Incredible people mixed with an breathtaking landscape made one of the most memorable experiences of my life. The Havasupai, AZ Yonder Meetup orchestrated by the awesome Valerie Blocker and Benjamin Muth was one for the ages. From the moment I saw Valerie post something in on the YonderBuds page on Facebook I was ready! Time would go by as I would prepare a little bit more. Preparing for the 10 mile canyon hike in and out and gathering the essential supplies over what was about 7 months leading up to the meetup was as memorable as the actual meetup.
When the time came to pack up and hit the road I was so excited I could barely contain myself, I ended up being all tuckered out half way through the drive. Until I reached the 60 miles forest desert road leading to the parking lot where id leave the trusty Nissan Cube for the week. As previously stated I couldn’t contain myself and left quite early. Living in Phoenix, AZ I was only 4 scenic hours away from this beautiful paradise. When I arrived there were a fair amount of cars and a few, what appeared to be abandoned trucks scattered about a parking lot on the edge of a cliff. As I wait patiently for more YonderBuds I find myself driving around the parking lot every 15 mins looking for better cell service to see if in fact more YonderBuds are on their way and how far they are away. I see posts of a few of the ladies having an adult beverage waiting to board their flight, good sign! As everyone starts arriving we find our spot for the night in the parking lot, as for sunrise brings the 10 mile hike. As people trickle in being flagged down by the Yonder flag we are all becoming friends instantly. I choose not to set up a tent and just sleep in my car, which isn’t very big but I figured id save time in the morning. As the night dragged on I couldn’t wait for morning light to begin the hike! Sleep wasn’t happening! Light breaks, tents start shuffling, car doors opening and closing and headlights fiddling about finally its morning and time to start our descent into one of the world’s paradises.
It’s a beautiful day on the 1st of March 2016, bags are packed, donkeys are loaded and we’re off! The closer you get to the falls the more paradise like it becomes. It’s an easy hike in/down, compared to the hike out/up. Once we arrived to the village, about 8 miles, we all had a rest and waited for everyone to catch up with each other. We, as a group, had to check-in together. As we descend the last 2 miles into camping area we go through the village, over creeks and then we begin to reach the falls. What an absolutely stunning site after another passing Navajo Falls until you reach Havasupai Falls. The iconic picture that you see the most is of the Havasupai Falls. After spending a few mins there we continued on a bit further to the camp ground scoped out the best spot for all of us, in the end there were 4 camp sites of YonderBuds.
(Video credit to Valerie Blocker)