Sunday, May 01, 2005

Special Edition: Supai Canyon

This is day two in a small slot of the Havasupai Canyon.Just a day prior we hiked 8 miles from the Hualapai Hilltop to our campsite above Mooney Falls. With a four day pack (~45 lbs) this hike is considered moderately difficult.
It starts off with steep switchbacks that wind down the hilltop for 1 ½ miles before entering the canyon drainage. There it gradually descents through the narrow canyon as you make your way to the Supai village. Along the way there were young Supai cowboys running pack mules up and down the canyon. These pack trains are not only the way the mail gets delivered but also most village supplies. For a small fee they will even lug you and your gear down there!(cheating) This one kid was running 25 horses up the rocky canyon with one hand on a rope and the other on his hat, grinning from ear to ear.

The village is full of life and smiles. People were tending gardens, caring for horses and maintaining trail ways. As we walked by the grade school, the children were at recess. They visited with parents, played volley ball and snacked before returning to class.The people of Supai appear to be living life happily, despite losing nearly 90% of their aboriginal land to the federal government in 1882 when the reservation was created.

This unique and beautiful section of the American landscape is enriched by these people. I am sure that my trip would not have been possible without them.

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