Saturday, October 13, 2018

Saturday Morning Hike

Jax and I head out early and find people camped in the middle of the road going up the Sand Hill. I'll assume that they set up in the dark not knowing or the beer cans affected their location set up.

Some of the puddles in the road are as big as I've seen them on the way to the Wind Caves.
The sand bars are all gone from the river and it stays that way for a few days with west to east storms as it rains up river and the added water flows down to us.

The 18 months construction project of the Mother of all Hogans does not seem to be making much progress.
Two weekends a year it's Telluride Disc Golf Weekend where most of the disc golfers from Telluride come hang out at Base Camp and play the course. Really good people.

Moab 240

It's Friday morning and I'm beat but it's the beginning of the Moab 240 mile foot race and the first check point at the 30 mile mark is at the Base Camp sign. I want to see that but as I'm getting ready to hike out to the sign Kobae wants to go hiking also after five days cooped up in his house with the rain. I open the gate and we hike out to the sign where most of the runners are concerned that they are hallucinating already seeing a tortoise in the race. A few mention Kobae will probably pass them in a couple hours. As I typed this Sunday morning the survivors are still running a hundred plus miles from here.

Thursday: The Longest Day

It's been raining for a couple of days and the intensity picked up Wednesday night. By Thursday morning things were a mess and the Base Camp driveway was a creek, meaning Kane Creek was probably a river. With six rentals of guests coming in on this day I figured probably best I try and get some extra sleep because there's no way to know when this day might end. At 7:30am Brandon knocks on my bedroom door and says checkout guests are stuck in the mud. We took the truck over to Last Hurrah and they were in deep. I came around behind and pulled them out and then told them to just wait until 11am somewhere when the rain was to lighten. At noon the rain turned to a sprinkle. Need to go for it now.

I decided to go to Kane Creek with them to make sure they get across and incoming guests would be ok. This is what it was like when I got there.

Just in the 15 minutes I was there a sandbar began developing in the creek so the water is going down. I told guests who were in a small Kia to wait and I was going through the creek to town, get my errands done and then come back when the water was down enough to get them across. The water went down a lot while I was gone and I drove back and forth across five times to make a trail they could follow and they made it out.
I drove back to the lodge and emailed all the incoming guests not to head out for the lodge until 4pm. To let the water go down some more. I'd be to the creek bed by 5pm to help everyone across. When I got back to the Kane Creek the first guests show up in a little rental car with about two inches of ground clearance. I put the three of them in my truck. Two more guests showed up so I figured it was time to run everyone back to Base Camp.

When I got back I got all the check ins organized and then emailed the three missing guests and ask if they were coming. One said they only made it to Glenwood Springs and another said they'd be here tomorrow. Neither showed up the next day and the road was fine. The last guests said they were getting food in town and would be here around 8:30 or 9pm. They called at 10pm to say they were stuck coming up Hurrah and gave me a description of where they were. I recognized it and told them how to get up it and to call me from the top of Hurrah Pass. A half hour later they called and said they were still stuck so I jumped in the truck and headed for Hurrah Pass.

At 11pm I found them but not where I thought. They had taken a wrong turn and were out on a rock peninsula overhang and stuck in clay mud on an uphill. I could smell clutch when I got there. I could just barely get within 100 feet of them without getting stuck myself. I hooked four 25 foot tow straps together and started pulling them up.

I only could back up 22 feet on the little rock peninsula before I would go off the edge and tow strap them over the side with me. It's dark, I'm backing up, and I don't know where 22 feet is. I put a headlamp on the edge of the cliff drop off so I can see it in the side view mirror and can't let the back tires go past the headlamp or we all go 500 straight down. I'd pull them up 22 feet and then take one tow strap off, hook them up again, and pull them up another 22 feet. Take a tow strap off and do it again. When we got to the last tow strap they were just about up to solid ground when their clutch burned up and they rolled backwards cinching the tow line really tight and yanking me down hill a couple of feet. That bound up the gears and I couldn't get out of park no matter how hard I tried to move the shift lever. They had no clutch and I couldn't get out of park. It's 1 a.m. Friday morning.

I call Chris at Nations Towing. He gives me some ideas but they don't work. He says he'll get some tools and jump in a tow truck and come to us. We could see him in the canyon below and he was moving fast. He gets to us at 2:30am

Chris pulls the Jeep up to take the pressure off the tow strap and I can get out of park but the Jeep's clutch is gone. I load guests in the truck for the second time today. Chris tows off the Jeep and I take guests back to the lodge. It's 3:55am when we get to the lodge. I get the guests settled in and at 4:30am, 21 hours after I did my first tow on this day, it's over.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Hayduke Christy

Driving to town Tuesday I saw a woman with walking sticks camped just this side of Hurrah Pass and invited her to water up before heading out and hopefully I'd be back in time to meet her. Just barely. She was packing up when I got back. We started talking and got along really well telling stories so she hung out for an evening like most Haydukers. With Wednesday morning it was time to leave. I ask her what her trail name was, she told me, I forgot, then she gave me this sign so maybe it's a Prince thing where he changed his name to a question mark or something she changed hers to some trail gang sign.


On Tuesday I dropped guests off in the river in town to do a four hour kayak back and while doing so they ask me if I would buy them some wine while I was in town. They told me what kind. When I got to the liquor store I heard a vehicle had driven through the front window. It probably says something.


Been raining a lot the last few days, actually made the road better. On Sunday a huge rainbow showed up during a brief rain lull.

Sunday, October 7, 2018


On Saturday and Sunday it rained off and on but guests went hiking, others out to Chicken Corner in the side by side and still others to the Wind Caves.