Thursday, August 3, 2017

Havasupai Guide (by someone who's been there once and is not an expert)

Alrighty! In part two of my Havasupai posts I wanted to cover exactly what we packed, how we ate, what the hike was like, and the different waterfalls to visit. When I realized we were going we only had 2 weeks to get ready and I was texting everyone I knew who had been there, and I still had some questions!

Duration: July 20-23rd

Clothing I packed:
2 tank tops
2 shorts
1 long sleeve shirt for sleeping
1 two-piece swim suit (because I wore it the majority of the time, and one pieces can be a pain)
2 sports bras which I also used as swimsuit tops
2 pairs of socks
Running/hiking shoes for the hike in and out
Tevas for day hikes and waterfalls
Regrets: I should've brought at least one t-shirt because my pack's straps rubbed my shoulders.
Also packed a hammock, headlamp, light blanket, a towel, and sunglasses.

What I ate:
4 Mountainhouse meals for dinner (the lasagna was fantastic)
4 premade pb&honey sandwiches for lunch
6 packets of oatmeal for breakfast
Snacks: dried mangos, almonds, Larabars (Trader Joe's is a mecca of good backpacking snacks)
^^me when we got to the village and realized we have 2 more miles^^

The Hike:
9 miles to the village, 2 to the campsite, 11 total. Began hike at 4am the morning of the 20th, arrived around 9:15. Trail starts with steep declining switchbacks and then levels out for the remaining miles. Day hiking is not allowed, and we could see why when the sun came up. We should have started hiking at 3 or 3:30. Wore my running shoes, saw many sad people with Tevas and Chacas that were cutting up their feet by the end of it. There are spouts to refill water in the village and campsite, I was ok packing in only my 24oz waterbottle. Hiked out under cloud cover at 5pm on the 23rd.

Where we camped:
The 4 of us had hammocks so we settled on the first grove of sturdy trees we found. We were very close to both the bathrooms and the water which I loved, because I get a little paranoid tromping through the wilderness at night. It came at a cost though; we were near a main pathway so the headlamps of passerbys would sometimes wake us up. The last day we were there we passed this gorgeous campsite on our way to Mooney Falls, about 5 minutes past our spot, where the river ran on both sides and trees shaded the whole thing. I’d go there next time.

Surprisingly clean composting toilets that were always well stocked, and a fresh water fountain at the campground. The village has 2 small stores, a cafe, and wifi! It also has a lodge if you really want to avoid the camping experience.

The Waterfalls:
Havasu is the iconic Havasupai location. It's great for cliff jumping and had a smaller pool further down. 
Little Navajo is the first falls you see when hiking in, and it's one we would skip next time. Although it had good cliff jumping spots, the water was murky from an earlier storm so we couldn’t see where the rocks were (and there were quite a few there!) Our friend Colin went to Beaver Falls about 2 miles up, and it looked stunning. I would definitely go there instead of Navajo next time.
Mooney had the coolest hike down to it, where you were crawling through rock tunnels, down ladders, and hanging off of chains Angels Landing-style. It also had a rope swing that was awesome, and a picnic table in the water that's a great spot for lunch.

Things We Should’ve Done:
  • Brought playing cards, or a book for down time (there’s a lot of down time)
  • Bring a cheap tube for floating in the river and pools
  • Mosquito nets for hammocks (although I only got 6 bites which is good for me!)
  • Put all food in tupperware or 5 gallon buckets because the squirrels are VICIOUS. They alternated terrorizing all of us, sneaking into my tightly drawstringed pack, digging into my sisters bag, and CHEWING THROUGH MY DAD’S PACK to get to his tortillas. I thought double bagging everything in heavy Ziploc would work #newb it did not at all.
  • Don’t hike long distances in sandals, even if they're tevas or chacas
  • Send a pack back with the heavy stuff. The hike back up is brutal after days of hiking, swimming, and being in the sun. You have 3 options: hike back out like you hiked in, pay $40 to have your pack taken by the mules, or helicopter out for $80. We are cheap so we did it ourselves but we were all having meltdowns on those switchbacks on the return trip.
  • Bring more snacks and gatorade powder for electrolytes
  • Hydrate the day you hike out. We all sorta forgot to and it showed.
  • Bring a rain poncho if going in July or August (monsoon season). On our last night there it poured, which was a blessing because we didn’t have to wake up at 2am to hike out, we could head out immediately with the cloud cover. But Tayler regretted making fun of me for throwing a poncho in my pack.
  • Bring sleeping pills. We didn't want to deal with sleeping bags/pads/tents so we did hammocks and I strongly believe that those are for naps and not overnight. 
  • Bring a collapsible 5 gallon water jug to save on water trips

Ok I think I covered everything! If you have any questions please let me know in the comments below:)

Part One found here:

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Havasu Falls Backpacking Trip
This past weekend I spent in Havasupai with Tayler, my dad, and my little sis. For those who don’t know, Havasupai is a remote Indian reservation in the Grand Canyon with multiple waterfalls that are the most breathtaking blue. When we were dating Tayler first told me about this magical oasis in the Arizona desert, and right after that it really blew up on social media and permits became impossible to get. But when our friend Colin announced that he had 2 extra tickets we jumped on the opportunity, and when 2 more girls in our group bailed last minute we snatched those up for my family!

I plan on doing another post (found here) with all the nitty gritty details: what to expect, what we packed, what I wish I had packed, tips and tricks for (hopefully) the next time, but for now I just want to share what we did!

We started hiking around 4 am on Thursday, trekked the 11 miles, and arrived at the campground around 9am. We set up our little hammock nest in a grove of trees and headed out to the falls! That pretty much describes the rest of our itinerary: we woke up, ate some delicious camping food (why does food tastes so good when you’re in the wilderness??), hiked to a waterfall, took a hammock nap, ate some more, then fell asleep with the sun!

While I didn’t love every minute-there were some vicious heat waves, sleeping in a hammock hurts, and squirrels ate all my cocoa coated almonds- it was an awesome getaway. I loved not having phone service and just getting to be with my family in such an unbelievable setting. I’m hoping with my whole heart that we can make it happen again. Tayler and I think a couples retreat would just be perfect out there.

Despite what the pictures indicate, these were taken over the course of three days! Haha I packed 3 identical outfits and only one swimsuit, and I had a ponytail in the whole time so yes I was a grub but not a one outfit for 3 days grub. 
Hiking into Havasupai
Havasu Falls in Havasupai Sony
Family Trip to Havasupai
Couple at Havasu Falls

Part Two found here:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Affordable Gingham Dress
Modest Knee Length Gingham Dress
San Antonio Mission Concepcion Photography

22 Things You May Not Know About Me

In the spirit of birthdays and self centered indulgence, and since today is my 22nd birthday (thanks for all your sweet messages!) I've been compiling 22 little known facts about myself to share on my blog today! So without further ado...

  1. I hate rice.
  2. The Sound of Music is my favorite movie. We went on a Sound of Music Tour in Austria during our honeymoon and it was a highlight for me.
  3. I have never met a granola bar I didn't like.
  4. I had a very fat face as a teen and it cracks me up now. It seriously looks like I swallowed myself:D I love it though because I literally never realized that until a couple months ago. So I'm proud of my confident, chubby face high school self. 
  5. I am the third of six siblings and I loved growing up with a big family. Tayler and I want to do the same in our family.
  6. I grew up in a farming town, population 500. My family had dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, and chickens. But I do not like animals. 
  7. In college I worked at a candy shop, I absolutely loved it, and my skin suffered accordingly.
  8. I enjoy running, especially half marathons. 
  9. In 6th grade my favorite outfit was brown gaucho pants and a striped orange shirt. I'm so grateful I moved before high school. 
  10. Tayler and I went to the same high school, but we didn't know each other because he graduated before I was a sophomore.  
  11. My first job (besides mowing lawns) was at Seven Peaks Water Park when I was 15. I was in the food department and it is still the worst job I have ever had. 
  12. I eat the same things every day: peanut butter toast, Greek yogurt, spinach egg omelet, and lots of fruit. I know I need to expand my horizons but this is just so easy.
  13. I love dancing. Growing up I played soccer, but I've always thought I would've loved being a dancer. But Zumba works.
  14. I don't enjoy cooking, but I love baking.
  15. I accidentally graduated my college's honor program as a freshmen. I got invited to a banquet at the end of the year and realized I'd unknowingly taken all the required courses.
  16. My nickname growing up was "Kerbunkle" because I always stubbed my toe.
  17. I'm typically good with names, but I accidentally introduced Tayler to my family as Chris.
  18. I have the worst eyesight of anyone I know. (If you're familiar with contacts, I'm a -9.00)
  19. Jeopardy is my favorite TV show.
  20. I have had shingles 8 times. When I was 12 I contracted it from a severe sunburn, but now it is triggered by stress.
  21. I fall asleep to any movie put on after 9pm.
  22. I am secretly an 80 year old.
I hope you've had a great July 18th too! 

(for those who are interested, this dress will be available at Randall + Roo later this week)