Thursday, June 30, 2016

That Time Again

Two months ago after extensive testing my doctor told me I had Auto-Immune disease. My immune system has been attacking my body for many years and it just now got figured out. So he gave me a formula of things to do to get my immune system unconfused. He ask if I'd had anymore allergy attacks? I told him it had been probably two years. I don't eat anything new I haven't eaten hundreds of times before.
This morning at 2:30am the mother skunk was having a disagreement with something on the front porch and squeaking up a storm. I got out of bed to go break it up and for the first time in years I didn't put my flip flops on before I headed outside. Walking down the hall there was a pain in the bottom of my right foot. I turned the light on and some black almost beetle like bug was running for cover. I grabbed a boot and wacked it a couple times, folded it up and put it in a paper towel. It wasn't long before my right foot was swelling up. I popped two Benadryl. Then got ready to go if that didn't solve the problem. It didn't. I could feel tingling in my hands and working my way up my legs. I grabbed more Benadryl, the Epi-Pen, phone, wallet, and boots and headed for the hospital. I wanted to be close in case it got worse and that's where I spent this morning. Sleeping in the hospital parking lot.
I popped another Benadryl in the parking lot and by just about daylight the tingling was gone in my legs and hands and I returned to the lodge. Now ten hours later I can almost get my foot in the flip flop. Almost.

The Crack: Reflection

This was easily the hardest hike I've done this year and probably in the top five or ten ever. I was so depressed when I hit the dead end boulder after having glassed it lots of times with binoculars to be sure there was a route. As I got into the Chinle (green stuff) it was really loose and I started climbing, crawling, up rock slides, as they were the only place I could get a rock large enough to get a handhold and not have it go tumbling down next to me. As I got closer to the top I had one boot fill up with pebbles. I found a sort of stable rock and took that boot off to shake it out and when I did I noticed all the material fell in the other boot. I took that boot off and while I was shaking it out I dropped it and it fell about 20 feet down the slope. I crawled down in socks to retrieve it and then had to squeeze out my socks before I could put them back on and then the boots.

Early on the way down I slipped, fell, and picked up a bunch of fine cactus needles in my left arm just below the elbow. A couple were in the tips of my fingers but so small I couldn't find them until I'd grab a rock to hold on to. I was so tired I'd see where my foot was suppose to come down but I'd miss sometimes and other times I thought I had lifted a foot over a boulder and I'd trip over it. Knowing my judgement wasn't too good I went down a lot of the Chinle on my butt. I lost my tracks from the way up early in the down journey. I knew I was a rockfall or two further to the left than I wanted to be but I couldn't find a way over so I just kept descending where I could.
This is the monster ant I found on the way down. You'll have to click on the picture to make it larger. It was about half the length of my index finger. I figured no one would believe me so I got ready to put my finger down next to it to show the size when I realized I hadn't seen a single critter on the way up or down except this monster ant. Then I started thinking he might be a super ant and it's probably why there aren't any other critters because it ate them all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Crack: From the Top

In the first picture in the far distance is the Windows section of Arches to include one of the arches. In the second picture a close up of the road up Hurrah. The third picture is the Pot Ash plant up river. Fourth the evaporation ponds with the lodge in the foreground. Fifth is a not adjusted picture of the road up Hurrah Pass.

The Crack: To the Top

The Crack

What a battle Tuesday was. Knowing I had failed to reach The Crack previously it had been bothering me for about a week or so. I went to bed early and was hiking toward the crack at 5:45am. Took about half an hour hike to get to the starting point and I was on the way up at 6:15 hoping to get up and back before the heat came.

For the first 45 minutes I followed my tracks from the previous attempt but not too far after that I hit a dead end boulder I couldn't get around or over. As I was hiking back down it hit me that if I don't make it today I'll be right back here again tomorrow trying it over so heat or no heat I should keep going. Pretty soon Hurrah Pass was below me and the lodge was just a dot on the horizon.

The Water Bowl

I left the Go Pro there for 45 minutes and 26 critters came to drink. Here's a few.

Ari, Wanderer, Hayduke Trail

I ask him why he wanted to hike the 800 plus mile Hayduke Trail in 100 plus degree heat. "I wanted to do something hard."