After the fun of the previous couple of days, the majority of the reporters and other peeps had to head back home in order to get back to their lives in the real world. However, for the OmniTen and a few others, the fun had only begun! We were heading into the Grand Canyon!
Sunday morning dawned wicked bright and early…like we had a meetup time of 5am! Now, we all know that I am an early morning person, but this was even a bit too early for me to get motivated. Once we got on the bus, this may or may not have happened:
Luckily, Jon is a great guy and gave me permission ahead of time to use him as a crash pad 🙂
We arrived at Hualapai Hilltop on the south rim of the Grand Canyon around 10:30am. Ideal time for hiking into a desert environment, right?! HAHAHAHA. I make myself laugh! The temps were damn near 100 degrees and definitely just went up as the day went on, but we didn’t mind. It was roughly an 8 mile hike to Supai village, followed by another 2 easy miles to our campground. The first mile of the hike was the steepest as the elevation dropped 1,000 feet. Naturally, this wasn’t a big deal coming into the canyon… but I know everyone was considering how it would feel on the way back out!
That lone tree in the center of the photo is a survivor! It survived the floods in 2008 and still remains upright!
I really took my time and enjoyed the hike in. I’ve done the Grand Canyon hike a few times, and even completed the rim-to-river day hike back in 2004 (Please note: park officials DO NOT recommend that you do the rim-to-river hike as the majority of people are choppered out with medical emergencies such as severe heat exhaustion. In short, I once again did a stupid thing that worked out okay!)
The view on the hike in
Jon and me mid-way through the hike
This was the perfect chance for me to legitimately try out the OmniFreeze Zero clothing, and once again, the clothes shined! I really liked the shirt and although it got absolutely filthy because of its white color combined with the red dirt, I enjoyed the way it felt against my skin. The fabric is super soft and even though I had short sleeves on, I didn’t feel like I was suffocating in the triple-digit temps. Was it still freaking hot? Hell yes. But….I daresay that the shirt (and that beloved hat!) made the weather more tolerable!
We all neared the campground at roughly the same time, and our guide Brian from Arizona Outback Adventures gathered us around to take in a beautiful view. Want to see the stunning view, too?!
As if this stunning sight wasn’t enough to mentally hydrate even the most hot and dusty trekker, we then rounded the bend to see the main attraction of the area: Havasu Falls.
Could that water be any more beautiful? I think not! We spent an hour splashing around in the water, cleaning off the dirt from the day and enjoying the refreshing temperatures against our skin. After we had sufficiently recovered from the 10-mile sweatfest, Brian took us to our home for the next two nights.
Y’all, I’ll be honest: I was wicked unsure about completing this trek with a guide and company (not that I had a choice, I’m simply saying!) After all, I usually do it all myself, and it seemed very bizarre to have someone else set up my tent and cook my meals. However, AOA was awesome and really did a wonderful job. When we arrived at camp, the tents were ready and waiting and the kitchen was working in overdrive in order to produce us a wonderful dinner. In short, it was awesome and I could definitely get used to this type of treatment next time I am at 14,000 feet! 🙂
The rest of the evening was spent hanging out and relaxing. However, I truly was not tired (I think I had a serious advantage because I live at such a high elevation!) so I wanted to do some exploring. Jon and I found some miner caves and spent some time tunneling back into the mountain.
Yes, I’ll admit that it got a little scary as we went further back into the tunnel. I may or may not have made Jon go ahead of me and he is more than likely NEVER going to let me live that down!
Ok, I know it gets really annoying when bloggers do recaps of trips and they drag on for dayyyyyyyyyyys at a time. I was really trying not to be that person, but it turns out that I am 🙂 I swear, tomorrow will be my last post regarding my Columbia trip, and then I’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming. Thanks, y’all!
PS If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for an entry to the Colorado Dirty Dash!
How was your weekend? What did you do?
How do you feel about backpacking or long hikes (double digits) where you have to carry a large backpack?
Have you ever used a guide before?
Prior to this trip, I had only used guides in South America where it is suggested by local custom, if not law. Sometimes it was not required, but the locals relied on the tourist dollar for a source of income, so we really tried to respect that.
Heather Balogh Rochfort is a freelance writer and author with a focus on outdoor adventure, travel, and fitness. Colorado born and bred, she loves backpacking, trail running, backcountry skiing, and packrafting, especially with her husband, one-year-old daughter, and lovable rescue mutt Tally.