Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Elves Chasm Hike–Day 8

In the afternoon on day 8 – the first full day with the ‘new group’, we hiked a very nice hike to Elves Chasm.
This lovely little waterfall hinted at the beauty that lay ahead.
But first – we had to climb up……..   Isn’t that just the way it always is? Fortunately, we did not have to climb straight up  this rock wall. There was a path that led around the side and up.  That is the way most of the hikes in the Grand Canyon are. They follow a stream or creek or other wash area that has created a ‘cut’ through the otherwise steep and inaccessible layers of sheer canyon wall.
This picture taken by Patrick shows Fred and I on the trail to Elves Chasm.
We made our way, following along the stream, though we still had some pretty good boulders to climb over. I  don’t know why, but sometimes when I come to an area that requires a ‘step in faith’ - stepping over a gap without being able to easily hang on or being able to securely place my foot – needing to turn loose before I can land securely – I will freeze. That is what happened on this hike. We came to a narrow ledge where I needed to just step over the gap, though my body needed to swing around an outcropping of rock as I did so. So easy for Fred….so easy for everyone else…..but I just froze. I can’t ….. I am ‘ledged out’ …..”Hey, you go on, I am Ok here, really. This is such a beautiful place. I’ll just sit here and enjoy it a bit”. It seems strange, just 2 days after hiking Tabernacle and finishing with such confidence. But….I froze.
Fred continued on, to see how bad the trail up ahead would be. Sarah and Jason (and a number of other people) passed by me and went on. I wasn’t sure what my plan was at this point. I just wanted to sit securely on my little perch and not risk falling.
After just a few minutes Fred came back, telling me excitedly that we were almost there…… just a short ways to go. Up ahead was this really beautiful place, so worth going to see! He asked me to try again to see if I could step over and continue on. I got up to try…..and then just stepped…….not so bad after all!  I continued on and just as Fred said, we only had a very little ways to go.
And it was truly beautiful! A magical place that earned the name ‘Elves Chasm’.
The pool beneath the waterfall was deep, and people were climbing up and jumping off. We were hot and, as always, covered in sand and river silt. The cool , clear water was so tempting! Fred was like a kid…..he swam around, up under the falls to a chute which led to the top of the falls. And he jumped!
Sarah and Jason followed suit. This picture was taken by Patrick, who was up in the cave getting ready to jump. It shows the wet, slippery rock chute behind the falls that one had to climb up and through.

With a little coaxing, Sarah jumped off! Jason managed to film the whole thing with his GoPro.

I was not quite ready for such adventure…..A step of faith, maybe….but not such a leap!    I enjoyed myself,  bathing in the clear pool of water……
This was the first hike that we shared with Sarah and Jason on this trip and I was so glad that it turned out to be such a special place. An oasis hiding in the desert…….

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