Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Babysitting

Raquel and Dave took off for the week to visit someplace cool - (such a novel idea, it was 111 degrees last Sunday!). So we get to watch their dog Ellie.
She too is a dachshund but long hair and she is Dieter's best friend. They can hardly leave each other alone. Just chase and play with each other all day and then crash every night.
She is great to have except when she just decides to bark in the middle of the night and you can't get her to stop! That better not happen again tonight or she is in big trouble!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another Havasupi trip

Jip had only been here a couple of weeks and I figured I needed to get these two out of the bedroom and away from the computer, so what better way to do that ... than have them hike to Havasupi at 5:00am? Look they even have smiles on their faces!
After about a 3 1/2 hour hike, there is never anything better than soaking your feet in the cold water of Havasupi creek. We sat here a while debating on a campsite and finally decided to move down the creek a little ways.
There had been another large flash flood only about 4 weeks prior to our hike and you can see the sand bags that have been placed to try and save some of the camping areas. I was amazed at how much things had changed since June - especially the campground. Most of it was gone. The river had changed course and now flows over the best camping areas. The area left to camp in is where the river used to be and it is rocky and uneven. We settled on this spot but moved the next day when our neighbors left.
After setting up camp, we headed back up to Havasu Falls. There were drastic changes here as well. Once again the river had changed course and now misses most of the travertine pools that these falls are so famous for. The boys had a good time going behind the falls and coming out on the other side of the falls. They enjoyed it so much that they did it both days a dozen times or so.
Could there be a better place on earth to eat lunch?
After exploring Havasu Falls we headed down to Mooney Falls. This has to be the safest part of the hike - not!
Again, more changes here. The pool under Mooney is very shallow (just like under Havasu) and you can walk right up under the falls. The problem is that the water is coming with such force that you feel as though rocks are being thrown at you.
We hiked down to what used to be the best rope swing in the world. The rope has been replaced and the rock to jump off of is still there but the river is shallow now. There was one spot that was deep enough to jump into but it was difficult to get the right angle to hit it. We had a good time trying though.
We then decided to walk back up the river instead of using the trail. We had a great time climbing up water falls and wearing our legs out (as if they weren't tired enough from hiking down) going against the current.
Check out the buff men I'm hiking with!
The next morning we finally found some food that Jip didn't like - instant oatmeal!
If you are familiar with Havasupi you may recognize this area where you go to get water. You can see the dead trees, that happened with the 2008 flood, but notice that one of the bridges is missing. We had found it down below Mooney Falls the day before along with a bunch of picinic tables. This area was completely different from when I was here in June. Notice how milky the water is as well. It was just like this below Havasup Falls, above the falls, it was clear and blue like you expect it to be. Not sure why that was the case.
We headed up to Rock Falls (not the official name yet) the first ones in the series and the closest ones to the village. They are difficult to get to (check out the boulders you have to climb over in some of the pictures) but so fun! Preston is behind a small part of the falls.
Here I am about half way up the falls.
And here are the boys up on the top. We were almost able to get to the top going straight up the falls but we to one spot where the current was too strong, so we found a little trail off to the side.
Next we went back down to the 'new' Navajo Falls for come waterfall jumping. About half the campground had left that morning, so we had the falls to ourselves. It was great! Here is Jip jumping
and here is Preston
and here am I. At the end of the blog is a video of one of Preston's jumps and he does a little dance too.
We then decided to look for the cave that I'd been told about and we succeed in finding it. At one time someone had been mining in it and there were still rails for the cars. We only had one flashlight and didn't go too far. As we were coming out we met some people who know all about the cave and they asked if we had gone to the drop off. We realized that we had turned around right before the 50 foot drop off and were very glad we had, because our lighting was so poor we all probably would have fallen off.
Both evenings we sat on one of the many picnic tables that are now in the water and soaked our feet and played cards. Nothing could be better!
Our alarm didn't go off Monday morning and so we got off about 1/2 hour later than we had planned but we beat the sun and that was our goal. Here is Jip after his first backpacking trip where he saw his first waterfall, ate his first dehydrated meal, jumped off his first waterfall and saw his first Indian village. He did great - better than me that is for sure!
I decided that September is a great time to go to Havasupi. The weather wasn't too hot and the water was perfect. I could get in it and stay in it easier than any other time I had gone, because usually the water is just too cold for a cold blooded person like me. Plus, there were no scouts!



video

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Our new son

Almost a month ago, Jip came to live with us. He will be here the whole school year and we are so glad to have him. This isn't the best picture of him, taken as he got off the plane after about a 16 hour flight.

He is my friend, Anita's, son and has come over from the Netherlands to go to school here this year. He and Preston are good friends and were supposed to be going to Mesa Community College together, but in the middle of July we found out that Preston received a four year tution scholarship to ASU. We hastily registered Preston for ASU and so the plan for Jip and Preston to go to school together is no more.

Both the boys are enjoying their school experiences so far - just hope that continues after the first tests!

Jip is great to have a round - fun, easy and always happy. We are planning on showing him a real American experience this year and hope he still likes us after spending 9 months with us!