A Grand Ol’ Time: Hiking and Hairstories in the Grand Canyon + Sedona

After the [amazing #naturalhair] madness of NYC and DC, I hopped on a plane to head to Arizona to meet my family for a girls’ weekend celebrating my Aunt Heather’s 40th Birthday.  I’m currently writing this post from the Grand Canyon where we arrived today.  It’s pretty much the complete opposite from the concrete jungles of last week’s East Coast trip, but  the “GC” as we’ve been calling it is absolutely breathtaking.  It’s like MTV TrueLife: “you think you know, but you have no idea.”  No seriously you don’t.  I didn’t until I got here and it doesn’t even seem real.  We keep joking that it just looks like a painted movie set because the scenery is almost *too* picturesque.

 

Cheesin at the GC with Heather

We drove to the Grand Canyon from Sedona – land of the Red Rocks – where we spent a couple days soaking in the sunshine and sprawling, mountain vistas, hiking, floating in pools and sipping on celebratory champagne.

On top of one of Sedona's legendary vortexes (L to R: Me, Mom, Heather, Nana)

Of course where there are four black women there are conversations about hair.  In honor of Heather’s birthday, my mom made a movie chronicling her life from baby-hood through the present.  There were a lot of great hair shots from Heather’s elementary school and teen years in which she wore a short afro.  They reminisced about all of the different styling products that were used – from Jheri Curl to TCB to Cream of Nature – all of which failed and lead Heather eventually to weaves then micro braids and ultimately (and currently) to locs.  We’ve featured Heather’s HairStory before on NaturalSelection, but being 14 years her junior, I never had any visual memories or knowledge of her formative hair years.

Kindergarten Heather

College Heather

Heather hiking and loc'ed in Sedona!

As we laughed and reminisced about her hair journey through the years, I couldn’t help thinking of my own (including my failed hair styling options,which include a Wave Nouveau in 2nd grade).  I’ve been pondering the irony that for most of my childhood I was told that my hair was a hassle to deal with, that my hair was too nappy, and that I had “too much of it”, but now -for all intents and purposes- I’m a professional natural.  It’s truly a tale of what was once a perceived liability has now become an asset.  It was cool to have conversations about all of our individual hairstories and how we each arrived at our current state because all of them were so different!

Bald baby Cass

 

Speaking of my hair— the Arizonan climate has been hard on little Lola and I find that I have to wash more frequently to maintain moisture.  Frankly, I find it better for my moisture levels to wash  as opposed to attempting to rely on daily moisturizers in dry climates, especially because my drying time is more than cut in half here.  Tomorrow I head to Austin, TX for a few days where I’ll be keeping up the same daily or every other day wash regimen.  I’ve been rinsing and co-washing with Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner and styling with Jane Carter Solutions Curl Defining Cream.

 

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Sedona and Arizona, I highly recommend you do so.  Our world is filled with so much natural beauty (pun intended); this journey has left me absolutely inspired to continue onward with the adventures!  Here are a couple more snaps from this trip— the scenery and experience have been absolutely too gorgeous not to share!!

Nana was super badass and hiked to the top of a mountain with us! Celebratory pic

 

The birthday gal silhouetted against a cloudless blue sky

 

Natural texture two ways: Nana's locs against mountain forests

 

Heather, Me, Mom, and Nana entering the GC

 

I couldn't help myself!!!! I *had* to plank the GC!

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3 Comments

  1. LMAO @ the planking…..I probably wouldn’t have been able to help it, either. Glad you had an awesome time!

  2. Cass you are too much! The.planking.pic #Idied! What an awesome trip! Your nana is doing it! Shouts out to nana! Girl trips are always good:)

  3. You really live life to the fullest. You are always on fun adventures:)

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