Travel Diary: Havasupai, AZ

I just came back from my trip to Supai, Arizona! aka land of the blue water. You might have heard of Havasupai from social media as it has picked up quite the popularity recently. Havasupai is home of the Havasupai Tribe, so please respect their home while visiting! This place is a true adventurer’s paradise, and I had so much fun here so I decided to share my experience and tips with you all!

I went at the end of August which is still hot in Arizona. The highs can get up to 100 degrees or more. This time around it’s also mosquito season, so remember to bring bug spray!

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Trail into Town
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Hike into town

Once you’ve decided to go, you’ll need to pick a couple of dates. Due to the popularity and limited permits, you should pick maybe 2-3 dates in case your first choice is booked. Do not go to Havasupai without having already booked your permits. The Natives there check very often, and if you don’t have a permit, they will force you to leave.

Reserving your permit:
Reservations for each year starts on February 1st! And can be purchased on their new website! Be prepared to pay at the same time of reservation! Permits are for the campgrounds, and the person making the reservation MUST be present have an ID at the time of permit pick up. You pick up permits when you arrive into town. (8 miles from trail head)

Fees –
Entrance Fee: $50.00
Camping Fee Per Night: $25.00
Environment Fee: $10.00
Tax: 10%

  1. What to pack – (Think Minimalist, and as light as possible! Don’t bring anything you wouldn’t want to carry.)If you’re not planning on doing any more camping trips, you can rent most of the essentials (tent, backpack, sleeping bags, trekking poles) from REI (Co-Op Members get additional 50% off on all rentals)Adventure 16Outdoor GeekWool Socks (wool socks dry quick & don’t smell)
    Hiking Shoes
    Water Shoes
    Water Socks (I wish I brought these because this would help with blisters)
    Backpacking Backpack
    Day Pack

    Hydration Bladder 2-3L
    Hiking Poles (helps with downhill hiking)
    Hat for the sun/Sunglasses
    Sunscreen
    Bathing Suit
    Toothbrush/toothpaste
    Headlamp (for night time)
    Bug Spray
    Backpacking Tent
    hammock with mosquito net (great alternative to tent. also lighter than a tent)
    Sleeping Bag (if it’s hot, I’d suggest doing without this)
    Sleeping Pad
    Wet Wipes (alternative to showers)
    Dehydrated Food (Mountain House tastes the best, and dehydrated food is lightweight)
    Snacks, Instant Coffee
    Trash Bags (Take your trash with you! There are no trash cans at the camp)
    JetBoil (this will boil your water for food in 30 secs!)
    Utensils/cup for eating
    first aid kit (also moleskin wrap for blisters!!)
    Water Filter (not a must need, but nice to have)
  2. Directions to Havasupai Trail head:
    -I used directions from waterfallsofthegrandcanyon.com and it was super helpful!
  3. Good to Knows:
    -There is no reception as you get closer to the trail head, so I would advise you and your group to do as much communication as you can while you still have phone reception. If you’re renting a car, make sure your friends know what car you’re driving.-There is a fern spring in the campground where you can refill your water. It’s totally safe for drinking, and I drank that water for 3 days without getting sick.-If you want to be super cautious, you can bring a water filter.

    -There are bathrooms around the campgrounds. All of them have toilet paper & hand sanitizer.

    -At the ranger station, just outside of the camp site, you can ask for a free bucket so you can keep your food in it. This is especially helpful because the squirrels here are especially smart and will dig through everything. A squirrel even made a hole in our friend’s tent to steal food!!

    -The delicious Fry Bread stand is walking distance from the camp site, they’re cash only. Other than Fry Bread, they also have ice cold water, soda and Gatorade! But their hours are unpredictable. (see sign below LOL). Be prepared to pay inflated prices! ($8 for fry bread, $5 for Gatorade)

    Frybread+in+Havasupai+Reservation

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    -From Trail Head, it is an 8 miles hike until you get into town. And 2 miles from town to the camp grounds.

    -From Los Angeles to Trail Head is a 6 hour drive.

    -4 hours drive from Las Vegas to Trail Head.

    -The first mile is a steep downhill. This will be the only downhill you’ll really encounter, for a while. It’s not too bad, but having trekking poles really help with stability.

    -The rest of the trail is all flat. I suggest starting the hike from trail head at 5-6am to avoid the heat.

  4. How to train:
    -The best trail closest to Los Angeles for preparing for Havasupai is The Bridge to Nowhere. The trail at Bridge to nowhere is very similar to Havasupai because there are uphills, downhills, and river crossings. All of which you’ll encounter at Havasupai.havasupai canyon trail map and village
  5. Waterfalls:
    -There are 5 waterfalls: Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, Hidden Falls and 50 Foot Falls are closest to the camp ground. Beaver falls is 3.5 miles past Mooney Falls. Just follow the river. It will require river crossings, so wear your water shoes.

-Wear your water shoes when getting into the water falls. There are a lot of rocks on the bottom and wearing the shoes will help with walking.

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Havasu Falls
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Mooney Falls
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Mooney Falls
Beaver Falls
Beaver Falls

-*Warning* – going down to Mooney Falls requires you to climb down very steep and unstable man made steps. PLEASE BE CAREFUL and take your time getting down. It will be muddy due to the waterfall splashing.

 

 

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5. Helicopter:
-The Helicopter is an option if you want to take this into town from trailhead or if you want to take it back up from town.
-It costs $85 per person one way, and allows 1 medium sized bag of 20-40 lbs.
-Natives get priority and they can come anytime they want.
-You’ll want to get your name on the list as early as you can, it is at first come first serve basis. Sign in sheet starts at 10am, but most people arrive anywhere from 5-6am to camp out.
-They accommodate everyone, or until night it gets dark.
-Be prepared to wait about 5 hours for the helicopter.
-They take credit(Visa/MC/Disc), but if you have cash, it’ll make it easier.

Helicopter Schedule:

March 15 to October 15:
Sunday: 10 am to 1pm
Monday: 10 am to 1pm
Thursday: 10 am to 1pm
Friday: 10 am to 1pm

October 16 to March 14:
Sunday: 10 am to 1pm
Friday: 10 am to 1pm

I hope everyone gets to come visit Havasupai once in their lifetime. It’s truly a nature lover’s dream to visit and spend the weekend here. Enjoy! And feel free to message me if you have any other questions!

-LiWo

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Vacay Motivation

This past weekend, I went on a 3 day cruise with 5 other friends to Ensenada, Mexico. And of course, like any other vacation, there was lots of eating involved. I wanted to do a quick little post on ways I keep up with my workout regimen, even when I’m on vacation.

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Photo: Ricky Chu

Sometimes, unfortunately, when you’re unable to run outdoors, you’ll need to hit the dreadmill. But to keep yourself challenged even on the treadmill, you can do some quick interval workouts to change things up and keep you from getting bored. Lots of treadmills already have interval settings, but you can also try some interval work outs like this Speed Endurance treadmill workout:

  • 5-10 min – comfortable pace
  • 1 min – challenging pace
  • 1-2 min – recovery pace
  • repeat

*By the way, treadmills on cruise ships totally suck ):

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Photo: Lauren Reyes

I keep myself motivated by surrounding myself with friends who also have similar goals as I do. I’m more likely to go to the gym or go workout if I have someone there to keep me accountable. Make it a group activity! Make it fun!

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Photo: Ricky Chu

During our trip to Ensenada, we also booked an excursion to do some Zip Lining, which also had some challenging (and scary) bridges. The bridges chlallenged us to balance ourselves (core & legs), and used our arms to keep the ropes steady. It was a fun activity, but it was also a hidden workout!

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Photo: Peter Kim

So, scheduling time to do a workout is key to keeping on track even when on vacation. And especially working out in the morning so you can get it over with can help free up time for other activities!

Climb For Heroes

In the day in age where everyone feels overwhelmed by their work and look forward to a day of rest, usually during a National Holiday, we often forget what we’re celebrating and why we should be thankful for that Holiday.

Today is Memorial Day, the day we celebrate all those who served in the American military. For those who sacrificed themselves to keep our country safe.

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Last month, I was able to join Team Tender Greens and The Heroes Project for the Climb for Heroes hike the 10,064 ft. elevation of Mt. Baldy.  The Heroes Project, who organized Climb for Heroes, is an organization who works with the veterans, soldiers, marines and military communities. Their goal is to support, them in every aspects of their lives.

Climb for Heroes, one of three Heroes Projects events, welcomes climbers and hikers of all levels. Everyone from kids to wounded heroes climbed all the way to the top of Mt. Baldy. At each base camp, The Heroes Project stationed a wounded hero to provide inspiration, and encouragement. Most of these wounded heroes had some kind of disfigurement from their time in service. Many with a missing limb, are still able to hike the highest mountains of the world. As I pass each soldier, I got more and more inspired, and it gave me courage to climb further.

DSC04079DSC04078DSC04069I kept reminding myself that if those soldiers with missing limbs can do it, I have no excuse not to. And it really helped that the Heroes Project set up several inspirational signage to help boost each hiker’s spirit as everyone climbed higher and higher.

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Much gratitude to our heroes and to those who serve.

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LA Marathon Recap

Race weekend came quickly! I knew I had to keep my mind clear and not think too much about things that were out of my control. I vowed I wouldn’t think about the negatives and focus on the positives. I tried to focus on prepping by body to go through the longest run of my life. Drinking plenty of water throughout the week, eating as clean as possible, and avoiding any foods that may upset my stomach.
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Bib pick up day was sort of hectic. We went to the LA Marathon Expo, watched a little bit of the Olympic trails, picked up a bunch of essentials for race day, and I was worried about finding a hat because I heard it may possibly be a high of 80 degrees after my race. I was super tired by 5pm and ready to call it a day. I do recommend taking it easy before race day, so you will be well rested and ready to wake up at the crack of dawn to eat and get to the race location.

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Race day came around and my friend Ben was coming to pick us up, however, he was coming from the Inland Empire and was stuck in back of a super bad accident on the freeway. Peter, Tony and I were ready to call an Uber to drive us to our shuttle location. Thankfully, Ben made it in time and we got to our shuttle early and even had time to use the port-a-potty before the race started.

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Here is where you get scrambled into a small tight space, and everyone is headed towards one direction: The Start! Herd of 25,000 other runners who are about to run 26.2 miles with me! Wheee!!

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Up until race day, I never ran  more than 16 miles consistently. I did split up 18 miles between 2 days one weekend because of time constraint. So, with that being said, anything after mile 18 was a struggle for me during the race. I was running out of fuel, even though I was eating Clif Blocs consistently throughout the race.

I spoke to some of my good friends about marathons and honestly, everything they say is correct. After a while, your body will feel weird and you will just need to take your time to listen to your body and give it what it needs. I stopped a couple of times to stretch because after mile 20, I could not shake out the tightness in my quads. There was a point where running actually hurt more than walking. So that’s what I did. “Just keep running, just keep running running running.”

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Focusing one mile at a time is what kept me going. I kept reminding myself about what brought me to the LA Marathon in the first place, and keeping a positive mind set was key. There was a point where I was only 2 miles away, but that 2 miles was so close, yet so far. I was about to break down, but I told myself, no crying. If I wanted to cry after the finish line, so be it. But first, I had 1 mission and that was to finish!

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I’m so super thankful for every spectator and volunteer out there cheering and providing aid. Shout out to the girl with the poster board of Vaseline for my chaffing thighs! I also consumed so much Powerade that day, that my pee at the end of the day was super neon yellow! HA!

The feeling of what I accomplished that day made the pain much more bearable. I’m thankful for Peter for all the support, training tips and helping to push me. After running a marathon, I feel I can accomplish anything!

If you were to ask me about running LA Marathon next year, I wouldn’t have an answer for you. I’m no longer scared of marathons, and if I were to ever do another marathon, it would defenately be LA Marathon. So I wouldn’t say no just yet to LA Marathon 2017, but for now, I’m going to focus more on improving my half marathon performances.

Yaaaas to YAS Fitness

Tonight, I took a spin class at YAS Fitness DTLA courtesy of my friend Samantha. She’s training to be an instructor at YAS so she invited me to go with her, offering a free class for newbies like me who have never been to YAS before.


YAS is a fitness studio that has both Spinning and Yoga for Athletes in one facility. Located in the heart of DTLA, YAS is walking distance from LA Live, Grand Hope Park, and FIDM. YAS offers their members parking validation for 2 hours! Which is super rare, especially for this location. I’ve taken several fitness classes in the West-side and usually never go back to specific studios because of the parking situation. So being that YAS does this for their members already adds points in my books.


Unlike other spin studios, YAS allows their members to spin with regular tennis shoes. They provide the strap for the bike pedals so your feet stay in place. However, if you do prefer to wear spinning shoes, you can rent shoes from YAS for $2; which is a bummer to me, as other spin studios I’ve been to provide shoes.

YAS’ studio is clean, and equip with showers and lockers for their guests, so it’s super convent for those who are always on the go, like I am!


What to bring to YAS: water bottle, and towel. YAS does not provide their members with complimentary towels and water, which is something other spin studios in the west-side also provide.

Our class today was taught by Micha, who was super positive, upbeat, and kicked our butts for an hour. Her music choice is mostly electro dance, which is something I prefer to workout to anyways. Her class was so fun that I signed up for a YAS Fitness package myself.

YAS has a sale for new members only: 5 classes for $50, and they allow you to buy a maximum of 2 packages. They do not expire and you can use it for both Spinning and Yoga!

Overall, the bring your own towel and water balances out with the price of the classes. I’ve been to spin classes where the class goes from $30+, but provide all the essential amenities for free. YAS is cheaper because they don’t have as many freebies, but it doesn’t really bother me. What makes me coming back to YAS is the class experience and the staff! Go YAS!!

Putting in werk – my 1st marathon

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Not long after the announcement about the extra combo medal that comes along with running any Ragnar Relay & The Los Angeles Marathon, I decided I had to have it for myself. Having previously ran the SoCal Ragnar Relay with a couple of friends in April 2015, and knowing all I had to do was run 1 full marathon and I would receive 2 medals, made my eyes wide with greed.

Before this, I told myself that I would never ever ever run a full marathon because I was content with running half marathons, however, my mind soon changed after the announcement of the “Golden State” double medal. But I have my reasoning behind never having the desire to run a full marathon. It might have something to do with a combination a fear of the amount of pain I would be in if I were to run a full marathon, and being comfortable with doing half marathons. I don’t consider myself a fast runner, and realize there is most definitely room to improve my half marathon time before tackling a full marathon.

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Having a boyfriend who is an avid marathon runner helped. He was ready to put me to work, and I had about 13 weeks to put in the mileage and train. We did a couple of super challenging mountain runs and I was ready to give up. It’s not that I don’t want to put in the hard work, but I’m not sure why, but my recovery time just seems slower than most people. I was discourage because I couldn’t recover quick enough to keep with the training regimen.

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Shortly after those mountain runs, I realized that my current running shoes were officially overused and I had to get a new pair. After finally switching shoes, I decided to ditch the strict training regimen and just went with listening to what my body was telling me it was ready to do. I increased mileage weekly and was super excited when I finally broke my fear and surpassed my comfortable 13 miles. After I broke 14.2 miles, that’s when I became more confident that my body was ready to move up in even more mileage.

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During the holiday season, it was especially hard trying to plan my long runs around events and even during unexpected tragedies that happened a month before the race. However, I signed up for a half marathon to incorporate it into my training. I got sick two weeks before the race, felt pain on and off during my training in my left hip  and I was super stressed that I would’t be fully recovered by the time of the race. But thankfully, I was 90% better and I felt ready by taper week.

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For me, it helped not only to be physically prepared for the race, but more importantly, to be mentally prepared. I’m the type of person who can easily talk myself out of doing something, so giving myself positive pep talks and having a positive outlook at how far I’ve come in my training really helped me mentally.

After reflecting on my 13 weeks training, and seeing the 220 miles I’ve logged, I’m glad I listened to my body, cross trained and laid low when I was feeling pain and gave time for my body to heal and get stronger for an injury free race.

Coming up next: Race day recap

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year! Working out might be one of your New Years Goals and I thought I’d share some of my tips. Something I struggled with when I changed my job is motivating myself to workout in the morning, especially because my new job required me to go in earlier than my previous job which means I had to adjust to a new schedule. But I really do like working out in the AM rather than the PM because I’m more of a morning person. Morning workouts may take some time to get used to, but it seriously has changed my body and mind for the better. Especially now that it’s Winter in Los Angeles and it gets dark by 5pm, it makes it harder for me to fit my training schedule in.

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Benefits of Morning Workouts:

-Get it done & out of the way
Have you ever had those days where you’re at the end of the work day, and you’re just feeling way too tired to workout? So you end up just going home and plopping down on the couch and watching Netflix. I’ve encountered so many of those nights. But by working out in the AM, you get it done and you’re less likely to make excuses!

-Empty AM Gym
If you’re a gym go-er, you know that after work at 6pm-10pm is prime time for the gym. Everyone gets off work at about that time and they all have the same idea about working out after work. The gym is more enjoyable in the AM because there’s no need to wait to use the machines, and that smelly guy you always see at the gym? Yeah, you won’t see him.

-Mood Booster
We all know that working out releases endorphins (aka the happy chemicals) from your body, which gives your mood a major boost! If you have a long work commute like me, you’re less likely to get road rage and mellow out. Yes, even if that D-bag cuts you off for no reason.

-Energy!
Ever have that awakeness after your night time workout that makes it hard for you to sleep? Well imagine you had that alertness in the morning!  You’ll be pumped and full of energy, ready to tackle the day!

Tips to becoming a morning person:

-Make sure you get enough sleep!
Sleep early! If you’re planning on waking up early, you will need to make sure you get a good amount of sleep so you’re not still tired and end up making excuses to sleep in. *A good amount of sleep differentiates with everyone. For me, it’s 7-8 hours.

-Get dressed!
To save time, I sleep in my workout clothes so I can just get up in the morning, brush my teeth and get onto my workout. That way, you can maximize the time you can sleep, but also have enough time for your workout!

-You Snooze, You Lose!
Set a realistic alarm time that will have you get up in the morning. Snoozing the alarm will not only make you more tired because you’ll go back to a half sleep and wake up even sleepier when that alarm goes off that 2nd or 3rd time.

-You’re half way there!
Move your alarm to the opposite side of the room, preferably near the door on the way to the restroom so you’re half way to the restroom and you’re more likely to get ready and go about your day and out the door.

-Before you go to bed..
Prepare everything you need for work the night before so you have one less thing to do. If you go to the gym and head straight to work, pack your work clothes, shower caddy, lunch, and shoes into your gym bag so you can grab everything at once on your way out.

-Set Goals!
Set a weekly workout schedule to follow. That way, you’ll know how much time you’ll need for the day to accomplish the workout, and it also it doesn’t leave you wondering what workout to do for the day.

-Fuel up!
Pack a pre-workout and post-workout snack the night before! If you’re like me, I need a little bar or apple to hold my stomach until the end of my workout. I’ve noticed that I’m more likely to cut my workout short if I’m hungry and thinking about food during the whole workout. I also tend to over eat afterwards, which totally defeats the purpose of the workout in the first place!

-Hydrate hydrate hydrate!
Do it before bed, right when you get up in the morning, during your workout, and after your workout! You have no idea how many times I’ve struggled through my workouts and end my workouts early because I’m not properly hydrated. It’s dangerous too! You don’t want to faint!

 

Hope that was helpful! Let me know if you guys are Morning Birdies or Night Owls and what helps get you motivated?