After taking a few minutes to absorb the absolute beauty of the falls, we set out following the trail downstream to Beaver Falls, the fourth ‘named’ falls in Havasu Canyon.
As we walked…the only people on the trail…..we felt like we were walking through a ‘Garden of Eden’….
Green….lush…..……untouched and unchanged…..somehow primal.
With incredible beauty in the smallest of things…….
We walked in wonder and appreciation…..
The trail to Beaver Falls was not as straightforward as it would first seem. The foot-trail would be lost as we had to clamber over rocks and boulders….only to pick up a bit later. And, of course, no signs! The down side to ‘untouched’. ;- )
There were numerous creek crossings……
This one had this makeshift ‘bridge’. I hesitated on this…..I really did not want to cross….I don’t trust my balance to be that good. Thank goodness for Fred! His balance has always been great, and he would never hesitate (I actually think he really enjoys it). We crossed…..me hanging on to Fred’s hand the whole way….You know, this is a great exercise in trust…..both in one’s own abilities and in each other.
Other times, we waded across. We had brought our Teva’s (waterproof sandals) and changed into them at the first crossing. We hiked on in our sandals….as we had about three more knee deep crossings.
The trail (and I use that term loosely) continued…across rock ledges….through the grass….scrambling up and down slopes of red dirt…..between rocks. We were sometimes having to climb using both hands and feet.
There were numerous ‘falls’ on this creek…..
Each of them incredibly beautiful…..We kept wondering…”Is that Beaver Falls”. We had come to accept that there probably would be no sign telling us, and we had not read a description of Beaver Falls beyond the notation that it was 3 miles below Mooney Falls.
Then, we came to this! This was where it looked like the trail continued. After all the crazy trail we had hiked…..over 4 miles out. ….We said, “No way. We are NOT heading up that ladder”! We decided “Enough”. We may not have found Beaver Falls…….
But we had glimpsed paradise……and were content to turn around and head back.
The hike back took less time…It always seems that way….but was no less confusing. We started passing more people hiking out towards Beaver Falls, and all of them seemed equally confused as to where exactly Beaver Falls was, and which way the trail went.
The whole walk back…I had in the back of my mind the climb back up Mooney Falls. It had that sense of inevitability that I really hate. I remember feeling that way when I was pregnant…..You know, no other way out of this…..I tried not to think about it…..
When we got to the base of the falls, we stopped for a rest and a water break. We watched as this guy clambered up the rock face, making it seem easy. I knew that it was NOT going to be easy for me…but I also knew that I WAS going to do this.
So…taking a deep breath, I said “OK, lets get it over with”, and started back up the first ladder. Fred leading….me following…..placing hands and feet where he did. Using the chains to pull myself up. I stayed focused straight ahead….each hand….each foot hold….not looking up….and certainly, not looking down! I was climbing well…my legs were not shaking this time. It took 12 minutes to get to the top….12 minutes of focused concentration..…but not overwhelming effort. This was ‘do-able’…..I was doing it!
Once on top, one has to ask….was it worth it? The answer to that is ….ABSOLUTELY! The hike beyond Mooney Falls was SO AMAZING….I would not have wanted to miss that experience. Would I do it again? At first, I said…..NO. After having a few days to process things……Even though it was very scary, and would still be very scary for me……Yeah, I think I would……