, 19,340 feet, probably the highest point I’ll ever be in my life.  It was suprising desolate, usually there are tons of people all trying to take a picture of the sign, but there I was by myself at the top for a good 20 minutes.  The rest of my group had already started to head down.

Hiking back down towards basecamp.  Time to sleep and then hike another 4 hours down.

Too bad the day isn’t over.  We all still had to hike down to camp.  Once I got to camp a few of us talked for a bit, but most of the people just crashed in their tents.  I had a great 4 hour nap.  Our day still wasn’t over.  We had to hike another 4 hours further down to Millenium Camp at 12,600 feet.

So in one day I went from 15,200 to 19,340 and down to 12,600, a total elevation change of almost 11,000 feet.  Did I mention that my feet were killing me!  Also, it felt odd that at 12,600 feet we all thought that there was sooo much oxygen in the air.

Next up was a nice relaxing safari.

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The Wave 2009

I call this trip The Wave 2009 because it was the highlight of this trip.  We packed alot of sightseeing and hiking into a 36 hour period.  We went to four destinations in which 3 are considered the most photographed in the world.  Now that may be an exaggeration but after visiting them I can see why each would draw photographers to shoot them.

Horseshoe Bend

We left Phoenix at 6:30am and headed to Page, AZ which was a 4.5 hour drive.  About 3 miles before Page, we arrived at Horseshoe Bend.  I’m sure many of you have seen a photograph of this and just didn’t know what it was called.  Unfortunately you need a wide angle lens to capture the entire bend in one shot.  The shot below was the best that I could do with my 18mm lens.  This viewpoint is a short 3/4 mile hike from the parking lot.  No big deal.  This was considered one of those, we’re driving right by it, we might as well stop and take a look.

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Antelope Canyon

The next stop was Antelope Canyon.  Antelope Canyon is also a famous photographer’s spot.  Known for its sunbeams and rich colors its a very popular tourist destination.  Even Britney Spears did a video inside Antelope Canyon.  You also cannot visit the upper region without a tour guide.  Our tour cost $32 and was about 1.5 hours.  Because everybody, including us wants to see the canyon when the sun rays coming straight down into it, going at noon is super crowded.  The tour guides do a good job of crowd control so you can take photos with no people in them.

We paid our $32 and hopped onto the rear of a pickup truck.  They drove us about 5 miles on a sandy road to the entrance of the canyon.  There were probably 20 other trucks there as we parked.  As soon as you get there you realize why its so popular.  It’s really hard to screw up a photo in the canyon.  It was very crowded at the entrance and it felt very unnatural.  Something about waiting in line while inside a canyon doesn’t feel right.

The tour guide would clear people out of the way so you could get a good photograph.  He would also tell you where to put your camera and what shots to take.  He would also throw sand into the sunbeams so that they would show in the photos.  If I had to do it again, I would go to Lower Antelope Canyon.  It’s less crowded and you don’t need a tour guide to get in.

This picture below the guide called, Monument Valley.  This was shot looking straight up.

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The Wave

The next stop was the Wave.  This is a little known but very popular destination.  The BLM gives out only 20 permits a day, 10 are given in advance and 10 the day before.  I applied for the lottery on April 1st and was lucky enough to get 4 permits for August 1st.  The wave is located just south of the Utah border in Arizona.  It is about 45 miles from Page, AZ and requires about 10 miles of dirt road driving.

We arrived at the Wire Pass Trailhead at 4:00pm.  The hike to the Wave is 2.9 miles and has very little elevation gain.  It’s easy to get lost going there but we had a map, longitude and latitude coordinates and photographs of the terrain.  The hike itself is very scenic.  About a mile into the hike you come to the signin box for the wave hike.  The first part of the hike is on a sandy trail in a green brush field.  There is a ridge that you have to hike over and once over the ridge the scenery dramatically changes to rock formations and rocks everywhere.  It really looks like you’re in another world.

Before the ridge

Once over the ridge

About 1/2 mile from the Wave it started to rain.  I had flashbacks of our mountain biking trips because the rain water was cold.  It wasn’t the warm Phoenix rain we normally get.  Middle of nowhere, rain turning into hail, no warm clothes…  The rain was intermittent and it really changed the landscape colors.

You can see the wave from a few hundred feet away.  That’s when you begin to see it’s features.  It really is beautiful and unbelievable.  The fact that you are the only ones there also is great.  It was totally opposite of Antelope Canyon.  We stayed for about one hour just snapping pictures.  The wave is not very large, but moving a few feet in any direction changes its look.  Even laying down and tilting your head sideways makes it look totally different.  It was like being in a fun house.

Entrance to The Wave

We didn’t get to see the Second Wave.  We were told it was far, but when I got back I did some research only to find that it was 300 yards west.  While we were at the Antelope Canyon tour office they had some photos of waffle shaped rock formations that are supposedly at the Second Wave.  I haven’t been able to find any mention of them online.

We left the wave and hiked it back to the car in an hour.  We arrived at sunset and headed off to Zion National Park.  Yes its still the same day!

Zion National Park

We forgot that going from Arizona to Utah is a timezone change even though we just went straight north.  We lost an hour which sucked because it meant that we would have one less hour of sleep tonight.  The plan was to wake up and hike the Narrows, come back to the room and shower and then checkout and leave.

I didn’t get to sleep until 1:30am because I was busy uploading wave pics to Facebook.  I set my alarm for 6:30am.  Of course, the alarm did not go off.  We all woke up at 7:30am and got breakfast at Zion Lodge.  Since we had a late start, we would have to shorted our Narrows hike time.  We hopped on the shuttle bus and arrive at the Temple of Sinawava at 9:15am.  It was actually a cool morning for August at Zion.  I had a thin fleece jacket on in the morning.  The narrows trail starts as an easy paved trail for about a mile.  It ends at a drop in point where you will get wet if you go any further.

narrows drop in

The water was clear but fairly cold today.  The last time I went to the Narrows, the water was muddy and warm.  This time I brought trekking poles which made hiking in the water much easier.  As we hiked in the water got deeper.  It was much deeper than last time.  Jessica wasn’t too happy about this since I told her that the water would come to her knees.  There was a spot where we watched a 6’2″ guy cross with water to his waist.  I really thought that this was our turn around spot as it would have been 2 vs 2 if put to a vote.  But Chikara wanted to go forward.  So she trudged on holding her camera and shoes up high.

chikwater

In our hiking democracy, this made the vote 3 to 1 against Jessica so she begrudgingly hiked into the waist deeper water.  Once past this point, the water was shallow again.  We reached Mystery Falls and snapped some photos and moved on.

Because we got a late start.  We were unable to get very far in the Narrows.  We had to turn around and check out by noon, so at 11am we turned around and headed back.  We got back to our room at noon and changed into dry clothes.  Nobody took showers, so we could have just checked out and hiked the Narrows without time constraints.  Oh well, live and learn.  I still haven’t made it to Orderville Canyon in the Narrows.  The third time’s a charm.

We began our 390 mile journey home.  We stopped in Kanab, UT for some lunch at Grandma Tina’s Cafe.   Someone who will remain nameless ummm let’s say stressed the toilet.  The lunch was “meh” which is being nice.   The rest of our drive was uneventful.  We got home around 7pm on Sunday.  It was a very long 37 hours but well worth it.

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Hawaii 2009

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My cousin was getting married in Hawaii 2009 so we decided to make it a family trip. We flew in on the Friday before the wedding and planned to stay for 7 days.  The wedding was in Maui in the town of Kihei.

The first few days we stayed near Kihei for the wedding.  We didn’t do much except swim in the pool at the resort and hang out at the beach.  Notice, I consider that kind of stuff not doing much.  I’m used to the vacations where I come home dead tired every night from hiking or biking.

The day after the wedding we left Kihei and headed to Hana.  We drove the Hana Highway out to Hana and stopped at various mile markers on the way to hike to waterfalls.  Unfortunately, a bridge on the road to the Seven Sacred Pools was under construction so we weren’t able to see them.  We rented a small cottage in Hana and stayed there for two nights.

The 2nd day in Hana we went kayaking to a small cove and did some snorkeling.  Having had a business selling reef fish and corals many years ago, I am able to identify most of the fish I see in the ocean.  I was able to see some of my favorite reef fish and follow them for a while.  I saw many Naso Tangs and the Hawaiian state fish the Humu Humu Trigger.

On the third day we drove to Haleakala National Park where we did a short hike on the the skyline trail and then a longer hike on the Sliding Sands Trail.  I went to the Ka Luu ok a Oo Crater.  Kevin hiked to Paliku campground and stayed overnight.

On the fourth day, my dad and I went to the Maui Ocean Center.  It’s a decent aquarium but lacked variety because the center contained only fish that were local to Hawaii.  Water is pumped in from the ocean but is still filtered.  After staying in the aquarium about 1 hour we left to go back to Haleakala National Park to pick up Kevin.

On the fifth day we said goodbye to Hawaii.

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Hiking in Sedona – Arches

This was a short day trip that I went on with my friend Audrey who was also my personal trainer. We decided to hit a couple short hikes. The theme of the day seemed to be arches.

Interesting story… While we were buying our day pass at a trailhead parking lot I started talking with this lady from California. I asked her what trail she was doing, she said Fay’s Canyon. Well, that was the same trail that we were doing. She told us that its her favorite trail and that every time she comes for California she hikes it. She’s been there 3-4 times already. She describes this incredible view at the end of the hike.

We part ways and eventually start hiking Fay’s Canyon trail. We don’t see the lady or the car. We hike to the end and we can’t seem to find this “view” that she was talking about. After a looking for ten minutes we decide to give up and head back. On the way back we see the lady walking up the trail. Great, we can ask her how to get to this magnificent view.

We walk up to her and before we can say anything she says, “It this Fay’s Canyon?” LOL

Anyway, we find the arch at Fay’s Canyon and climb to the top of it. Then we head to Devil’s Bridge Arch and climb atop it. The last arch to do was Vultee’s Arch but we never got a chance to do it. Next time…

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Orange County Adventure Race 2008

Eddy and I decided to enter the 1st ever Orange County Adventure Race since it was only 15 minutes away from Eddy’s house.  As usual, we never train or prepare for these things.  We figure that we are in such awesome shape that these races are nothing!   This race consists of 1 mile of paddling, 5-6 miles of mountain biking and a 3-4 mile run.

So as usual, the night before we are running around trying to find an inflatable boat and some life vests.

The race started with a 1 mile run to three checkpoints.  At each checkpoint we had to pick up some parts that would be used to make our boat paddles.  Once back at the staging area, we put together the paddles with tie wraps and duct tape and pumped up the boat.

The boating part would have been easy if, we could paddle straight and we knew where we were going.

When we hopped into the lake we counted about 40 boats in front of us so we figured we were in the middle of the pack.  When we exited the lake we only counted 15 or so boats behind us.

The next activity was a short obstacle course and a 6′ wall to hop over.  Then it was off to the mountain biking section.  The biking section was fairly easy it was half on dirt and half on pavement.  We really couldn’t catch or pull ahead of any bikers because it was mainly flat.

Lastly the running section came.  We usually call this, the walking section.  I think we lost probably another 10 places here with our very slow jog rate.

Our final result was 2:45 which put us around 29th place out of 40 or so 2 person teams.

 

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Hiking and Camping in Havasupai

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I have always wanted to go see Havasu Falls ever since I saw pictures of it when I first moved to Arizona. Getting to Havasu Falls is not exactly an easy feat. It’s a 5 hour drive from Phoenix just to get to the parking or drop in area. From there its a 10 mile hike down into the canyon to the campground. In addition the permits at the campground are very limited and the campground is frequently booked many many months in advance. So when I saw that Scottsdale Community College had a class trip to Havasu Falls, I immediately signed up.

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April 17th

There were 19 people going on this trip. We had one hour orientation a few weeks prior. Dave, the trip leader told us what to expect and showed us some of the essentials to bring. There was an option of hiring a horse to carry our packs from the parking lot to the campground and back. A few of us took advantage of this. Financially speaking, this class is a bargain. The total cost of the class was $225.00. This included transportation to the trailhead, all permits and park fees, one night at a hotel and more importantly a guide/teacher. There is a campground fee of $17 per night, entrance fee of $35 and an environmental fee of $5. The total cost to stay in Havasu was $83 each. The hotel would have cost around $75. Gas for me to drive the 260 miles twice would be $100. So if I was to make this trip myself, it would have cost me $258!We left on Thursday night in 2 large vans and made the 3 hour drive to Williams, AZ where we stayed overnight at a hotel.

April 18th

The next morning everyone got up early and Geoff realized that he forgot to pack his shoes. We spent some time in Seligman looking for a store that sold shoes. Unfortunately, the only thing he found was some moccassins. Luckily, trip leader Dave brought a pair of gym shoes that fit Geoff. We arrived at the very crowded parking area around 10am. Four of us had hired a horse to carry our bags, I dropped off my duffle amongst the throngs of bags and horses. After taking our class photo we all headed down the trail at our own pace at 10:30am.

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The first part of the hike consisted of a bunch of switchbacks. The trail quickly dropped about 1000 feet in 1.5 miles. The next 6.5 miles was a gradual 500ft descent. We stopped for a quick lunch at the 3.5 miles mark and then headed to Supai, AZ. Supai, AZ is a small town with a population of about 500. It is also the most remote town in the lower 48 states, and the only way to get to it is to hike, ride a mule, or take a helicopter. The hike to Supai was 8 miles. We arrived at Supai around 2:30pm. Because Supai is currently the only town in the United States where mail is still carried out by mules, I wanted to send out a postcard from the town. Suprisingly, it arrive at my home in just 4 days!

Of course, every small town needs a full court basketball court. So by the transitive property, this has to be the most remote full court basketball court in the lower 48 states!  On the right is an actual photo of my bag our horse/mule passed us.

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About 1 mile after hiking through town, you begin to hear the rushing water of the river.  Then you see the river and its unbelievable blue turquoise water. The first glimpse you get of Havasu falls is really breath taking.

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You actually hike over the top of the falls and the down the sides. After staring and snapping a few photos of the falls from all angles. We hiked down to the campground where our horse carried bags were waiting for us at the entrance. The campground was pretty crowded and I have to say that the portable toilets were probably the worse I’ve ever seen. It sucks to be a woman at this campsite. I set up camp, cooked a great Mac & Cheese and SPAM dinner, chatted with everyone for a while and went to sleep.

April 19th

Today we planned to venture to Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls. Mooney Falls is a short 1 mile hike and Beaver Falls another 3 after that. Not much to say about the hike, I’ll let the pictures do the talking. You get to Mooney Falls from the top. Here is your first view of it.

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From there you descend down into a few short caverns and rock faces. There are a few chains and a make shift ladder to help you get down.

The next two photos below were taken by Geoff of Geoff Reed Photography.

mooney falls

mooney falls

 After spending some time at Mooney Falls, we continued to hike towards Beaver Falls. (Photo by Geoff Reed)

Along the way we found a nice rope swing.  I had a great cheering section.

This video is my second attempt as I fell flat on my butt on my first try.

We continued to hike to Beaver Falls but the hike took slightly longer than we thought so we only hiked to the top of if.  After reaching the top we turned around and hiked back to camp.  Later on, I went to the bottom of Havasu Falls to take some pictures.

April 20th

The next morning I woke up around 5:30am, cooked breakfast, packed up camp and left for the trail around 7:30am.  Along the way, we dropped off our bags for the horse to pick up.  Luckily it was a breezy cool day so the hike back up the canyon wasn’t too difficult.

Our two vans left the parking lot around 3:00pm.  After about an hour of driving, our second van was very low on gas.  Since we filled up each van at the same time they should both have had the same amount of gas.  We figured that someone must have siphoned out the gas on the second van.  We had to go into Williams, AZ and buy a gas can to fill up the other van.  After a quick stop at A&W to get some burgers, we headed back to Scottsdale.  It was a great trip.

Here are more photos.  Photos marked (GR) were taken by Geoff.  To see Geoff’s collection of Havasu photos, please visit his website.

Before the descent (GR)
Shower at Mooney Falls
So blue and green in the desert (GR)
Crossing the blue river (GR)
Under the shower fall (GR)
Our colorful group (GR)
On the way to Beaver Falls (GR)
Mooney Falls (GR)
I found my stick! (GR)
Descent to Mooney
Walking into the falls
Mooney from afar
Mooney from the climb
From the 10 mile hike
Havasu falls
Havasu falls

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Hiking in Zion National Park 2007 – Angel’s Landing

Angel’s Landing is the polar opposite of The Narrows.  This is a strenuous hike that has an elevation gain of about 1400 ft.  To get to this trail, you take the Zion shuttle to The Grotto.  From there you cross the shuttle road and began your long hike to Angel’s Landing.  Here is a good topo and elevation map of the hike.

The first portion of the hike is paved.  The hike continues along a decent grade which can get pretty steep at times.  Overall, it’s basically walking on an uphill ramp for an hour.  The next portion is called Walter’s Wiggles.  This is a section of short and steep switchbacks.  This is a picture looking down from the top of it.

Once you get to the top of the wiggles, you’ve come to Scout’s Lookout.  From here you can see the first set of chains and the beginning of Angel’s Landing.

Most people can climb the first set of chains with no hesitation.  It’s the second set that has a steep drop-off to the right.  Many people stop here and think about if they really want to do the rest of the hike.

 

Once you get past those chains you will see the entire spine of Angel’s Landing.  Believe me, it looks very high and far away.  This is another point where many hikers stop and think.  A decent percentage go no further than this point.

A close up look at hikers on the spine.

Then once you get to the top you are rewarded with a spectacular view!

More pictures below…

Putting down the cell phone

Scouts Lookout

View at the top

Friendly chipmunk

Right before Walter’s Wiggles

Grotto trailhead

Angel’s Landing from ground level

Angel’s chains

Angel’s spine

It’s a steep drop

Traffic jam

The final chain

It’s a steep drop

Climbing the spine

Climbing the chains

Another chain picture

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