Friday, October 28, 2011

UPDATED: "Some Day"

So, after working out for 9 weeks, and trying dozens of different classes, I have managed to gain yet ANOTHER 5 pounds, jack up my left foot so bad it hurts to walk, pull SOMETHING in my groin, and get a blister in a place that has NO FUCKING BUSINESS getting a blister, I think it may be time to re-evaluate my goals.

I may be going back to good old fashioned running, where I can sweat and puke all on my own, thankyouverymuch, without some overly muscled fitness guru telling me to "COME ON!  PUSH IT!  YOU CAN DO IT!" and basically egging me on until I hurt myself.

I know, I know, it isn't their fault.  I could have leaped off the dammed spin bike and stomped my foot and crossed my arms and said, "ENOUGH!" 

But I didn't.

I could have thrown my water bottle at the boom box during the zumba class that nearly ruined my life and stormed out of the room in a huff instead of trying to shake it shake it shake it, and permanently injuring my pride.

But I didn't.

Instead, even though I have been eating LESS, and eating more healthy (healthily?  healthililier?), I have gained another 5 lbs.

What.  The.  Fuck.

This brings me up to... 180 lbs.  I mean seriously.  That sounds like a lot.  It got me eating a ton of cantaloupe in the hopes that I would get Lysteria and maybe FINALLY stop the madness.

But what, really, is in a number? I mean, besides all of my self esteem and willingness to try anything new? (HOLY SHIT 180? REALLY?)


I am hitting the reset button here, and making some new damned goals for November and saying "fuck you" to September and October.

Goal #1: I will not get on the scale.  Not the crappy old one in my bathroom, not my mom's fancy digital one in her bathroom, not the professional looking doctor scale at gym at work.  Not. Getting.  On.  Why?  Because every time I do, I get really depressed, eat an entire fried chicken and a bag of fun sized Baby Ruth bars, and drink a six-pack of beer.  And not light beer, REAL beer.  That's why.

Goal #2:  It's about a month away.. Thanksgiving.  That means the Turkey Trot is coming up.  There will be no Turkey since my parents went all vegan on me last year (Depressionfest 2011 right there,guys), but we can still go a-running on the big morning of what USE to be my favoritest holiday ever.  Goal #2 is to beat my Turkey Trot time from last year.  Sure, I am 15 pounds heavier than last year, but last year I had an injury that made running almost impossible. 

This means that instead of working out for socks, I will now work out for my self respect.

Ummm. Wait.

That sounds kind of bad.

OK.  Let's try this thing over again.

Goals for November:

  1. Find a way to actually sleep at night.  This may involve running a lot during the day.  Or at all.  I hear that exercise helps you sleep.
  2. Find a way to deal with stress that doesn't involve eating, or quitting my job. (This might tie into the whole "running" thing again.  And hiking more).
  3. Run the Turkey Trot in less than 39 minutes.  Yeah.  39 minutes was my time last year.  I really should be able to beat that.
  4. Write a novel.

Wait, what?

Oh, yeah.

I forgot to tell you.

I signed up for NaNoWriMo this year.

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). 

No.  For serious.

I signed up to write a novel in November.



I did.

Because sometimes I think that everything that is wrong with my life is caused by the fact that everything I am planning to do with my life, I am going to do "some day".  Yeah, remember that time I was going to write a book?

Yeah.  I didn't.



I am writing a goddamned novel in November.

"Some day" is the month of November, kids.

50,000 words, 30 days, and I will have a rough draft.  That comes out to 1666 words a day (about).

I need to prove to myself that I can do it.  It doesn't  have to be good, it just has to be done.

So what I am saying is... I might not be around much in November.

I may not be able to keep up with my bloggy friends.  I may not be writing many posts, or commenting on the posts of others.  It isn't that I don't care.  It's just... well...

I kinda sorta need to write a book right now, and go for a run.

P.S.  Do you want to be my writing buddy at NaNoWriMo?  Email me, and I will send you the details.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Reason I Called in Sick on Wednesday

"Up!" she shouted.

I was sweating, maybe groaning a little bit.  Shit, I can't do this I can't do this I'm going to die, this is the longest five seconds of my life!

"Down!" she said.

"Uuuuugh," I groaned.  My feet kept spinning the pedals while I tried to catch my breath, but it was no use. 

"UP!" she shouted.


I stood up again, maybe a half an inch from the seat, and kept my mouth shut.  I didn't have enough strength to go further.  I was going to die, I was going to explode,  I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HAVE FUCKING COUNTED TO FIVE WHY ARE WE STILL FUCKING STANDING?

"Down!" she shouted.

This time I thumped down with an audible grunt.  I wondered if I was going to have a heart attack.  That would show them.  Making me exercise.  At least I would have an excuse to stop pedaling.

This was my first ever spin class.

If you don't know, a spin class is where you sit in a semi-circle of stationary bikes while trying to follow the lead of an incredibly toned and muscular woman, while surrounded by other sweating and grunting idiots who thought this was a good idea.

It is the latest in a long line of fitness classes I have joined at the wellness center at work.

Normally, I am not much into these types of group fitness classes, but I keep being drawn in by the idea of free socks, so I keep going.

Free. Socks.

And I have learned some valuable lessons:

  1. I hate zumba.  A lot.
  2. Classes that have an "X" in the title are hard.
  3. Anything with the words "body bar" or "bosu" are also going to be hard.
  4. Pretty much, any class is going to be hard, and make me feel weak.
  5. Everyone has a price.  Mine is socks.*
*Thanks, Tim, for pointing this out to me recently.

I, so far, have managed not to cry in any of these classes.

But I have to keep going.

And it isn't just the free socks.

No, really, it isn't.  Not just the free socks.

Spin class was held in the hour before I started work (yes, I came in early for this). 

I arrived at 7 AM.  They all knew each other, and I had a momentary feeling of being the odd man out.  These guys had been "spinning" together for years.  But since I almost always feel like the odd man out, I decided that I would pretend I didn't notice the sidelong looks and whispered asides.  I would tough it out, whatever happened.  It was only 45 minutes.  I would fucking WIN this race, damnit. 

Win it.

About 20 minutes in, I was sweating more than I ever remember sweating in my life, and three things happened at once.
  1. My foot slipped out of the pedal and I was nearly pulled underneath my stationary bike.  I saw my life flash before my eyes before catching myself and getting right again. 
  2. I sat hard on the seat, which was not as soft as my real bicycle seat, and I wasn't wearing bike shorts because they are a little tight these days.  So when I thumped down on the seat, I think I bruised something... er... delicate.
  3. I kept pedaling.
What am I, stupid?

And while my conscious mind was thinking, "OW, FUCK, SHIT! OW, THAT HURT!  GODDAMN, I HATE YOU I HATE YOU, DIE DIE DIE!" and I was concentrating on not saying any of this shit out loud in front of my coworkers, underneath it all, I was determined, no, more than that, I was CERTAIN I would do this, I would finish this class.  Because I have to be in shape.  Because I have to be able to escape the zombies.

I'm serious.  That was what kept me going and got me through spin class.


I showered and cleaned up, and started the quarter mile trek through the building to my desk.

It was a strange feeling, being a few minutes early to work, so I wasn't really paying attention when I started down the stairs and nearly collapsed.  I had to grab the railing to keep from falling, and my wet towel went sliding out of my shoulder strap and fell to the floor.  I hesitated in retrieving it, and it actually crossed my mind that I could just leave my wet towel on the stairs, but good sense and cheapness made me stretch down (without bending by legs) and snag it.

My legs had lost all strength, but they didn't hurt at all.  This may have been a bad sign.

I staggered to my desk, trying not to look drunk and looking like I was really drunk, and pretended to work for a couple of hours.

It hurt to sit, and I realized that on top of the bruise, I may have chaffed my delicates, too.


At 10:15, I managed to pull myself to my feet again and wander down the hallway.  A few weeks ago, I had signed up for a free flu shot at work, and I had almost forgotten.  I considered skipping it, but, you know.  It was free and all...

Sometimes I wonder if I would get a full frontal lobotomy if they were giving them out for free at Walgreen's.

Anyway, here are some things I learned while getting my flu shot at work:
  1. Do not wear a shirt that you can't roll up beyond your elbow. Otherwise, you will basically have to strip half naked in front of random coworkers in the Falling Aspen Leaf Conference Room.
  2. Doctors (or nurse practitioners) do not appreciate it when you make exaggerated grimaces when they give you a shot, even if it really hurts.
  3. They also have no sympathy when you say, "That hurt!" in a wounded, tearful voice, even though you went to the extra effort to not say, "That HURT, Fucker!"
  4. Do not, repeat, do NOT realize that you have just allowed a corporation to INJECT SOMETHING INTO YOUR ARM.

I spent the afternoon thinking about how pointless it is to work out so hard when I am going to end up BEING a zombie because I was stupid enough to let them inject the zombie virus in my arm, and that my legs hurt, and my arm hurt, and I want to go home, I won't cry I won't cry I won't cry. 

That night I started to feel sick.  A little off.  Something wasn't right.

My neck was a little swollen, my throat hurt.  I had a headache.  My bones hurt.

Holy shit, dude, I was joking.  I didn't actually think they were making me into a zombie.


And that, my friends,  is why I stayed home from work the next day, which was a Wednesday, with instructions to my loved ones to destroy my brain if I started to turn.  I couldn't trust them to finish me off at work.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Apple Didn't Fall Far...

A typical conversation from a typical evening at home:

"Awww..." I said, "I don't wanna work."

Mom: "Me neither."

Me: "I should just quit my job.  I'll be an artist."

Mom: "You've tried that before."

Me: "Yeah, but I always had to get a job, so I have never been a full time artist.  I always want to 'eat' and 'pay rent'.  I should just be homeless.  Less stressful."

Mom: "You know we would never let you be homeless."

Me: "Yeah, but you would be mad at me."

Mom: "Maybe you should just find a rich man to take care of you."

Me: "Mom, I already HAVE a man."

Boyfriend (From the other room where Boyfriend and Dad are playing cards): "Wait, what?"

Me (walking in to the other room): "Mom says I should find a rich husband, but I told her I already had a man."

Boyfriend: "Huh."

Dad: "Well, we're rich in the things that matter."

Me:  "So I can quit my job?"

Dad (chuckling evilly): "As long as you don't mind eating the 'things that matter'."

I guess this means I will be going to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Literal Hikes are so Much More Fun than Metaphoric Ones

I started my day our right.

I had a fluffernutter for breakfast.

If you don't know, a fluffernutter is a toasted, buttered sandwich filled with peanut butter (the crunchy kind is best, with as many trans fats as you can find, because they're the best kind) and marshmallow creme spread.  No, seriously, it's a thing.  Normally, it should be eaten on Wonderbread, but for some reason my house only contains healthy all grain crap these days, so I had to make do.

As I chewed on the gooey goodness, I found myself smiling.

In the morning.

On a Sunday.  (I know, right?  What the....?)

But I was happy.  We were going for a hike.  A literal hike, not the figurative mountain climbing that I do at work.

This was going to be awesome.  And I probably wouldn't die.


We decided that the first day after Colorado's first big snowstorm would be a good day to head up to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Originally, we were going to go up on Saturday night, while the moon was nearly full, but a couple of things stood in my way.

  1. There was a blizzard.
  2. The local brewery was having its Oktoberfest that day, and no one wanted to stay sober.

Me: "But, but, but, the weather is so much more fun when you're out playing in it."

My Mom:  "Leauxra, Oktoberfest."

Me: "But, but..."

Dad: "You can still go.  We're just going to go to Oktoberfest."

Me: 'But..."

Boyfriend: "They have a point, you know."


So we headed out on Sunday, bright and mid-morning after drinking all day on Saturday.


There was a slight post-apocalyptic feel to the trail head.

We were heading up to a place called Chasm Lake, which resides underneath the 2500 foot diamond shaped granite cliff that is the east face of Longs Peek.  The trail to Chasm Lake follows the same path as the way to the summit, with a turnoff at the holy-crap-you-want-me-to-walk-where? to get to the lake.

Since Longs Peak is the 14,000 plus foot peak farthest north in that Rocky Mountain chain, and because it is the only 14er within Rocky Mountain National Park, it is ridiculous with people all summer.  The parking lot will fill up, as well as the side of the road for a good mile or two downhill.

The parking lot at the Longs Peak trail head.  Where are all the people?

A few minutes later we headed out.

The trail starts around 9500 feet above sea level, and goes up from there, and today, the trail was further complicated by having a few inches of snow on top.  It only took a few minutes before I was not only gasping for air, but sweating profusely.  It was maybe 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and still.

It was really beautiful, despite the minor discomfort of not being able to breathe.  Like a goddamned greeting card.

As we went, we came upon two hikers coming down.

Normal trail ediquite calls for the person going down to make way for the people going up.  I was panting a bit though, and I stepped off the trail to catch my breath and let them pass.

"Hi," I chirped, pretending I was not short of breath.

No response. 

"Nice day for a hike, huh?"  I said.

One of the guys said (a little dully), "Yeah."

How the fuck could these guys NOT respond to me?  Look how cute I was in my kitty hat!  And my hiking pants are totally flattering!  

I couldn't understand what their problem was.  If I'm in a good mood, EVERYONE should be in a good mood, right?  Jerks. I glanced behind me as they passed my mom, and noticed they had ice axes and crampons.  Maybe they were trying to go for the summit and were tired.


I shrugged and moved on.

It was around the time that the trees started getting shorter.  I was amazed there is no wind as I had never been here in anything less than a gale force.

It is usually so windy that the trees only have branches on one side (click to enlarge).

We passed some friendly hikers as we broke out above the trees.  They were on their way down.  Unlike those jerks below, they actually responded.

"Hi," I said, "Nice day!"

Female Hiker: "Yeah, it's is gorgeous."

My Boyfriend: "What's the weather like up there?"

Male Hiker: "About the same.  We didn't get far, the trail gets hard to follow."

Female Hiker: "Did you see those guys coming down?  They got lost last night in the storm, ended up staying the night."

Me: "Oh really?  The guys with the ice axes?"

Femal Hiker: "Yeah."

Male Hiker: "Apparently it got really hard to see and they decided to hunker down for the night."

Me:  "Oh."

I felt a little like a jerk for thinking they were jerks after they had gone through an ordeal like that.  And also thankful to Oktoberfest for keeping me out of the snow on Saturday.

The trail became difficult to follow.  Only a few inches fell, but it drifted waist deep in some places, completely covering cairns and the rocks along the side of the trail.  Boyfriend didn't want to walk on the delicate tundra, so he kept plowing through the snow to make a path in the correct place.  Walking took a lot of work.

There s a trail in there somewhere.  I swear.

Things start clearing up as we near the ridgeline, and we passed another pair of hikers.  The man said, "Ahh!  Snow cat! Ha ha!"  He sounded French.

I smiled, not getting the joke.  "Nice day," I said.

French Man:  "Very nice out."

Boyfriend says, "How is it up there?"

French Man: "Longs Peak was teasing us, but she stayed hidden."

I looked up.  I could see where Chasm lake should be, almost, and the clouds were still socking it in.  It looked like maybe they would burn off before we got there.

Our path was towards those big cliffs and jagged peaks.

A few minutes later, I said, "Oooooh!  I get it!  The hat!  Oh!  That's why that guy called me a snow cat!"  I had completely forgotten about my cat-eared hat.

I would like to blame lack of oxygen, but I might be this scatterbrained all the time.

We took turns using the bathroom, which was a 4 foot high pit toilet on the edge of a steep drop.  It doesn't have much privacy, but it does have a spectacular view..

We continued walking into the dramatic setting.  Icicles were being warmed by the sun, and as they melted, they lost their grip on the cliffs above and came crashing down.  At first I thought they were pretty far from the trail, but I realized that I was stepping over some broken icicles on the trail as big around as my arm.

We spread out as we walked, all moving faster, and hoping we wouldn't die.

The final challenge involved climbing up a partially frozen waterfall to get over the lip of the morraine.  This spot is shadowed, and a breeze picked up from the valley below. I wasn't sure if I was shivering from the cold or from fear, but I kept going until we reached the top.

At that moment, the east face of Longs Peak came out for a momentary visit, before hiding behind clouds again.

The diamond on the east face of Longs.

Chasm Lake, not frozen yet.

The clouds moving back in.

We sat on the rocks, trying to get out of the wind, and had our lunch before heading back.

Boyfriend said, "Well, halfway there."

I laughed.  I was pleased we had made it this far.

The way back was faster, and partly spent in the timelessness of walking in the clouds that caught up to us.

The 8.4 mile round trip took almost 8 hours. Yeah, not going to be winning any marathons with that pace.  But I think there are hardly any marathons that I know of that run through drifted snow over rocks.

I went home with a feeling of exhilaration and accomplishment, and a little bit perplexed.

For a long time, I couldn't figure out why I was going back to my cubicle after this.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Zumba Tried to Kill Me

There is a new fitness challenge at work right now.  We're supposed to all try to go to some of the classes that they have, and try them out.

We get free socks if we participate.


But this means that I have to step out of the box, as it were, and try new things.

It turns out that my abject fear of yoga was unfounded. Yoga's OK, and I kinda like it (I am pretty sure just saying that has caused an imbalance in the universe).

It was zumba I should have been worried about.

Zumba tried to kill me.

No, I didn't have fun, please stop looking at me in disbelief. I left the class sweaty, frustrated, a little bit angry, and with a slightly pulled muscle in my back.

No, I seriously did not have fun, stop acting so surprised. I felt (and probably looked) like I was having a seizure. I don't WANT to "wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle and turn, then shake shake shake my hips". Fuck you.

I will have to admit, though, that the class wasn't nearly as bad as the complete disappointment everyone around me seems to have in my lack of enthusiasm.  I would rather do endless push-ups and sit-ups and run until my feet bleed than go back to zumba.  Sorry. 

Random Coworker in the Class that I Don't Know (RCitCtIDK): "It takes some getting used to."

Another Random Coworker in the Class that I Don't Know (ARCitCtIDK): "I still don't know all the steps!  Don't worry!"

Wait, was I supposed to be worried?  Was I THAT bad?

RCitCtIDK: "I just feel so good afterwards.  Don't you feel good?"

Me:  "Uh.  Heh.  Um...."  I looked around.  "No."

ARCitCtIDK: "HA HA HA, you should come back.  We have such a good time together!"

RCitCtIDK: "I feel so good afterwards."

ARCitCtIDK: "Don't worry, we all had to learn!"

Me:  "Uh.  I'll think about it.  Excuse me.  I have something to do.  Over there."  (Makes escape).

I'm sorry.  I didn't like it.

I am not judging you.  Go do your sexy aerobics.  It's fine. 

I don't do sexy aerobics, I look more like someone is randomly zapping me with a cattle prod.  I kept wondering why I was facing the back and nearly falling off the riser in the workout room.

New rule:  If someone tries to get me to go to any kind of fast paced  dance-type exercise class where my limbs may flail around in random directions and may or may not come in contact (accidentally) with other people's faces, I will say "No."

I have a dexterity of 2 (I really need to talk to my parents about how they set up my character sheet.  I mean, seriously, it would have been nice to have a slightly higher charisma).

I, apparently, have no rhythm.  There are not enough saving throws in the world to rescue me from my own inept "dancing". 

This makes me a little sad.  I HATE it when I am not instantly good at something.  Hate it.

But I digress.  I have been feeling pretty low lately, and I need to keep myself from focusing on the negative.

I need to think about things that I am good at, things that I am improving on, happy happy joy joy no I am NOT FUCKING DEPRESSED, FUCK YOU NEGATIVE THOUGHTS!  I AM HAPPY, GODDAMN IT!  HAPPY!  LA! LA! LA! SKIPPING THROUGH THE WOODS HAPPY!  DO YOU SEE ME FUCKING SMILING?!?!





I am a ray of fucking sunshine.

***deep breath***

I think I need to stop with the classes and just go back to running.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Into the Abyss (The Travelogue Edition)

Sometimes spaces are too big for my little pea brain to comprehend.

For example:

On my 33rd birthday, I decided it would be a good idea to jump out of a perfectly good airplane (I had a parachute and a professional attached to me as I did so, but I still question my thinking). 

As I stood at the edge of that massive 12.000 foot drop, the image of my toes peaking over the edge of the door burned in my brain , along with this sense of space, this nothing, this Void.  It wasn't just underneath me, it was above me, too.  It spoke to my monkey brain and tried to send me skittering up a tree, screeching and throwing my shit at everyone.

The skydive instructor shouted, "READY?" and shoved me into the abyss before I could find the words, "HELL! NO!"

I didn't scream.  I didn't have the voice to scream.  I tumbled silently ass over head and I was caught in this white noise that could have been wind or my blood running though my ears because it was afraid of heights too.  I caught sight of the dwindling plane for a moment before we righted and started our one minute of "controlled free fall", face down. 

Somewhere around now, my hands got all tingly and numb.  Not completely dead, but like they both feel asleep at once.  "I'm going to have a heart attack," I thought, "My pulse must be at like a hummingbird right now."  Then I wondered why I was thinking so calmly and clearly.

The instructor tapped my shoulder, "LOOK UP!" he shouted.

The wind filled my nostrils and tried to drown me with air.  I could see up out over the foothills, over the closer peaks, out out to the snow tipped peaks of the divide.

Even as I pulled my 'chute and we slowed into a smooth roller coaster ride feeling as we drifted down, quiet after the 120 mile per hour wind during free fall, my stomach clenched and I kept having to remind myself to breathe.

I was floating through the negative space of the sky, and looking at the world through the eyes of Google Maps.

I survived, and I was incredibly happy about that when we touched down.  I don't think I stopped shaking for hours, nor did I stop smiling.  I did not shit myself, puke, pee, but I honestly think I was actually too scared for those things.  There is something about the Void that shakes you, and stalks you, and reminds you how very very small you are.

I have felt the Void at other times, been startled by the Void looking back at me.

When standing at the top of a cliff, or walking on an exposed ridge on a mountain.  But it has always been a vertical feeling.  A feeling of up and down.

Last week, Boyfriend and I drove down to the Grand Canyon for a little backpacking trip.  I was shocked by the feeling of Void I could feel, pressing on me in its emptiness every time I caught a glimpse of the chasm even while we were driving, miles and miles away.  This wasn't a vertical feeling at all.  It was a space in front of me.  Out.

My monkey brain couldn't comprehend it.

But I went towards it, anyway.

We were walking that-a-way.
 A couple weeks before, I said something like, "I need to take a vacation.  What should we do?"

I had originally planned to travel to Europe this summer, but things happened.  I needed to conserve a bit.  I wasn't even sure I could afford an airplane ride at this point.

Boyfriend and I started looking at maps.  Maybe we could go to the Sand Dunes, or Mesa Verde.  Maybe we should go through Durango, and then up to Moab, the Grand Canyon...

But the problem was that all of these places could be reached and enjoyed on a long weekend.

I had 9 days off in a row.  We needed to do something special.

I was Googling things at random, looking at pictures, and an image of a tall waterfall tumbling into an aqua colored pool popped up.  I read the caption.  "The Havasupai India Reservation".

Me:  "Oooooo."

Boyfriend: "What?"

Me: "What if go here?"

Boyfriend: "Where is it?"

Me: "Arizona.  Grand Canyon."

Boyfriend looked a little dubious.  "Do we need a reservation or something?"

I felt my heart sink.  We would never get in.  It was too late.  It would be too hot.  I wouldn't be strong enough, fit enough.  My vacation was a failure before we got started.  Crap.

When I called, though, it was a two minute conversation with the tourist office on the reservation.  Three weeks later, we were standing at the top of this drop off, 30 plus pound packs on our backs.  My stomach kept clenching and fluttering.  It was like falling while standing still.

Were we really going to do this?  Walk into that great big emptiness out there?

And then we started.  There was no fan fair, no preamble.  Just a step, and we were going.

It was an alien landscape.  To make it really realistic, they should have put in an extra sun.  Regardless, the forecast was for severe clear, and the desert did not disappoint.

It was hotter than we hoped, but not as hot as it could be: mid-eighties and not a cloud in the sky.  When we were planning the trip, the highs had been in the 100's, but there had been a sudden cool-down.
It was eight miles walking from the Hilltop Trailhead to village of Supai, and then another 2 miles from there to the campground where we would be staying.  Walking.  On our feet.

There would be no running water but what came out of the springs and in the river.  There would be no beds but what we carried with us.  And there was no alcohol allowed on the reservation, whatsoever.

Not for the first time, I wondered what the hell I was doing.

The temperature dropped dramatically as we neared Havasu Creak, and was actually pleasant when we finally reached the campgrounds.

We were warned about camp dogs being about.  No one said anything about camp horses.  I am pretty sure this guy was the one that woke me up to a loud whinny in the middle of the second night.  Heart pounding holy-crap-the-horse-is-gonna-frickin-step-on-me-and-crush-my-esophagus! feelings ensued at 12:30 AM.
We wandered in the provided camp area for a while before we found a place to set up our tent.  I was surprised by the number of other adventurers.

It was tempting to just lay down and die right there, but we cleaned up slightly and walked back up to the closest waterfall to splash around and cool our feet.

It wasn't a trick of the light.  The water was actually blue.

The water was maybe 65, 70 degrees Fahrenheit, about 15 degrees cooler than the air around.  The water was luxurious and strangely thick with minerals.

We spent our first evening on the banks of Havasu Falls. 
I was tired and shaky from the walk, but I kept smiling.
We went back to camp before darkness, and I laid down on the picnic table and watched bats swoop through the canyon above and change direction so quickly it was hard to believe they could have any mass at all. 

At one point, a bat flitted through my hair and made me laugh.

It might not be the Ritz, but it was OK., I guess.
As the stars came out, I felt it again, that vertiginous Void at the edge of space, like I might fall off the earth into the thick layer of stars as the Milky Way became more and more brilliant.  We pulled off the rain fly so we could watch the stars through the mesh of our tent as we slept.