I hope you're not directing that to me, lol i read that in a book, i think it was beautifully written. i went there last year not sure what to expect and was semi expecting what i've seen on other reservations.
i was correct.
the natives are just tanned versions of us in a dustier environment, minus the car and noise pollution.
every single one of them speaks their native language and english and are very polite and willing to speak with you about their culture.
the lodge is not a lodge at all but a kind of modern log cabin type deal with warm showers.
of the reservation dogs 20-40 of them were vaccinated and sterilized this past fall by a group of veternarians that volunteer their time (one of those vets works here at the animal control shelter i work at which is how i know this)
the res dogs are all very use to people and 3 of them slept with us last year.
but despite all the modern variations of life you see down there that book i am reading is not incorrect in its description...
lush, green, paradise, such at the beautiful valley of wild grapes, where all you can see for what seems like miles (but is probably only 3/4 mile) is green bushes up to 8 feet high! BEAUTIFUL!!!
There were sections of the river last year where I was able to dive down about 10 feet. (i know this because i am five foot tall and my best friend isn't much taller and i held her ankle until i touched the bottom lol)
the base of Mooney Falls was maybe 2-3 feet deep unfortunately. and the natural "reef" that once enveloped the base of the falls was wiped out and is disgusting looking now. full of litter and rotting corpses of trees and bushes.
navajo falls was trashed but the allure is not in just the falls, nor just the culture.
but when you drive through flagstaff on to seligman or however you choose to get there all you can think of is "i am surrounded by city. by roads. by pavement. by buildings."
when you finally get off onto the road that leads you to Hualapai Hilltop...that's where my mind began to think, "I'm on the reservation. in the middle of nowhere. just miles from a seemingly peaceful paradise"
then you arrive at the hilltop, it's just a parking lot, a rez dog meets you as you take a power nap in the back of your vehicle. a few natives ride by on their pack mules or horses. the smile and wave and say "see you at the bottom"
that's when you realize. I'm here. i am no longer in phoenix or flagstaff, i am somewhere new and different and exciting.
after that flat, dry, dusty 10 mile walk, when you finally first glimpse the beautiful blue green waters. THAT my friends is when you realize WHY you did this, why you came here.
Where else can you see blue green waters surrounded by a thick copse of green trees and wildlife!
just a mile above the roaring waterfalls and lush green campground what is there? desert, harsh, flat, dry upland desert.
no, she is right, don't expect a shangi-la, don't expect to rush back 100 years like at Rawhide or The Ren Fest
Expect reality to punch you in the face. remember what these natives lost and how they fought to win it back, and realize that they are living a modernized version of their past and it's not as easy as it seems.
it may not be paradise, but it most certainly is NOT the city and it makes for a wonderful vacation and it helps support the new lives the Supai have been forced to adapt to. Without our tourism, the Pai wouldn't be able to survive down there any longer.
So please, don't expect to go back in time, don't expect paradise, but do see beyond the litter and grubby modern clothing and loud rap music and rankous tourists, see the falls, see the trials, learn the history. respect the present as much as the past.
and most of all support them, in all that they do down there. their story is an amazing one, more amazing than any native struggle i've ever read about.