Havasupai Thrills - My Family Travels

“I’ve done it before, I can do it again. Easy!”  Never before in my life have I been so utterly proved wrong by my own self. The last time I hiked the eleven miles through the Grand Canyon, I had nothing but a much too heavy pack of items destined to never be used and buckets of water, later ending up in gaseous form, leaving behind a thick layer of salt on my clothes. I was years younger and decades wiser; taking my time, picking my path, breaking as needed. These were the genius qualities that the testosterone pushed aside as I matched, then overcame my fellow hikers in the dead heat of day.

Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship

Not only had the entire trek been changed due to the immense flood that came crashing down, along the trail, through Havasupai Village, and into our campground, but it made the terrain much worse for wear and the endless depth of the waters to become severely, painfully shallow. Thank goodness for leaving out the mundane equipment I no longer needed, as my feet were torn to bits after the first two days of the trip. The flip-flops, accidently packed in place of sandals, snapped in half while hiking through the waters, leaving my poor feet with no protection for days as boots were unreasonable for the conditions while camping by the falls.

After bravely waiting for a century to build up enough courage to leap off of the forty foot waterfall, my eyes clamped shut and my scream echoed throughout the canyon as I rocketed down into the water. We had decided to test out the new waterfalls that had been carved since our last visit, and had hastily sent the most reckless boys ahead to test the waters. Once it was deemed safe, I had decided to throw myself over the edge and ended up with an embarrassing home video detailing my terror, shown through the beautiful, shrill screech. Upon climbing out, I once again regretted the loss of my insanely comfortable flip-flops as my feet grated along the rocks.

Thrills of death defying experiences can only be matched by thrills of rarity. The Moon had just nestled comfortably into position overhead, glittering her light down upon the sleeping canyon, the living succumbing to her spell of slumber. One particular usurper, however, had decided to cast away the moon’s loving grace and to fill the night with an unforeseen terror. CRASH! The noise was thunder multiplied; Sonic boom itself shied from the sheer volume. An ancient Tree, a being beyond time, wielding the strength to resist a tumultuous flood, had dealt a terrible blow and, in the process, received the same. He had built up a limb that was greater than his own base, wider and heavier than should be possible, as if planning for a battle of the century. His celestial strength had become his own weakness, however, as he was forced to release all of his mighty strength in that one instant, tearing his own limb from his body and thrusting it to the ground, right on the main pathway, missing, only by a leaf’s distance, one who had yielded to Moon’s allure.

On the hike out, we were filled with memories and were beyond happy to have eaten most of the weight from our packs. This hike ended in a sprint to the finish, smiles upon every adventurer, and accomplishment begging to be rewarded with food and a recovering rest. The leaders began the drive homeward bound, as the rest of us fell once more into the arms of the Moon.

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