May 25, 2016


It took WAY too long for me to get this post up. Summer has been busy and I spent far too long looking through hundreds and hundreds of pictures of this trip. Here are a few of my favorites and some thoughts on the most beautiful place I have ever been.

They were four of the most incredible days I have ever lived. And boy did we live.
Our journey began before the sun in the early AM hours of Monday morning. We drove for what felt like a million hours stopping to eat some breakfast in a Nevada parking lot and continued our journey until we made it to the trail head in Arizona. It was there we ate a yummy lunch and set out on the trek.
For weeks I had read blog post after blog post soaking in every tip I could about this adventure. I had never done a backpacking trip and this was a bit out of my comfort zone... or WAY out of my comfort zone. Everything we used for the trip we carried in. The first few minutes with the 30+ pound backpack on isn't too bad but after you have gone a couple of miles in the hot sun you feel like it weighs 30hundred pounds. My hips and shoulders were about ready to give out on me when we made it the 10 miles into camp.
We spent that first evening setting up camp and goggling over the nearest waterfall which was a short 3-5 minute walk from our campsite.
 I was so excited about the idea of sleeping in a hammock and I was not disappointed, it was so so so fun! Big thank you to my uncle Daniel who hooked me up with essential backpacking gear. I was so grateful for my light weight sleeping bag. Our weather while we were down there was practically perfect. The nights were cool but not cold and the days just sunny enough for swimming! 

We spent the next couple of days playing as hard as we could. We hiked around to all the different waterfalls jumping, swimming and taking loads of pictures. I think I might have used the word 'Wow' a billion times. It is hard to explain and as cool as the pictures are they don't even begin to portray what it is like. All I know is that God did something special with that part of the world.
 (of all the places we stopped this was my favorite. It wasn't one of the main waterfalls but a little pocket of goodness along the trail. It was what I picture a fairy-tale scene to look like.)
(This wasn't me jumping but falling off the waterfall... I tripped- classic haha)
(I ordered these Vibrams online for this trip. BEST thing I ever did! They worked awesome in the water and spent most of my time hiking in them too.)

 The water down there is the craziest clear blue. I was told it is so brightly blue from the lime stone. I loved walking through it and being able to clearly see my feet at the bottom as if I was looking through glass. As we walked we found ourselves in fields of green and then weaving through beautiful flowered cactus. The warm sand found its ways into our shoes and the sun sent down rays of happiness. I was so at peace, so in enchanted as we turned every corner. I will take my kids there someday as soon as they are old enough to climb down the ladders and swim through the pull of the waterfall.
 It was fun to have no alarm clock. I slept the longest the first day curled up in my hammock. We stayed up and became friends during the nights. I knew some of the people I went with and others not at all. We began our trip as a group of random acquaintances. It was fun to see us start to really like each other. I wish I could make all of my friends in a setting like that. No makeup, no social media, no past.. just new friends!!! Really cool humans that learn to like you for you at your most physically drained state. We bonded over dehydrated foods, personality tests, and not being able to walk normal due to the soreness of our muscles. I really love them and am sad that we don't all live in the same city or go to the same school.
 For our "last supper" we hiked 2 miles one way to get warm delicious slightly expensive food. and yes I did pay $5 for a large Dr. Pepper- so worth it!!! Lacey, Hailee and I shared a grilled chicken salad and a havasu taco. Both were so good!
You pass through the village of Supia on your way in and out. It is so neat! I felt like I was in a different country. If you look carefully you'll find the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints among the school and houses.

Fun with glow sticks below. We were attempting to make a girl, waterfall and sun picture thing... if you use your imagination you can see it ;)
It was the most incredible trip ever! However, I wasn't sure I was going to make it out. You can just ask my friend Brendon who told me stories the whole way out to distract me from the fact that every step hurt. I have never felt more physically exhausted. We left before the sun was up to beat the heat but by the time we were climbing the sandy switch-backs the sun was out and I thought I was going to pass out.
I made it though. I carried my pack in and out. It was the best hard thing I have done post-mission.

Three cheers for LIVING.