Havasupai Falls

I’ve been trying to get this permit for 2.5 years ever since I moved to Arizona. About a month ago was my lucky day. Every year on February 1st the office opens up their phone lines to sell permits for that calendar year. I called on repeat at least hundreds of times and never got through. On October 17th, 2017 I called randomly to see if they had any cancellations and it was my lucky day! I quickly learned that it is easier to get a permit during the week if you are able to take off work. The weekends permits go quicker.

HAVASUPAI CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS & PERMITS:

To make camping reservations in Havasupai, you can must call the Havasupai Tourism Office at (928) 448-2121.

2017 Costs*:

  • Camping permit – $25 per person, per night
  • Environmental fee – $10 per person
  • Entrance fee – $50 per person as well

This means that for the first night the cost for one person is $85, and $25 for each subsequent night camping. For more information, click here. It cost us $93.50 including tax per person for one night.

We crammed a lot into one weekend, it’s doable, but if you have more time to explore I would highly recommend to do so.

Gear rental

REI has some great free classes to prepare for your hike. I saw one locally called “preparing for the grand canyon”. You can also rent backpacks, tents, and more gear from them. Check to see what stores you can rent from here. OR a cheaper option would be to rent from Arizona Hiking Shack off of 32nd and Thomas. My friends went there and they had everything for cheaper.

Only way I could fit the bread lol!

What I Packed

  • 2 person tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • 1 gallon of water (Camelbak with bite valve)
  • Backpack
  • 2 pairs of wool socks
  • Change of clothes
  • Plenty of Cliff bars, trail mix, and stuff to make PB&J’s
  • Swim suit
  • Rain coat (you’ll want this for Moony falls)
  • Water shoes
  • Hiking shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Portable chargers
  • Camera/Go Pro

Think minimal! Unless you plan to have the helicopter or donkeys take down your stuff (extra $$) your bag can get reallyyyyy heavy.

Agenda

Friday

We left after work around 5pm to head to the nearest hotel near the trailhead which is still a 1.5 hour drive away. From my house (Scottsdale) to the lodge was about 3 hours and 22 minutes. Definitely worth staying closer Friday night so we are energized for the long hike ahead. To book a room at Hualapai Lodge click here. I got the AAA rate for $127/night.

Saturday

Drive to the trailhead then get ready for a 10 mile hike down the Grand Canyon to the famous Havasupai falls! We set up our tent right near Havasu falls for the night. I do warn you in November the canyon gets pretty cold. It was about 21 degrees at night and up to 60 degrees during the day.

My friend and I went swimming in Navajo falls. The water was cold, but not unbearable for being so late in the year.

Group before the 10 mile hike down!

Sunday

This is the hardest part! Hike 10 miles back and the last mile is straight up the canyon. Then we drive back 4+ hours to Scottsdale. It was a super exhausting day, but if you’ve seen the pictures I think it’s worth it.

Havasu Falls
Navajo Falls
Mooney Falls

Ladder down to Mooney Falls (it was wet and slippery)

Travel Nursing

Travel nursing? Let me guess. You have a million questions because so did I. I decided to interview my friend Renee for this post because this is one option for working full time, but still seeing the world. She started her career at a hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Then, made the move to Phoenix, Arizona for her first stop of her adventure.

What inspired you to do travel nursing?

My first job was a good learning experience. I needed a positive change to help people. Travel nursing allowed me to do that and explore the USA.

How did you apply?

Research, research, research! There are a ton of travel nursing agencies. I honestly think this is the hardest part of the whole travel nurse experience. At first, I decided to go with a small local company in my hometown. I thought working with a local company would be nice so I could go into the office if needed. But, I found that the bigger companies had more options depending on what state you want to go to. Also going into the office really isn’t necessary.
– Just keep in mind that you may have to switch companies depending on what part of the country you are trying to go.
Also remember these companies are working for you so ask lots of questions.
Find a company that will reimburse you for your license, any certifications, scrubs, etc. Keep in mind they will not reimburse you until you get to that state to work.
Another thing to look for is to make sure companies offer health insurance.

How do you go about getting your license?

25 states are in the compact licenses which include licenses to all, but Ohio (which is where I got my original license) is not one of the compact states. So I have to apply to each state individually. I just went to each states board of nursing website and look for endorsement license. If you want more information to see if your state is in the compact license go here.

What states did you get and why?

Arizona: consisted of a two page paper with my contact information, I mailed it back to the board and then they mailed me a fingerprint card which I then took to a police station. Cost is about $10. They make you get a background check which cost $50. My Arizona license is good for three years and cost $240 total. It took me two months to get this license.

California: one page paper and they mailed you back a finger print Card. You have to get ahold of your college and get a transcript sent to the state. Keep in mind for all license if you miss any steps it delays you and with California the board is behind and averages 3-6   months to get your license. My California license is only good for one year and cost $179. It took me six months to get this license.

Colorado: this was the easiest and cheapest one. Everything was online, no finger printing needed. It was about 200 questions that you checked boxes and filled in your personal information. My license was emailed to me. My Colorado license is good for two years and cost about $90.

Texas: consisted of three pages of questions and an online test about their nursing law. I had to get finger printed and a background check. My Texas license is only good for one year and cost $216.

I had to go nursys.com and it will prove your license in your residential state. I paid $30 for each state that I chose. $30x 4 states= $120 (included in the costs above).

I chose Arizona first, because I wanted to go places based on weather and the time of the year. My next stop is Denver, because I didn’t want to be there in the winter. Then, my plan is to go to California and then Texas. The majority are 13 week contracts, but some places can do as short as 6 weeks. You can stay in one state for as long as a year before you claim residency.

How does housing work?

I would recommend finding it on your own. I looked into airbnb’s, VBRO, craigslist and even just googled furnished housing. For VRBO if you message the owners and explain you are doing travel nursing I have found they normally give you a discount. My agency sent me Extended Stay America and Hotel Engineer Apps.

How are your contracts broken down?

Think of it as a big pot of money that they break down into different sections. The agency will give you your hourly rate which will most likely be very low compared to what you’re used to, reimbursement for housing & meals, if you miss a shift how much you have to pay them, overtime hourly rate, holiday hourly rate, on-call hourly rate, and your call-back hourly rate. All of that is negotiable.

Join The Gypsy Nurse group on facebook. There is a lot of good information on there and it allows you to ask questions and get answers.

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”- Mahatma Gandhi.

Road Trip to Mexico

Road trip to Mexico…sounds crazy right? It actually was an easy drive from Phoenix. About 4 hours to be exact. The border is closed from midnight to 6am. I would recommend driving during the day. It’s safer anyways.

What you need?

You are allowed $75 USD tax free in new merchandise per person.

– Items for personal use such as clothing, shoes and toiletries according to the length of your stay.
– One (1) photographic or motion video camera, including a power source and rolls of film or video cassettes. (No professional equipment.)
– Books and magazines.
– One (1) used sports article or piece of equipment for individual use which can be transported by 1 person.
– Two (2) cartons of cigarettes or 100 cigars.
– Three (3) liters (appx. 3 quarts) of wine or Alcohol (including beer) per person if the passenger is an adult (21 or older).
– Medicine for personal use (with your prescription).
More questions? Click here for more information about Puerto Penasco customs.

Where we stayed?

We rented a villa for 11 people. It came out to $167 USD per person for three nights. This is for sure less than I would spend out at the bars for New Years 😉

Check out the website here. Las Palmas was easy to find and close to the beach. I would recommend it because it’s safe (all guests are required to wear wristbands).

 

Things to do in Rocky Point

Check out the website here for more detailed information here from whale watching to ATVing to night life.

We walked down the street from our resort and got two quads for $100 per hour. We had 6 people so only $16 per person. So cheap! There’s also a bar right by called Banditos that we watched the Fiesta Bowl and spent New Years Eve at. 

If you an looking for an affordable road trip this is it! I’ll definitely go back for a long weekend at “Arizona’s beach”. It’s super Americanized.

 

Hiking in Arizona

Since I’ve lived in Arizona one of the best things to do is find new trails and explore the beautiful sunny state. Let me first state I am NO professional. Hiking is something I have recently done a lot more since I’ve moved here.

Northern Arizona:

  1. Antelope CanyonPage, AZ. Okay this wasn’t really a hike… Just a couple set it stairs, but still super cool to see.     
  2. Grand Canyon-An american must do. I haven’t done this since I was about 10 years old.
  3. Horseshoe Bend- Page, AZ.      

Central Arizona

4. Fossil CreekPine, AZ. I have to admit my friends and I went here with intentions to find a natural waterfall…we hiked over 10 miles and never found it. If you decide to go here please email me, because as soon as we walked to the car we heard people jumping into the waterfall.
  
5. Sedona-Sedona, AZ. Sedona is an easy two hour drive from Phoenix. I’ve been a few times since living in Arizona and it’s absolutely one of my favorites. They are known for their pink jeep tours. We did a winery jeep tour at a Day in the West.

We went in the summer and it was perfect to do the natural water slides at Slide Rock Park in Sedona.


  
  

Phoenix Area:

4. Camelback MountainPhoenix, AZ. This is probably one of the most well known in the Phoenix area.


  
5. Pinnacle PeakScottsdale, AZ. 

6. Piestewa PeakPhoenix, AZ

Never been on a hike before? No Problem.

Here’s what you need…

  1. Hiking Shoes
  2. Water bottleS (you can never pack too much water I’ve learned)
  3. Backpack (to hold your keys, water, phone, etc.)
  4. Towel (on a really hot Arizona day you’ll want this to cool off)
  5. Protein bars (I love me some cliff bars)

 

 

 

 

 

My Bucket List for 2016

 

New year, new bucket list. 16 things I hope to accomplish in 2016!

  1. Bungee jump in New Zealand update: check out my post here
  2. Pet a kangaroo in Australia
  3. Go skiing
  4. Get certified in scuba diving
  5. Road trip to Mexico  Rocky Point Mexico
  6. Road trip to California San Diego
  7. Do a 5k
  8. Do  Triathlon
  9. Go to the Krka National Park in Croatia
  10. Try Indian food update: I tried curry and I loved it!
  11. Visit a new state Zion National Park- Utah!
  12. Do a mud race
  13. Hike the Grand Canyon
  14. Convince my roommate to let me get a dog (sorry Andi)
  15. Go Zip lining update: FullSizeRender
  16. Take a picture under the famous Las Vegas sign (I know this is sad considering how many times I’ve been to Vegas, but it HAS to be done).