Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tuesday: Five Hour Hike

I have lots of one to three hour hikes around the lodge. This year I'm looking for a four to six hour hike somewhere. Last night I was thinking I could hike up to Hurrah, over to Scorched Earth Trail, and then try and find a way from Scorched Earth, where the Three Guys on a Roller Coaster figures are, then see if I could find a way up on the Amasa Back, down Jackson Ladder, and back to the lodge. There is a way currently but you have to take the valley and stone canyon almost all the way down to the bottom of Amasa Back and then back up again. I wanted to find a way to traverse the stone canyon up to Amasa Back to get the incredible views.

Jax and I drove out to Jackson Hole and then hiked up Jackson Ladder. There was a huge rock missing right in the middle of the trail about two thirds of the way up and it made that part much more difficult than it's ever been.
The first time I ever hiked Jackson Ladder, probably almost exactly 11 years ago I ran across a rock that was pinned between two others and I remember thinking that it probably wouldn't still be there when I got back to start down the ladder yet here it is 11 years later.
Looking down from the top of the ladder I can see the side by side next to the big rock and then we start working our way across the rim to the furthest point you can see on the left side that is jutting up in the second picture.

We take Upper Ahab bike trail, split off to Himasa bike trail and then make our own trail the last mile or so to the top.

In the first picture you can see the large shadow of Jackson Butte and behind it and elevated a little higher is the small shadow of Jackson Ladder where Jax and I had climbed up a couple hours before. The second picture shows Behind the Rocks and the La Sal mountains behind them. The video puts it all together.

Now it's time to try and find a way down in to the stone canyon. After scrambling around for 20 minutes I find a way, but it's dicey. Walk across the black patina, it's a steep angle, then slide down the angled wall, then drop into the stone canyon below. Jax is staring at me just waiting for the word that we're going to try it. I'm nervous I'll lose a couple guests and I'm not 100% sure I can make it either. I'm almost positive I can't make it back up so I better be right that this will take us back to Three Guys on a Roller Coaster and eventually back to Hurrah. We're not going to find out today.

It's getting late. Time to get back so we can get down the ladder before it gets dark. I run across these sort of cut out brick formations up here on Amasa Back a lot. It's very unique and almost always cut square or rectangle. I find them in granary's a lot where the Anasazi used them to make their storage facilities.Tight fit.

Monday, January 15, 2018


Michelle pulls up in the jeep and Jax jumps out. Michelle says "He's making me feel guilty by staring down the driveway all morning waiting for you to show up and take him hiking so here he is. Take him hiking." Jax heads down the driveway. He wants to lead this morning. The wind is blowing from the south and there is something from the south that interests him. After 20 minutes of Jax going all different directions he's decided what he's looking for is back in the finger canyons so that's where we head.

Looking up underneath the former raven's nest I notice sticks untouched on the ground from the nest and of course the orange rope they have stolen off the straw bales around the Base Camp fire pit. This nest has been abandoned.

As we're exiting the fingers we hear three large booms. A massive size boulder has rolled down a few hundred feet from us. Jax and I climb up on the rock formation the big horn was on a few weeks ago to get a better look at the Anti-Cline and see if we can determine where the large rock was that came down but all is quite now.

As we get to the bottom of the rock formation on our journey back to the lodge we come across big horn scat stuck together and one set of tracks. Our friend that Jax tried to play with a couple weeks ago is pregnant. We'll have to find the herd soon if we want to see babies like last year.

Sunday Afternoon

After lunch Jax and I head south a few miles towards the Four Fingers and a Thumb area but don't come across anything down there.

Sunday Morning

Jax and I are, more me probably, are looking for ravens, big horn, or anything unusual we might run across. To continue mapping where the ravens live we start a mile or so from Prommel Oil Well #1, long since closed and sealed nearly 90 years ago. Immediately we run across two wooden stakes high on boulders where the phone line split from the oil well with one line going to the river where they unloaded supplies and the other to Jackson Ladder, all the way up, and into town.

After a mile or so of hiking we come across this pile of shale. Didn't see it anywhere else, just this small pile.
After another mile or so we head back toward the road and run across another stake from the phone line just off of the road.

Not far from out return to Prommel we run across a clearing site that doesn't show up on any maps as drilling for an oil well but here it is and it's pretty clear.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday: In Search of.......Big Horn

Michelle has been diligently working away next door on her writing and reading all the while nursing a broken foot mostly unable to go anywhere so today she brought the Polaris over and Michelle, Jax, and I did the loop at Jackson Hole looking for big horn who turned out to be just as elusive as the raven have been for the last few days. However we did get to stop at my favorite river rock place and get some more platforms for bottle and scissor jacks.

Friday: In Search of

Third try. Jax and I sit on the front porch and listen. We hear ravens off in the distance somewhere. Determine the direction it's coming from and then head out to see if we can find where they live or gather. We start out towards Jackson Hole, park, head for the cliffs, and the ravens take flight almost immediately. We hike a mile or so along the bottom of the cliffs, come out at the abandoned and capped Prommel Oil Well #1 from back in the last 20's and then again in the late 50's. I read of their venture there of the 20's and while finding no mention of them returning in the 50's I found numerous soda bottles there of all different types and reading the bottoms of the soda bottles they were all dated 1957, 1958, and 1959. Then we hike back to the side by side finding no sign of the departed ravens who left as we arrived though hundreds of feet above us. They've never done that before. In the past when I have found them they have continued to dive, swoop, and roll off the air bouncing off the cliffs and up draft. Now that I'm searching for them, they somehow know, and don't want to be found.