This past weekend, Saturday, was the first day Joshua and I have both been away from Emerson at the same time for more than a couple of hours.
We spent the bulk of the day alone, together, for the first time since Emmy graced us with her presence in November of 2016.
Joshua and I went on a six-hour hike in the middle of a canyon, down by the Hoover Dam.
It’s supposedly a hike just for locals – the hidden gem of Las Vegas. Now I’m not so sure how true this is, but for the sake of respect, I’ll keep the location disclosed.
We started out leaving the house at 9am, which in our world is 10am. That’s pretty on time for us. We left Emerson with Meme and Steve prepared for the day with lots of fun to be had at the park and playing games with two of her favorite people.
This being the first time we’ve spent the entire day away, I was feeling the heartache almost instantly – but thankfully I know my mama’s a pretty trustworthy woman so the ache subsided throughout the day.
On our way to the hike we were hit with some detours the GPS didn’t know about (of course) which caused our drive to be a little extra long, but only still it took about an hour from our place.
We were almost there when we see a giant sign saying the trail would be closed as of April 16th… Pause… It’s the 14th… So how exactly do we find said trail?
You sneak past the cinderblocks that are keeping the tourist out, of course. Once we drove past the seemingly closed off road and construction work, we saw a couple dozen cars and knew we had to be in the right place.
The hike started off breathtaking, even as we were walking near the highway bridge. There were wildflowers everywhere, we saw tons of lizards, some chipmunks, dozens of dragonflies, and different types of birds. We obviously weren’t near the concrete that consumes most of the desert.
The bridge had awesome graffiti and shortly past that we ran into bones of old cars that had either died there or been placed there for the cool effect. One was even up on the side of the canyon going unnoticed by most.
The first half mile or so was pretty easy, though the trail had sand and lots of small rocks making the ground squish around beneath your feet. Making it not the most enjoyable walk of all time. We came to a drink station that had extra water for those who have forgotten their water bottles (not a smart move in the desert or in a canyon) and a little set up for making your own rehydration drink in honor of one person who lost their lives on the trail.
We continued on making our way to big giant boulders we had to climb on, under, and around. The harder parts were coming. Finally – the first rope. There were about 6-8 ropes total on the trail which we used to climb down into the canyon.
There were lots of people and thankfully most were friendly and willing to help others up and down the huge 8 foot plus boulders if and when needed. Me, being the short person I am, needed more help than most.
For the majority of the hike we actually managed to stay pretty dry, but eventually, once we got to the natural hot springs, it became almost unavoidable. One section you have to climb down directly INTO a shallow hot spring and walk yourself through the small pool.
We decided we wanted to go all the way through to the end – and we finally made it – the Colorado River. We made it to a piece of home, which was quite shiveringly cold. But beautiful. There were ducks wading around in the shallow sections, small cliffs to climb or watch the current while the ducks battle on to accomplish duck things.
We ate lunch, got into the river (barely since we froze about 1 foot in) and hung out watching people enjoy the view and a small pontoon boat go by – which we are pretty sure wasn’t supposed to be on this side of the Hoover Dam, but we will let the authorities take care of them.
We decided it was time to head back to the big hot springs, the one we were told was the best and warmest of them all. Wow were we told right! It was a freaking hot tub in there. We stripped down to our suits and hoped into the warm water, which felt amazing after 2.5 hours of hiking.
We talked to people as they came and went, exchanging stories, talking about travel and our little girl. The hike and Colorado. Relaxing and enjoying our time just us two again. Without a stress in the world knowing Emerson was well taken care of.
The hike back was much more treacherous, climbing up the canyon. We made a couple wrong turns and had some funny encounters we will probably never forget.
All in all, I’d say we had a very beautiful and successful day.
Just the two of us.
Xoxo, Mama Kay