Sunday, September 1, 2019

Tales of the Traveling Tote - Havasupai

Welcome to our September edition of 
Tales of the Traveling Tote.  

I feel so lucky to have been invited into 
this wonderful group of women who 
travel all over with their MacKenzie-Childs 
totes and accessories.  

Visit their posts and join us in a fun giveaway 
of a MacKenzie-Childs gift.

Miss Madi K traveled with me to 
Arizona onto the Hualapai Indian Reservation,
to go down to Havasupai and Mooney Falls, 
which are in a canyon that empties into 
the Grand Canyon.  

The magic of Havasupai are the limestone 
deposits which create the gorgeous blue 

Havasupai is a bucket list item for many, many people, 
and with the popularity of the internet, Pinterest, and 
Instagram, it has become increasingly difficult to 
get a permit to hike Havasupai.  We were lucky enough 
to have a friend who has connections to get the permits. 
He was able to obtain permits for fourteen of us.

It is a rigorous zigzagging trail 10 miles 
down into the canyon.  Now, we aren't spring chickens
ranging in age from 52-69, so we decided to helicopter in the 
first 8 miles.  

In order to ride the helicopter you wait at the top 
of the canyon while tribal members and supplies 
are given first priority.  You should get there early 
as the line grows all day.  

We waited about an hour and a half at the top 
and then another 2 hours down at the bottom 
to receive our backpacks.

Our friend with the connections with the tribe had 
matching hats and tee's made for our group.  You 
would be surprised how the natives all wanted to 
get one of the tee shirts and hats.  He brought shirts 
and hats for the Tribal Council, but by the end of 
the trip we all gave our hats and shirts away to 
tribal members. 

The helicopter is a stunning four minute 
ride covering the first eight miles, 
but then you hike in the remaining two.  

When backpacking, it is all about the weight.  We 
managed to keep ours under 30 lbs., so needless to 
say, Miss Madi K stayed up at the top of the canyon,

but I needed a camp cup to pour boiling water into, 
so my MC cup got to come along.

The water flows down the canyon and the bottom of 
the canyon is filled with trees and shade, which is 
wonderful since the temperatures in the summer can 
reach well over 100. 

The first order of business was 
to set up camp.  Hubby had backpacked using hammocks 
before, but I had never slept in one longer than a quick nap.  
Mine is the one on the right.

Here is a peek inside my hammock.  I have never slept so 
well camping.  Just like all of my kids, I am converted to 
hammock sleeping.  

Then we headed to dip and later float down the river.  
The water is consistently 70, but we were so hot 
from the hike and camp set-up that it just felt 

For those who haven't backpacked, weight for your food 
is really critical too.  We have a Great Harvest Freeze Dryer, 
so I got creative and freeze dried quite a few things to 
make backpacking food a lot better.  These are cheesy 
eggs with bacon served in a flour tortilla.  

The one thing I always missed when backpacking was 
some form of bread.  We decided to try street taco 
flour tortillas.  they traveled really well and were 
very versatile.  Now tortillas will be a staple 
for family backpacking.

I also freeze dried marinated, grilled steak strips, 
Sweet Tamale Corn Cakes from Cheesecake Factory, 
and Pasta Napoletana, also from Cheesecake Factory.

Needless to say, we have never eaten so well while 
backpacking.  The steak was served with freeze 
dried asparagus and Monterey Pepper Jack Instant 
Potatoes by Idahoan.  

The next day we had a short two mile hike 
to Mooney Falls, which is about 200 feet tall.  
Havasupai is around 100 feet tall. 

We weren't told ahead of time the crazy, scary hike 
it would take to get down to these falls.  There are 
two "mouse holes" like this that you have to go 
down backwards.  

Then after that, you are using chains and wooden 
ladders to get down to the bottom.  The chains and 
rock get super slippery.

The power of the falls is amazing. 
 It is fun to get in and 
swim towards the falls where you can
 feel the push of 
the waterfall, but it is dangerous
 to try and get too close. 

Then it is back up the ladders and chains!  

We had been told by our trip organizer that on 
occasion some of the tribe might make and 
sell some Navajo Tacos along the trail.  I love their 
sense of humor, as it wasn't until the third day that 
we actually saw some being made along the trail.

They had set up camp right along the trail and were 
selling plain fry bread, Indian Tacos or 
cheeseburgers served in fry bread.

Wow, when you have been eating freeze dried food,
although good freeze dried food, these were an 
amazing treat.  We tried the taco, 

and a burger.  I don't think we would have chosen the 
burger, but another hiker recommended it.  Wow, 
he was right.  They also had ice cold drinks.  I 
think I could backpack like this any time.

Check this one off the bucket list! 
 It was a lot of fun!!

The reservation requires 3 nights at $100 per person,
per night.  We helicoptered out again, but had to 
wait 8 hours to get out as payday had been the day 
before and most of the village exits after receiving 
their checks.  

The drive home brought us along Route 66.

We chose to eat in this retro style diner, Mr. D's.

Yum!!! Cheese stuffed burger.  The food was delicious, 
but the smile and charm of the servers was even better.  

Thanks for traveling with Miss Madi K and me 
to another beautiful spot in this great big 
wonderful world.  Now see where our other friends 
have been off to.

 with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Linda with Miss Rosie @ More Fun Less Laundry
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader

Now for the giveaway! Visit Debbie to enter into the 

We will be back again with more fun tales on 
December 1st.  Come back and visit us.  


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. WOW...Just WOW!! I don't think I could have gone though the "mouse holes" What an absolute exciting adventure. I can't even imagine sleeping in the covered hammock - what about the local wildlife??? You WIN for the most daring and exhilarating adventure. I imagine it was all worth the excitement, but I give you lots of credit for doing this! I have to go back and read this post again!! You go girl!!!

  2. Jackie, oh my gawd! This trip is absolutely AMAZING! You have more girl power than I do, I do believe, but the key is in having the right gear. You guys hit it out of the park, including your freeze-dried foods. The waiting on the Native tribe to take you in and out must've been just a little nerve-wracking though. 8 hrs, wow. What a lifetime experience and memories made though. Incredibly blessed, you are!

    1. Oh, and that photo of the mug under the waterfall? WINNER!!

  3. Wow...amazing adventure.the scenery is wonderful. I can see why this trip was on your bucket list. You were totally prepared. The food looks delicious. You are quite the pro planning out your delicious meals. That waterfall is gorgeous and I love the creative mug shot. What an experience sleeping in that covered hammock.
    How generous you gave your hats and t-shirts to the natives. A thrilling adventure you shared. It gives everyone a thorough idea of what it is like. I hope you can relax now that you have this amazing adventure crossed off your bucket list.

  4. Jackie, you and Miss Madie K win the award for mos adventerous! Wow, a helicopter ride down, hiking this incredible canyon, the waterfalls, the entire thrilling adventure has me excited for you. I've only visited the Grand Canyon once, but no hiking. Though I've had friends who have taken the trail down on donkeys, I've only observed from high above. I think it would be magical to experience this trip. Kudos to you for making these bucket list adventures happen. I admire your strength and spirit for all these outdoor activies. Happy September. Can't wait to see where you travel next!

  5. Holy Havasupai Hiking!!! I knew it was going to be amazing but I am not only impressed by the beauty, but how fearless you are to go on such a challenging camping trip! Thank you for all the details, it is so beyond smart of you to freeze dry your own food, and I could have never gone through that cave hole backwards, not to mention most everything else! I'm sure you and your husband will go somewhere truly luxurious now to be pampered, you deserve it!

  6. Thanks for sharing this great adventure. I had to go back and read it twice to absorb every detail. I enjoy hiking, the rabbit hole would be a challenge.

  7. I was looking forward to this! I have had some similar experiences, and this is right up my alley. However I would have to work around their pay day. LOL This is just so amazing and beautiful at the same time. You were wise to bring your own hydrated food, and the one food item I always crave on backpacking trips is citrus. I always travel with an orange. Thank you for sharing this thrilling adventure.

  8. What an experience! Looks amazing and so fun. Albeit kind of difficult. You are brave. Loved reading about your adventure!

  9. Beautiful falls! I love the blue water! This was so interesting, Jackie! I admire what great shape you are in to hike and climb even backwards. Going backward into a hole would do me in!
    You even had gourmet meals camping. This was a memorable trip for you I am sure. Thanks for taking us along. I enjoyed all the pictures and commentary.

  10. Oh wow Jackie, I love how you camp on your adventure!!!!! Helicopter in and mouse holes, ladders and I'm thinking you are one in shape gal. This must have been so much fun, sharing adventures with your mister and friends. I think it would be so much fun sleeping in the hammock and you do think of everything. Freeze dried food! You look adorable in your pics and I'm going back to scroll I don't want to miss a thing! Amazing adventure trip...........


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