National Geographic : 1970 Mar
196 feet the highest of Supai's three cataracts, and the one that speaks with the loudest voice (page 354). This is the end of the line for horse men, because the trail here becomes a series of hand- and footholds down the face of the steep cliff flanking the falls. Long ago lead and zinc miners hacked out steps in the rock and inserted iron pegs for handholds. The cascade is named for an ex-sailor turned prospector, who fell to his death here in the early 1880's. Warning Recalled During Lonely Climb Bound for Mooney and a swim in its la goon one late September afternoon, I crossed a park campground, now devoid of visitors. Here the valley was no wider than 500 feet and in places less than 100. From every empty tent site the music of the creek could be heard as it rippled beneath limestone cliffs. But now it was music for me alone. Only lizards and chipmunks kept me company. Canyon wrens, darting in and out of the mes- quite, sang their startling but melodious song. Cautiously, I worked my way down the cliff. A few minutes later I was contentedly swimming in my private pool and munching on the watercress that fringes the banks. When the sun sank behind the western wall, I dried and dressed and began to scale the cliff. It was only then I remembered being cautioned not to go alone to the bottom of Mooney Falls. Should I slip and fall, as did the ill-fated Mooney, I might lie for hours or days-before being found. I took extra care in the ascent. Halfway through the campground, I heard the sound of hoofs. Bufford Paya on Black Knight rounded a clump of thornbushes in a flurry of dust. He reined his mount to a halt, and the thought occurred to me that Bufford, learning I had come down alone, was check ing on me. Was that so, I asked? "No, just riding," said Bufford rather off handedly. But I wasn't convinced. Next morning I was strolling beside the EKTACHROME(BELOW)AND KODACHROMES 363 N.G.S.