Thursday, July 9, 2020

Hiking and Some Stuff

Jax and I are doing a morning and an evening hike most every day. Nice to be active again. I had a doctor appointment and he had previously told me lose 30 pounds and diabetes is a thing of the past. I was getting there when Michelle took Jax and I never hiked on my own again cause I didn't want to go without my hiking buddy. Show of solidarity. Fortunately when I went to see him a couple days ago his computer crashed just as I walked in so he couldn't see what the charts were from my appointment four months earlier. I told him I finally quite eating at Burger King and he want to slap my hand congrats but I couldn't do it. I told him Burger King went out of business and they were closed. It wasn't a voluntary departure on my part.
It is the time of the season. Babies are being born. I've lost track of how many baby skunks, somewhere between three and six. I know I went through eight hot dogs with little skunk faces coming to the hole under the porch one after the other so not sure how many were repeats. Then on Tuesday night the first baby raccoons showed up. I haven't gotten many raccoons the last couple weeks and my prediction was because mamas were having babies and not yet ready to leave the dens.
I'm working on my refi of both places and sent in a loan ap and they wanted a narrative of what I've learned and changes I've made over the last 13 years. What an experience that was. Took me awhile but here's hoping.
I haven't kayaked once all year and I have a river that runs through the property. I keep thinking how busy I am but the moment Jax came back my priorities changed to make sure I hiked with him twice a day and I actually feel like I'm getting more done despite having two to four house per day less time. I dropped guests and Michelle off in town a couple days ago to kayak back from town, Jax got right in the kayak and they stopped on a lot of sand bars so took six or so hours to get back.
I think I quoted different numbers last time leaving out a month but with the Co-vid thing I was down $75,000 over the first five months of the calendar and fiscal year but got $18,000 of it back in June dropping it to $57,000 down and I've already passed July of last year. It's amazing how busy it's been. The main house at $425 per night has rented 35 of 40 nights. Chris left a few weeks ago and Tami has come up huge. Michelle has helped a few days and Linda who visited most of last week did the same both showing up at just the right time to pitch in.
Linda, Tami, and I are all taking turns feeding Kobae. You have to have the food ready to go right when he gets to the porch or he just runs over you. Got Linda's fingers one day and nicked mine a couple times.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Friday Evening

I have a few guests that want to go to Skinny People so Friday evening Jax leads like he'd never missed a day.

It's 3:45am Friday Morning

The week before mama had three baby skunks on the side of the west cistern and they've been living in there. Little dicey getting water out but not so much if you have a hot dog with you.

I'm sitting on the front porch watching the baby skunks get acquainted with life in the wild. There is a raccoon watching one of them and the baby gets nervous and sprays minor smells at random. Behind the skunks I can see lights coming down Hurrah Pass at 3:45 in the morning.

At 4am I walk inside the lodge living room and a vehicle pulls up, the door opens, the front screen door of the lodge opens, a small dog runs in, jumps up on the couch and begins licking my face. I hear Michelle's voice say "I'm going to go sleep in one of the hogans. Have fun." For the next 15 or so minutes Jax is so excited my face is almost licked off. In bed I awaken at 5am and see Jax staring at me, then again at 6am. No point trying to go back to sleep. Jax is ready to go hiking and so am I.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


The big news however is the road. San Juan County came and graded both sides. Yes that's what I said. Both sides. I think it's been about eight years since they did my side. I was going up Hurrah Pass the other day, got out and gave the grader operator a standing ovation. It still needs to be hiked to kick or drag all the big rocks but I don't have a dog so I'm not hiking without him in support of WDM. White dogs matter movement which is as close to a social movement as I'll ever get out here.

The raven is still crying every morning about 0530. But the cries are a little less painful and shorter and after a few minutes it eats at the feeding areas with everyone else who have accepted the first time ravens have eaten with the little people.

Kobae is starting to take little hikes around the yard.
Deer visit the sand bar.
Sunsets are amazing. Can't waste a trip into town. Got to bring back wood and gas.
Coming back from the Skinny People hike with Heather I saw a whip tail snake track at the bottom of the driveway. The next day Ze saw a whip snake going into the tree. I grabbed it and pulled it down. Put it in a container and took it next door to the gravel put where I take everything that eats things so they can all eat each other.

Earlier in the day I saw a Golden Eagle fly low over Kobae's pen and then do another loop before departing. Pretty unusual. I take guests to the Main House for check in and while I'm there Heather calls on the walkie and says there's a baby duck in Kobae's pen. When I get to the lodge it's hiding in a bush. I'm thinking the eagle dropped it is how it got inside and then was looking for it when I showed up. If I leave it in the bush this night the foxes will find it and it will be the end. I pick it up and take it into the lodge, put it in a box, put a bowl of water in the box and put it in my room to look for it's mom in the morning. During the night it escapes from the box and I can hear it bumping into things. At 5:30am I can't sleep from all the noise it's making so we head down to the river. My instinct is to put it in the river but that's a lot of people instinct with tortoises not realizing they can't swim so I release it on the river bank. It runs, tries to jump up a ledge falls, jumps, falls, eventually it runs into the bushes.

Heather, Ze, and Family

Daughter Heather, who does the Face Book page for Base Camp showed up for a week. Did some disc, hiking, kayaking, side by side, Jeep, fishing, and misc stuff. We all hiked to Skinny People and Thousand Eyes.

Dance of the Raven (Courtesy Tami)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

I Hope You Have a Good Life

Tami is working at the bathroom between the two hogans. She goes in and out a couple times and then goes to set a bucket down and see the Midget Faded rattlesnake curled up in the shade. Her and Chris put it in a large trash can and take it down to the garage and call me. The two ways I've caught them is to set a trash can down and push a broom towards it. They want to go in the trash can so they only worry about a predator, us, coming from one direction. Or get grilling tongs and grab the snake three quarters of the way back so it can't bite you.
In the old days I would take them down to Lockhart Basin and drop them off but they'd make their way back in a week. They have some sort of radar that keeps them from going more than a mile from where they are born. I determined it's a straight line so after a few years of them returning I started taking them down toward Chicken Corner, climbing down a sketch game trail, to the bottom by the river, and releasing them there. That's this one's future. Karen, a guest, hears about the plan and says she wants to go on an adventure so the following morning we head out in her vehicle. The game trail is not visible from the road so what I look for is a deer or big horn track heading toward the cliff. I see one. We park and I head down the cliff face with my friend. Karen is coming behind me but she has her dog and as soon as I release it the dog will go for it so she returns to the vehicle. I release it where I've released 10 or 15 others.

It's Been a Week

Got a couple hikes in with guests, mostly Skinny People, one for The Fingers. Still not hiking by myself until I get Jax back. I better do something. Last couple times I got out of my chair it tried to go with me.

The bad spot on Hurrah Pass got worse. The Base Camp extra parking lot which was developed while I Uber'd guests back and forth is full so we have a second one now. The truck is taking a beating, me too, day after day two or three round trips each day.

I had one of the departing guest drive the remaining Polaris to town to get worked on but it broke down on the way. We are with but one functioning side by side and only good for around here. After three round trips on Hurrah Pass and a couple more that followed me back, it's late and I'm tired. Phone rings and guy says he broke him leg on a crash with his motorcycle out by Chicken Corner. He's in the hospital and I pick up his bike for him and bring it to town. 6am Chris and I drive out to almost Chicken Corner and brought it to town.

Heather showed up in a beast and shuttled her family back to Base Camp where she gets to feed  her tortoise Kobae each day.

Miracle of miracles. Taking a load of guests back to their vehicles in the Base Camp Hurrah parking lot I run across a grader going up Hurrah Pass and now the hard spot looks like this.
After a tough day or two Mother Earth noticed and said "Let me see if I can help you? She gave me this. Thanks mom.