The hike to Havasu Falls, otherwise known in ancient legends as the hidden waterfall in Grand Canyon, Arizona was quite a shitty one.
Uncomfortably sleeping in your rental car at the Hualapai Hilltop parking lot and waking up at 4am to avoid the blistering sun..
Walking alongside horse poop for 10 miles with 30 pounds on your back..
It doesn’t get much crappier than THIS.
Or so I thought💩..
The journey to the majestic hidden waterfall in Grand Canyon isn’t an easy one.
With no road for car access, you have three options:
- ride a horse
- take a helicopter
- hike 10 miles one way with all your belongings
This includes carrying your tent, clothes, hiking shoes, water, freeze-dried food, hot cheetos, utensils, cooking supplies, alcohol, sleeping bag, hygienic products, and camera- you name it.
Despite this obstacle that would scare most away, I was up for the challenge. United by a desire for adventure, the 29 of us were ready to live off-the-grid for 4 days.
Our hike started at the Hualapai Hilltop parking lot where the sun rose over the breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon.
Down the switchbacks we went, into a flat landscape of red-brown soil, rolling out to layered rock formations.
People mention all the great things about Havasupai, but nobody has ever dared to mention the unspeakable truth.
THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH.
Because the truth is, there is A LOT of horse shit at Havasupai.
Amidst all the crap in Havasupai, I pondered out loud to Don
“Just HOW MUCH horse poop do you think there is at Havasupai?”
Don: “Well you see.. if you can figure out the number of horses here, multiply that number by the density of poop they produce a day..”
Me: “Right.. and if we can determine the total cubic area of that and that by the velocity of poop..”
Don: “Yes, yes, precisely! You’ll end up with..”
A lightbulb appeared on top of our heads.
Me: “HOLY SHIT!”
Don and I stood for a second next to the stable of horses and their poop, thinking about this. We were on the verge of having a shitty epiphany.
This complex question consumed my mind. I felt uneasy.
I NEEDED to know.
My quest to solve the mysterious case of “How much horse poop is in Havasupai?” continued.
10 miles later, I stopped give a shit about my poop quest when I finally reached the magnificent sight of
Havasu Falls- the first hidden waterfall in Grand Canyon
Pooped from the blistering heat and 10 mile hike, me, John, Alison, Bee, and Cindy stopped for a break. We stripped down to our bathing suits, took off the 25-40lbs on our backs, and jumped in.
After splashing around and swimming beneath Havasu falls, we left and continued on our way.
Alas, our stomping grounds for the weekend! Vouy helped me and Alison set up our tent.
Most of us napped shortly after.
The sun set and Havasu Falls (the first hidden waterfall) was the place to be.
The next morning, we hiked half a mile from our campsite to Mooney Falls- the second hidden waterfall in Grand Canyon.
Chains along the cliff walls dangled. The mist from the roaring waterfall blew on us as we climbed down the slippery ladder coated with mud.
Our curiosity led us to chase more hidden waterfalls. Lagoons, a goat, lizards, and narrow plank bridges.
We also crossed creeks and stayed woke of Jurassic Park dinosaurs within the lush green jungles of Havasupai.
Ropes dangling from the trees above some of the smaller waterfalls allowed me to embrace my Yung Tarzan
4 miles later from the campgrounds, we reached Beaver Falls- the third Hidden Waterfall in Grand Canyon
We went to Mooney Falls the second evening to capture night shots.
It was just us, laying down on the edge of the cliff, looking up at the stars and listening to the roaring splash of Mooney Falls.
The stars were bright, twinkling, and uninterrupted by light pollution and city skyscrapers.
“Did you know that in Asia, people sell pretty girls’ poop?”
ANOTHER CONVERSATION about poop with Don while making lunch at the campgrounds?!
Me: “DAMMIT DON, WE’RE EATING!”
I said as I was spooning a mouthful of freeze-dried biscuits and gravy into my mouth.
Don: “I’m just saying! The shit industry is huge!”
Peace and tranquility- a few of the reasons why I adore this place.
The Havasupai Tribe requires advanced reservations that fill up quickly. Due to this, it’s one of the lesser crowded places I’ve been.
I thought I’d already seen everything, but there were many secluded areas left to discover.
On the way to Navajo Falls, we stumbled upon yet another hidden waterfall in Grand Canyon.
Then, cliff diving off 30 something feet
Finally, Navajo Falls, the fourth hidden waterfall in Grand Canyon. The water was a little chilly but we quickly adapted. It wasn’t as cold as the previous year.
At the top of Navajo Falls, we dried off on a large flat surfaced rock under the warm sun.
Poop at the top of Navajo Falls
Were we at an exclusive pool party? The only ingredients missing were a DJ and some margaritas..
While lounging on the heated rock, King Keith approached us.
Keith: “Hey, do you guys wanna come check out this waterfall we found? It’s closeby but you have to swim under water for a bit”
Excited for more, Me, Roxanne, Alison, DonMarc, Vouy, Don, Jonathan, Bee, Angus and Duy followed Keith.
We trekked through waist-deep marshes and scaled rocky walls, passing by a garden snake on the trail.
Keith: “We’re almost there. Follow me..”
It was love at first sight.
Holy SHIT 💩
The water was deep and the currents were strong. Roxanne and I held onto one another as we followed Don on a large rock that snaked towards the waterfall.
We made it to the edge of the rock and faced the hidden waterfall in Grand Canyon.
DonMarc: “Okay, come with me. One person at a time.”
I looked back at Roxanne and went first, oblivious to what was going on.
Distracted by the breathtaking serenity of this paradise and the hidden waterfall, I blindly followed.
“ON THE COUNT OF 3, YOU’RE GOING TO GO UNDERWATER!”
DonMarc yelled as waterfall plummeted on us.
Me: “wait, WHAT?!”
Next thing I knew, I was underwater, about to run out of breath from the waterfall gushing onto my face.
I tried to open my eyes underwater. What was I looking for?
Seconds later, DonMarc pulled me up.
I opened my eyes once more, gasping for air!
It was deathly silent.
After regaining consciousness, I realized we’d just uncovered a secret cave under the hidden waterfall in Grand Canyon.
This place was EPIC- after the secret cave and the hidden waterfall, it became, hands down my favorite place in Havasupai.
We rejoined the rest of the group back at Navajo Falls.
And here’s DonMarc floating down the waterfalls on his poop emoji floatie.
I guess our shit did not stink.
Heck, even these little kids from the Havasupai village wanted a piece of our crap!
On the way back to camp, a breeze blew a sudden strong odor into our path. We smelled it before realizing it was from the Frybread Hut, a small food stand operated by the Havasupai locals.
HANGRY, we stopped.
Me: “Hey Vouy, what are you going to order?”
Vouy: “Hmm… I think I’ll have Frybread with some.. POOP”
Suddenly, the shitty questions couldn’t stop coming.
“Where does the poop go?”
“How much does the Havasupai Tribe spend on exporting the poop out?”
“How much revenue does the Havasupai tribe make from selling the poop?”
“Do YOU want to buy MY POOP?”
At the end of our trip, these questions remained in the back of my mind.
To beat the scorching sun, the 10 of us who decided to hike out packed up at 2am to leave.
I was dreading this. Should I pay $85 to take the helicopter service out?
I considered it but after feeling my backpack, it felt a few pounds lighter (I got rid of the 750ml Jameson bottle that we finished).
Then I decided,
Nah, it can’t be that bad. I did this last year!
Boy oh boy, was I WRONG.
Not even halfway through the hike, and we’d already stopped several times to rest.
It was now 5am and the sun started to creep up. I was nervous.
The last stretch of the 10 mile hike out of Havasupai was brutal. I ran out of food. I almost ran out of water.
My heart was pounding and my mouth was unbearably dry like the Sahara desert- these were surely signs of dehydration.
I knew my body well so I stopped every few feet to take off my backpack, sit on a rock, and catch my breath.
I was burning through my reserves at this point.
Then came the switchbacks- the finish line was clear at this point. Every so often, I’d look up. So close, yet so far.
I wanted to stop because I was drained and dehydrated, but my fans kept cheering.
Fan #1: Almost there! Great job!
My second fan, a woman who came up from behind me saw that I was struggling. She then offered to help probably because I looked like death.
Fan #2: Are you okay? Do you need me to carry your pack the rest of the way up?
Me: “No, No, No, I’m fiiiiiiiine!”
I muttered out of pride, with the ounce of energy I had left.
I was going insane in the membrane. Insane, to the point that the poop along the road was laughing at me!
“ONE OF US!”
“ONE OF US!”
The poop chanted.
So much shit was getting thrown at me but I kept going. I had to.
I was on the brink of passing out from dehydration. I had scraped my ass from the rocks at the waterfalls, bruised my toes, and I looked like shit.
At the last few yards, I ran pathetically to the finish line.
My loyal fans started clapping. The poopy haters started to cry.
Finally, I had conquered the poop.
Every ounce of pain and drip of sweat was worth it because reaching the top felt pretty damn amazing.
It was a great weekend with new and old friends.
We bonded over some shitty freeze dried meals, laughed at embarrassing moments, suffered through smelly porta potties, and swapped stories of adventures.
In the end, it was just a fun time embracing the crappy nature of it all with your friends (Shoutout to the Adventure Squad fam for reserving our spots and organizing the trip).
However, I still felt unfulfilled. A nagging feeling crept up the back of my throat. There was unfinished business.
I realized I STILL had not solved the mystery of “How much horse poop is in Havasupai?”
Once we made it back to civilization, I quickly found WiFi and did my due diligence.
I needed math help from a superior intellectual.
Kobe was busy so I looked to Jeremy Lin for inspiration to finish my quest.
- I looked up how many horses are in Havasupai
- Researched the height, density, and velocity of horse poop
- Did a google search for
- Did some MATH A MATICS
- 50 lbs of poop per horse
- Approximately 150 horses in Havasupai
- 6 ft of poop
- Velocity of the falling horse poop at v = 9.8 (m/s^2)t
How much horse poop is in Havasupai?
Give me a drumroll!
50 lbs x 150 horses x 6 ft of poop x v = 9.8(m/s^2)t, when e=mc^2…
According to my calculations and guidance from superior intellectual Jeremy Lin, the final answer is..
💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩 Cheekz 💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩
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