Day 1: The Drive Down South

Last summer, my parents mentioned in passing that they would like to go on a backpacking trip unlike one that we have been on before. Growing up, we always had a youngin or two around that couldn’t go very far, or carry anything too heavy. But now, we children are either adults or teens, perfectly capable of doing something challenging. It was time to test our backpacking skills. Destination: Havasu Falls!

The process of getting a reservation was trickier that anticipated. Havasu Falls is located in the Havasupai Native American Reservation, located just outside of the Grand Canyon National Park. In order to reserve a spot to go into the reservation, you have to call in on a certain date, and hope that they aren’t completely booked for that season. My parents called every half hour, for weeks trying to get through, and had almost given up hope, when someone finally answered. Thank goodness for perseverance. Amazingly, they were able to schedule our visit within one day of when all four of my siblings and I were able to go. Then, the prep work began.

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Google docs were created with packing lists. Each of us trained physically with a training schedule developed by my brother. Everyone gathered their necessary equipment (I got a new backpack to replace my horribly fitting old one – yay!). And I found a place for Rosalie to stay during the four days we were away. Originally we had planned on taking her with us – I would carry her in the Ergobaby with a small backpack and Kyle and the rest of the family would haul the rest of my stuff. In the end, we decided to leave her in the capable hands of my Aunt Netty. A wise decision. This hike is not for little ones.

Soon enough it was March, and we were packing our bags and heading out! Rosalie and I flew to Utah two days before Kyle left so that she could get used to a new environment before leaving her. That gave her just enough time to make friends with my parent’s dog and give lots of hugs and kisses to her grandparents before getting whisked off to my aunt’s house.

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It wasn’t easy dropping her off, and I did have a good cry as I drove away. I missed her already. But I had spent months preparing 90 ounces of breast milk (flown while frozen from Minnesota to Utah – I can fill you in on the details if you are interested, just comment) for Rosalie to have during her stay, as well as setting her up with all of her favorite foods and toys. I knew that she was going to get spoiled with attention with my aunt and her two daughters.

With Rosalie taken care of, the Todd crew was ready to go! It included: Dad, Mom, myself, my brother Andrew and wife Jemimah, my sister Marissa and boyfriend Justin, my brother Camren, and sister Kenzli. We loaded into two cars, packed with our gear, and departed Kaysville for Las Vegas. It was there we would pick Kyle up from the airport and stay the night at a nearby hotel. Most of the drive went smoothly, except for the two hours we spent moving forward at a glacial pace or stopped all together due to accidents caused from the random snowstorm. On the optimistic side of things, at least it allowed us to get out and stretch our legs (and have a snowball fight). All that time in the car had us itching to hike. It’s a good thing, too, because the next day we had a 10+ mile hike ahead.

 

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