Thursday, June 22, 2017

Day 5 Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

Don’t go chasing waterfalls because you might GET DEAD!

Day 5 was planned months ago and required special equipment.  Ladies, this is my warning to you>>>>Do NOT be couch warriors!!  If your best friend asks you to do an 8 mile hike through the Arizona desert to a beautiful waterfall and your watching The Bachelor eating ice cream……PAUSE THE TV AND THINK LOOOOOONG AND HARD ABOUT THIS!!!  I DID NOT do this. While sitting on the couch feeding my face watching trash television I said, “that sounds fun”.  4 miles out and back does not sound too hard. We could totally do this.  Yes, this is what couch warriors do.

Josh ordered a special water filtration system that we would need and I was still oblivious to the  magnitude of this hike.  He also purchased permits for us which are required  2 weeks in advance because this is a serious hike and I think they need to document who goes down to make sure they actually make it back up.

We were ready to start the adventurous journey at 8 a.m., it wasn’t too hot and we were pumped to make it to this beautiful hidden waterfall in the middle of the desert, despite the signs at the beginning of the trail.

The trail was very rocky and there were several steep declines, by the time we reached the waterfall we had descended 1,500 feet.  At one point when we were climbing down it crossed my mind that we would have to climb back up this but I was still feeling like a warrior and wasn’t too concerned.  It took us about an hour and a half to reach this desert oasis.

It was BEAUTIFUL!!  We tried to slowly climb in because the water was cold but the rocks were slick and they helped make the decision on how fast we should enter the water.  Yes, I fell in.  There was a cave beside the waterfall that we swam to and cliffs that looked over the deepest part of the waterfall were made for jumping. 

I’m not really into heights or jumping off things (remember my Grand Canyon feelings) but this wasn’t too bad and I didn’t want to regret not doing something, especially after a 4 mile hike to this place.  So I jumped!!

….and Jenna jumped too.  

 We explored everything, ate our packed lunch, and enjoyed just sitting and looking at this amazing wonder in the desert.  This is where the water filtration just ordered several months ago became crucial.  We needed to refill our packs and he was able to do this with that pump.  We knew that we were going to need to leave soon because it was a little over 4 miles to get out of this so we packed up and started back.

We made it about 100 yards out when Jenna said:

“I’m hot”
“I don’t feel good”
“I’m tired”

Not good.

Seriously, Josh should be a motivational speaker because at this point he sat her down and explained that it was going to be hard and that she would need to dig deep to finish.  He said this is just like the things that you will face in life and you’re the only one that can determine your outcome.  You can work hard and push through and then look back at what your hard work accomplished.  During his pep talks in the beginning I pretended that he was talking to me.  Of course the last mile and a half he was talking to me.   We had to stop almost every 100 yards or as soon as we came to some shade.  We used this time to catch our breath, rest our muscles, and cool off.  The heat from the ground was so intense. Have you ever opened the oven while something was baking?  This is exactly how the ground felt on your legs. I felt my heart beat in my face and behind my eyes.  My body was getting chills and my knees were hurting so bad.  I literally had to tell myself the steps to pick up each leg and put it in front of the other one.  This may have been my near death experience.

I’m not sure what went on inside of Jenna but she never complained again.  She pushed through like a champion.  I have never been so proud and in awe of her.

I’m not sure when Josh did it but he took off our water shoes from our packs and added them to his.  I am so grateful for Josh’s planning, wisdom, encouragement, and strength.  It took us about 3 and a half hours of walking through the scorching desert up a canyon wall to get back to the trail head.

 This experience was by far the hardest thing I have ever done so far in my life.  The life lessons I’ve learned from this incredible experience were many. 

We are so much stronger than we think we are.

Surround yourself with people that see what you’re capable of, believe in you, and gently push you.

The reward for hard work is a lifetime worth of treasures.

Oh, and mac and cheese with a side of French fries is the perfect reward. 

We are sooooo sore this morning but are enjoying our stories of perseverance and near death as we head to Los Angeles. 

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