After a five hour drive to St. George, and another 7 hours (which included stopping by the Las Vegas airport and crossing the bottleneck at Hoover Dam), we arrived at the Hilltop Parking lot and spent the night in the car...
The rest of our group left at about 5:30 am. (Remember, if you click on the photo, it will enlarge...)
We waited about 5 hours for our riding horses to arrive. The refrigerated trucks had first dibs on the pack animals, carrying fresh produce, dairy products, etc. down to the village.
We finally got our mounts...of course Cowboy Bob was....well Cowboy and since I was married to Cowboy, I became "Cowgirl" and was put in charge of leading the riding horses down the canyon. My horse was called "Shorty". The ride down was very hot (106), I dropped a water bottle in the first hundred yards...(No stopping, "keep going")The guy in the turquoise shirt was a scout who was left by his leaders to wait 5 hours, then ride a horse down the canyon. He had never been on a horse in his life....so...we had to kind of take him under our wings. Needless to say, he was miserable. This is our campsite the first night.
The first night, I wondered what we had gotten into. Was this really worth it? At least we had water close by to cool off in.
The second night we moved to a better campsite with more shade.
I thought I was going on a 1/2 mile stroll to hang out by a beautiful waterfall. Little did I know what was in store. I took my sarong, a towel, food, a book to read and wore my swim suit. The photo below does not do this justice...hiking down nearly vertically hanging onto chains AND hiking through a tunnel/cave like area. Whew! Oh, well, the bottom was worth it.
Then, had to wait our turn to hike up the ladders and chains again. Actually, kinda fun, but I swore I didn't want to do it again.
Later, we hiked in the other direction to Havasu Falls. This, just involved about 1/4 mile through sand, rock and dirt.
My opening to our tent faced this lovely little fern grotto.
A view of our campsite.
The Sacred Datura that bloomed all over. I joked to someone "there's enough of that here to get the entire campground of 200 people high for weeks"
If you look closely, you can see Cowboy sitting at the picnic table, relaxing and reading. This is right by Havasu Falls.
After 3 nights, we were ready to pack out.
The ride out provided more adventures...at least it was a little cooler. My horse was #91 and Bob's was "Blackie"
It was a trip of a lifetime...kinda like childbirth...the memories and photos are wonderful...the discomforts kind of fade away out of memory. So glad we were able to do it.
Also check out Desertbound's photos and narratives of the trip: