A scenic loop trail that has views of Bryce Canyon, Glen Canyon and other amazing places. After about 2 miles the trail comes to an old road. Turn left following the road to the south. When you see the pink cliffs above you to the north you are just below Canaan Peak which is a great campsite.
- Floating Down the Green River
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- Week in Washington
- Sea Turtles
- Pictured Rocks National Shoreline
- Canyon Falls on
- A night under the Eiffel Tower on
- The Running of the Bulls on
- A night under the Eiffel Tower on
- The Running of the Bulls on
- Cliff Jumping
- Rock climbing
- Running With Bulls
- White Water Rafting
- World Travel
We arrived in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in the early afternoon. We were driving through a tiny village built upon old dirt roads which were alive with thousands of crabs making their way across the streets! There was so many, that most of the road was littered with the crushed carcasses of the ones who didn’t quite make it out of the way of the passing vehicles, but they were just a fraction of the live ones still making their journey towards the ocean.
I was very young at the time, probably only 10 or 11, so I remained silent and kept my elementary Spanish speaking skills from surfacing while my dad did all the talking. We eventually made it to a small hotel where we found shelter for the night. As it was getting later in the evening, I noticed that the weather had changed for the worse. Huge, dark storm clouds were rolling in and the sun vanished behind them, and I knew we were in for one hell of a night.
The so called “hotel” that we were staying in was nothing more than a tiny house with old decaying stone walls and paint chipping off every square foot. There was a flimsy wooden door that protected us in our little room from the seemingly monsoon-like weather that was ensuing right out our window. Never in my life have I heard such loud, crackling thunder and bright flashing lightning. The rain pelted against the walls and windows with such force that there were points I didn’t think our little fortress would hold up. There was trash and debris being blown all throughout the street and you could occasionally hear someone yelling in the distance. Somehow I found the ability to close my eyes and fall asleep to the chaos that was surrounding me and consuming my ear drums.
I awoke to an unfamiliar silence and bright rays of sun blinding my eyes. I looked outside and was overcome with a feeling of excitement that made me want to sprint outside and start my day. I didn’t realize the night before, but we were about four huts away from the beach and on the main stretch of dirt road going through our village. It was an absolutely gorgeous day with not a single cloud in the sky but instead an overwhelmingly massive sea of blue above my head.
Obviously our main mission was to get to the beach and enjoy the pristine aqua blue water that lay before us, but there were a few provisions we had to acquire first. My brother and I had never surfed before, but had always been fascinated and intrigued by the idea. We were from Traverse City, Michigan so there wasn’t exactly any gnarly swells that we could catch back home. There was a little surf shack right on the beach, which was interestingly enough owned by the same owner of our weatherproof hotel fortress. They only had one small surfboard unfortunately, but offered us their personal boogey board that they had back at their house. We graciously accepted the gift and ran down to the water where we would begin our all day surfing adventure with no previous practice, advice, or guidelines whatsoever.
It went about as well as you can probably guess…Great! Granted, neither my brother nor I ever got up on either the surfboard of the boogie board but it was a bluebird sunny day, we were sitting in beautiful shark-filled water, our feet would occasionally graze the coral reefs that were under us, and every time a decent size wave came we would cling to the boards and be blasted to shore at lightning fast speeds. I never got to experience what it’s like to actually get up and surf a wave, but what we did was some of the most fun we had ever had.
After endless hours of fun on the beach, we returned the boards to the shop and piled into my dad’s 4runner. He said he was taking us to a place called ‘Eden’. Well, any place called Eden in a tropical area of Mexico with jungles surrounding us must be a pretty decent place to go. The road to get there twisted and turned through the jungle with vines and animals swinging through the canopy above us.
The rain from the day before had made this area a muddy warzone, but the car could handle the terrain. The road finally opened up a little bit and we could tell we were at the final destination…or so we thought. There was a large group of tourists gathered at the base of several tall trees forming a sort of watch-tower-like structure, and at the top was a rather unusual sight. A gutted military helicopter rested on top of the trees being clutched by branches and vines. All of the interior was ripped to shreds and the electrical wires were ripped out of the body as if a monster had come through.
As we pulled up my dad informed us that this was where they filmed the movie “Predator” and this was the exact helicopter that Arnold Schwarzenegger and his crew of mercenaries used in the filming. So we were right, the helicopter had been ripped apart by a monster. In fact it was an alien monster with lasers on his shoulder and bombs on his wrists. You could actually climb up the trees to get into the helicopter so of course my brother and I jumped out right away and scurried up. It was so cool to be in the exact prop they used and know that big Arnold had been here.
We knew now that Eden was going to be pretty badass. We got down and back in the car and continued up the muddy road a little further. We reached a makeshift parking lot in a small clearing and realized that Eden was also a restaurant, but unlike any we had ever seen before. From the front it looked like an average shack of a restaurant, but once you rounded the corner of the boardwalk that led to the seating area, you were walking above a tropical lagoon with a giant waterfall and rope swing that hung right from where you ate. You could literally eat, drink, stand up and grab the rope swing and soar out above the beautiful pool of jungle water and drop. Then, if you didn’t want to climb the ladder back up to your table, you could swim toward the waterfall where there was a grotto under the rocks that led to a ladder that took you to the top of the waterfall.
I couldn’t believe what this place had to offer as it seemed it kept getting cooler and cooler. My brother and I went through the grotto and up the ladder and watched some other kids as they jumped into the river that led to the waterfall, and slid over the rocks like a waterpark and off the edge of the roaring cliff! The rocks were as smooth as glass so you could slide across them with ease. I looked at my brother in further disbelief, then jumped into the river and went for one hell of a ride. I can’t tell you how many times we did that circuit of rope swing, lagoon, grotto, and waterfall slide, but I do know that it was one of the most excitingly fun days of my life, and I will never forget the insane activities that I got to partake in while we visited the beautiful and unforgettable town of Puerto Vallarta. If you read this blog, I can only hope that you can make your way to Mexico and partake in some of the amazing things that beautiful country has to offer.