Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the havasupai hiking/camping adventure part 1.

since i have known richard he has always talked about this camping trip his best friend mike takes every year to the grand canyon. and how bad he has always wanted to go. then i met mike, and he started talking about the same think trying to convince me to go. he showed me beautiful pictures and talked about all the fun they have. last year mike tried to recruit us, but it didnt work out with our florida vacation. as soon as we got back though mike went to work on us again. richard was totally on board but i wasnt. i love the outdoors, im a runner for goodness sake. however i am not a hiker. lets go play in the park or at the beach? i am there. lets go hike a mountain for fun? see you at the bottom with lunch. then there was the camping aspect. i grew up camping as a kid, and always had a good time. but my version of camping is driving to the campsite, taking your cooler full of alcohol and hamburgers/hotdogs, and having flush bathrooms somewhere close. but richard really wanted to go and wasnt going to leave me behind. so i finally gave in and said i would go. i had noooo idea what i was getting myself into.

we started planning in about february for our trip in the middle of june. i started hearing more details about this "adventure." like how you need to take all your food with you, that means freeze dried. there is a 10 MILE hike to the campsite. there is no fire. you need a headlamp to see at night. i will admit, it was starting to freak me out. what was i doing? then came this list, and i wondered even more.
after we got back from nashville, lora volunteered to take me shopping so we could start putting things together. i thought this was a little early, but figured it was good info. we started at rei to get an idea of the right size things for me. how big of a pack do i need, what size shoes do i wear in hiking boots, how much are camelbaks there? it started out easy enough, then i started to get more and more overwhelmed. the pack was $250, but apparently i can get one online for about $30. how does that make sense?! the hiking shoes were at least $120. the five finger sandal shoes that i needed were over $100. i had to start buying all these things like the next day and in all the same brands she suggested.
im supposed to carry that for 10 miles??
i always wanted to try these!
 then we stopped at walmart to look at their camping things. this was equally as overwhelming! she wanted me to buy everything that night. there were 2 problems with that plan. 1 richard was going to question every single thing i bought because he wasnt there to get the story. not something i was willing to go through so early. and most importantly 2 i wasnt willing to turn my dining room into camping central for the next month and a half.

i went home that night completely freaked out about what i was getting myself into. i never thought about getting out of it, i just wasnt sure i was going to be able to handle it. plus there were other outside voices telling me there was no way i was going to be able to handle this trip. once richard got home he calmed me down a little bit and i started to feel better. i did just keep thinking to myself though, i really dont want to go. and really hoped that feeling would go away as the trip got closer.

richard and i went shopping a few weeks later at sports authority. instantly i started feeling soo much better! we found good hiking shoes for only $60 and sandals for $30. we talked to one of the associates there and he gave us really good insight to the trip. he had done one similar a few years back and had some great advice. i finally admitted to richard that night over dinner why i had been a little crazy about the things to buy. i was getting so much "advice" from other people about the exact thing to buy that i was afraid if he bought anything different they would blame me. he told me that we were gonna take the "advice" and use as much as we could, but also make some of our decisions and stand by them. this trip was really startin to put me on edge! thank goodness i had richard who was just so excited that he wasnt going to let anything get him down about it.
not sure these are up to my fashion code...
the trip started drawing closer and closer and our dining room had started to transform. also friends were starting to drop like flies. mike had built in a buffer for this to happen, as it did every year. it all sounds like a good idea 6 months ago when we they didnt have to buy things or the reality hadnt actually set in that they really had to do it. if i was going to back out, now was the time. i decided i was in for the long haul. i had actually scored a pack from a friend's family that had done this trip multiple times! richard had also scored a pack from someone not able to go on the trip. we had also been able to borrow someones tent and 1 sleeping bag. that meant we only had to buy one. we had both bought our shoes and sandals. things were finally starting to fall into place.

the week we were going to leave was upon us and there were changes left, right, and center. our original plan was to drive together with matt since he was driving solo. no point in taking more cars than necessary. then 5 days before we leave matt completely pulls out because there is no camp fire at the site. now the 2 of us were left scrambling a bit to tune up richards car so we could take his. we then went over to get richards pack from mike and loras house and to start making final plans. when we got there lora was not lookin so good. turns out she had tweaked the hell out of her back earlier in the week walking her 2 60 pound dogs when another one had gotten out. she could barely drive to work across town she was in so much pain. with that injury we werent sure she was going to be able to go at all! we made plans to have mike and lora come by thursday night to help us pack since we had no idea what we were doing. richard wouldnt be there, but we could put his together no problem.

thank goodness they came over to help! our packs would have been all kinds of honked up without their help. lora also told me she wasnt going to be able to go:( we were finally going and she wasnt able too. the only plus was that we were able to borrow some of her things. this way richard and i could return a few things we bought and save some extra cash. we finished up and decided to meet the next day at their house about 545p so the 3 of us were going to drive together.
things for my pack.
things for richards pack. i think he needs some more things??
having our packs put together the night before was genius! when i got home friday from work we basically put our last things together and ate something fast before we were out the door to grab mike. he added a few things to richards pack that he was missing, like a sleeping pad, and we were ready to go. that morning was the first time i had woken up and was actaully excited about going. its like we had done soooo much talking and planning and wondering what if, that it had taken away from the fun. it was too late to make tons of changes or wonder what we missed. there were plenty of people going so if we did forget something, we could borrow from the group. it was finally time to go!

ready or not i was going!

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