No Souvenirs to Buy, only Memories to Collect

Our last full day took us to the most exotic and breathtaking part of the canyon. Mooney Falls located at the very end of the campground is only reachable through a vertical series of ladders and picks anchored in the rock. I’ve hiked Half Dome in Yosemite National Park more than once and even at night but the way down to Mooney Falls is more treacherous than the ascent to the top of Half Dome with the cables.
My son, as any young boy, enjoyed the thrill but I progressed cautiously, aware of the fragility of the soil. What was stretching at my feet rewarded me above expectations.
Mooney Falls would be the perfect location to shoot a commercial for body wash and shampoo. We actually took showers using biodegradable soap. Hair gets as smooth as baby skin and shiny as healthy fruit when washed with spring water. No need for conditioner or hair dryer.
We bathed, swam and splashed until hunger brought us back to our backpacks. We polished the last bite of our fruits and licked our peanut butter jars before exploring the falls. Lush vegetation grows along the rocks under small cascades. Ferns and moss greener than the grass that carpets my native Normandy cover walls of rocks. Droplets of water slide along and you could almost see plants grow under your eyes. The blue of the sky mixed to the pure green and the brick color of the rock can’t possibly be imitated by humans. We could have hiked for hours and still meet a different landscape at each turn of the stream. The fresh and cool water poked small needles through our skin and we searched for sunny rocks to soak up the sun.
When it started its descent behind the canyon and we had to slip into our fleeces, we hiked our way up to the campground for an early dinner. Later that night, we returned to Havasu Falls right in time for sunset. We took last pictures, each of us aware that we had come to a special place. In silence, we gathered scents, sounds and sights instead of browsing through touristy boutiques. Here we had no souvenirs to buy, only memories to collect.
I don’t know what my fellow hikers thought then. As for me, I knew that once in a while I would open my memory bag and release a few treasures when man-made world would seem fake and too small.

%d bloggers like this: