Havasupai

Sep. 6th, 2002 09:55 pm
canyonwren: (Default)
The waterfalls are beautiful to the point of being surreal. That color can't be real, right? Those rocks don't really look like they're melting, do they? The canyon walls are pretty narrow at that point, but you almost don't notice because of the lush greenery surrounding the Havasu river. The first falls you come to is Navajo, kind of hidden away. It's hard to get there--you need to fight the brush and muck around into the water to get a clear view. The next falls are the twin beauties of Havasu Falls. This is paradise.

The falls descend into multiple, deep pools. Some of the natural dams have weepy trees growing in them which bend down and brush the water. The water is lime-saturated, which gives it an amazingly pure blue-green color, and coats the rocks with a whitish crust. After hiking down on a hot day, it was sheer bliss to pull off my boots and wade into that water. Then to dive into that water and swim. I had to wonder how painful it was for the Havasupai people to part with their privacy and open this amazing place up to tourism.

The rocks beside and behind the falls are completely covered in green moss and algae, with creeping, viney plants wandering down the wall. A large, person shaped rock halfway hidden in the shadows beside the falls looked like nothing more than a mother Earth Goddess statue. It was set back in a nook and covered with vines. It was rather hard to get to, as the water was turbelent and deep directly before it, but I managed and found that the mystery vanished with each step closer I got. I backed off and restored the illusion of a Goddess cloaked behind the falls.

The river ran down from the falls, silently and beautifully (except for the mini-waterfalls here and there) past the campground. I chose a place where I could hear the water running. Did I mention the campground was virtually empty? There was space for 200 people, but everyone was going to show up for the Labor day weekend, and I was there early.

The stars were glorious that night. I laid out on top of a picnic table and watched shooting stars for hours. I am rarely so content.

(Later: the best hike I've ever experienced.)

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Jen Kleis

November 2014

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