Monday, August 31, 2020

The Reviews

 I'm about $50,000 up front deep in side by sides and I take another $10,000 or so a year in negative cash flow providing them for $400 a day less than they charge in town but I'm all out of side by sides today though I expect a couple of them back in the next week or so after dumping another $7,000 or so into them. I got my first review today complaining I didn't have a side by side for them and they had just emailed me a few days earlier asking if I had one and I did. So I got the shop to get it in and out in one day, got up at 6am to catch a ride in to town to drive it back so I'd have one for guests. While the previous day's problem was fixed there was an underlying problem they didn't find apparently so had to catch a ride back to Base Camp again. Whole thing took about four hours. They knew all this but they made the review sound like I purposely misled them and yes they could have done these things in their vehicle but it was a rental and they didn't want to take a chance. I thought mine was a rental to.

Still there were some pretty good reviews I thought were fair. 

"Tom is an amazing host." That's fair.


"First things first, Tom is a legend, cool as a cucumber, and extremely knowledgeable about the area you are traveling into." That's fair.

"Tom and Tami are wonderful people." Fair, fair and fair.
"Tom says people have taken cars down, and he will tease you if you complain at all about it. So don't complain. Tell him the drive was easy and it was like a paved freeway all the way down." Fair.

"He did not wear a mask."


The Week Like No Other, is turning into two weeks

 Generator guy got here today and at 11:10pm is still here. He says the brand new $15,000 batteries here at the lodge are malfunctioning and are only at about 25% capacity. The brand new $8,000 generator at Last Hurrah quit running even when I got propane back and the generator company said old tanks the propane sometimes turns to liquid and gums up the generator. So we picked up the new part that is suppose to be gummed up and it still doesn't work. I'm hanging in there keeping everything going because I imagined these days would happen sometime and I have a back up system to most everything though it's a lot more manual labor. It's so hard to see how one thing affects another and that changes something else. The big picture. Then as Jax and I were hiking back from the beach I saw a very small ant hill in the middle of the dry creek bed which will be three feet deep and raging sometimes when the rain comes. I realized I have the luxury to work on one problem at a time and get it all wrapped up. When these guys problem comes it's all over.



I don't remember ever seeing more than four yellow headed blackbirds at the same time but there are at least five in this pictures on the dead cottonwood surrounded by the cow birds.
I was getting ready to add I hadn't seen a hawk in a month when a small male sharp-shinned ran through the feeding area and everyone ran or flew for their lives. 

There are days when it begins clear and then the smoke drifts in from somewhere and in just a few hours it changes to this.


The 1,000 polaris burn mark keeps getting darker and longer.

Tami changed out the new seats and parts I ordered for the kayaks before she left and all six set at the boat ramp.

I've emailed Michelle asking how she is since she dropped Jax off a month plus ago and she hasn't returned any email. Just checking to see how she's doing. So just in case you still read the blog occasionally Michelle, Jax and I are still up at first light every day hiking and we're both very much enjoying ourselves. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't appreciate his being here. Thank you.






Sunday, August 30, 2020

A Week Like No Other, then even more

In the morning I get an email from Ferrell Gas saying they talked to Amerigas about using their two 500 gallon tanks and Amerigas says that the 1,000 gallon and one of the 500's next door are also theirs plus the two with their names on them though they've been there 20 years. I thought Doug said they were his. Why they took one that was hooked up versus the two that have been sitting here two years but they did. Now things have pivoted again. I need five 500 gallon tanks or something similar and Amerigan says they'll have them all gone by the first week in September so got to get Ferrell to get me tanks or buy some. 

Road is in pretty good shape, the same one spot on the other side is going bad again. I have some guests that don't make it and send me a seething mad email. Some others make it to the top of Hurrah but don't drive the last 2.7 miles, called and say they were ending the madness and turn around and go back to town and as is always the case after people yell at me for the road being more difficult than I said a mini MG shows up.

Tami left on Monday. We were close friends. I shall miss her. Linda came over from San Diego to fill in for however long and it's going pretty well. She's keeping up with the bookings and we're all good so far but we haven't had a day where we really got slammed yet but they are coming. 

Generator here and at Last Hurrah are coming on at random times but solar guy will be here tomorrow. 


Jax and I are still hiking most mornings and it's good. He's still crazy and runs circles around me and attacks me whenever I take him hiking. He's such a great dog. 

Guests from next door came over tonight and said the people in the hogan next to them said to come over tonight and watch you feed the little people. They told us "You don't want to miss the show." The Little People didn't disappoint. Despite a pretty bright moon six or seven foxes showed up. Raccoon babies come to the porch by themselves now. The baby skunks are running loose everywhere having not quite figure out how stuff works and the baby ringtails entertain in the rafters each night. Two have gotten quite good and catching hot dogs I throw to them but they are crazy. This is Jax'x normal spot on the sidewalk when feeding Little People begins. He keeps everybody in order but for Wednesday and Thursday nights Kobae has set out on the porch with us and watched all the little people come to the porch. Then he got bored, went in the living room and laid down and watched TV. Linda told me she gave him the remote and told him to turn the tv off when he went to sleep in the laundry room. That's what she said. When Jax and I went to go hiking at 6:30 am the tv was off and Kobae was sleeping in the laundry room.






Was a Week Like No Other, and then some

 I call Doug who I bought Last Hurrah from and ask him if he knows where the 1,000 gallon propane tank went. He doesn't understand what I'm saying. "The 1,000 gallon tank is gone?" I call Lance who works for him, he says "What, where'd it go?" I call Ferrell and they say "Wasn't us." I call the generator guy he says "It was there when I left. You sure it's gone?" Doug calls back and says he's in Monticello do I want him to report it to the Sheriff's office. I tell him yes. Later Deputy Sheriff Camacho calls me and says it doesn't make sense. One way in and one way out. Don't you have more valuable stuff for them to steal? Yes, I do. 

I had to go up to Price and met a friend I hadn't see in a while and though I can't go into any more detail yet he tells me he's not who I thought he was for 50 years. He's somebody else. Things aren't always as they appear. As I'm driving back I'm thinking about the propane tank and my friend. Things aren't always as they appear. What else could have happen besides somebody stealing the tank. I'll be going through Green River in a couple minutes that's where Amerigas is located. Their tech and field people were great but administratively they were a mess and that's why I let them go. They'd bill me one price for the lodge and a dollar more a gallon for Last Hurrah and then argue it was fair because they had to drive further to Last Hurrah and there was more wear and tear on their truck. They had to drive one more mile and a dollar a gallon was an extra $2,000 dollars. I fired them. 

What if they are so screwed up that instead of coming and getting the two tanks that say Amerigas on them they drive right by and took the 1,000 gallon tank instead. No, that's not possible but I'll drive by their yard and see if I see my tank. The fence is down around back so I go through the fence and into the yard. I take pictures of their truck that picks up tanks tires and they match. There are the last tracks in the yard and I follow them up and find my tank. They took my old beat up tank and left me two sweet new Amerigas tanks. 




Phone rings and I'm illegally in the Amerigas yard. It's Deputy Camacho. She says you learn anything new? I say "Things aren't always as they appear. Never mind investigating the theft it was an administrative mistake and I'm happy with the way it turned out. She says she'll file the case closed. 



Was a Week Like No Other

 I've lost track of the things that broke last week but I'll try and recall some. One Polaris it appears ran out of oil and the engine seized on guests clear out by Chicken Corner and that's on me apparently. It had just got out of a full service at the shop so I admit I didn't check the oil for the two week span. It usually goes months but it's toast and a new engine has been ordered. Will be between four and five thousand. The other Polaris keep breaking the right rear axle. Four of them in a month and they are premium axles. The last two times I went to town to get it the axle would break before I even got the McDonalds. It's pretty obvious to me it's a different issue. It feels like you're in first gear with the brake on so there's a transmission issue of some sort but for whatever reason they just keep replacing the axle. I had Nations pick it up and they're looking at it this time. For the first time ever I'm out of side by sides. Drey burned one up driving it to town without water or a working fan and the one I have left I just use around the property because it overheats after a mile or two. I have nothing for guests and thousands in upcoming repair bills. I think I want out of the side by side business. 

I have new batteries at the lodge but the generator is coming on way to soon before they get very deep into the batteries. Then the generator quit coming on. I had checked the propane a week earlier and the gauge showed 425 gallons left. I tapped on the gauge with a rock and it went right to zero. The tank for the generator was out so I lost power twice and had to wait for enough sun to recharge. Then the lodge hot water quit. I couldn't re-light the hot water heater. The tank supporting the lodge was out also. I thought both tanks were linked together but turns out they both just went out at the same time. I usually don't even check them until September but this year all the business happened in the summer with the coolers on and energy stretched to it's maximum. Both filters in the coolers clogged up with salt water so had to buy new filters and replace them and immediately one of the pumps went out in one of the coolers.That all happened at the lodge. 

Amerigas who use to provide the propane here before I fired them and went to Ferrell sent me a letter giving me a yearly charge for one of their propane tanks. I wrote on the back of the bill, as I do each year, that I fired you years ago and you never came and got your tanks. I should be charging you a location fee for leaving your stuff here which I don't use. 

The generator next door at Last Hurrah was on it's last legs at 20 something years old. I bought a new tech one with fancy gadgets. It worked for about a week and quit. The propane tanks next door are old. The generator rep said old tanks sometimes turn the propane into liquid which clogs up the new generators. So I had it unhooked and propane hooking up to the old generator again. Then I ran out of propane at Last Hurrah. I had checked that gauge last week also and it showed 85% full. The generator guy showed me how that tank works on a sort of compass that you set on top and if somebody put it in the float the wrong way it gives a false reading. I never even knew it floated. He picked it up, put it in the right way and it went from 85% to 0%. Both houses, both hogans, were out of propane and I have two 500 gallon and a 1,000 gallon tank. Both Base Camp and Last Hurrah ran out at the same time. Ferrell came out with a couple of small tanks and hooked them up until they could get a big truck here but the small tanks wouldn't run generators and the dryers. Ferrell can't get here until next week so I got their permission to use a third company and they come give me a 500 gallon drop at both places. I'm back in business. We put gas in Base Camp and when we get over to Last Hurrah he says how much you want? I said the two 500 gallon tanks and the 1,000 gallon tank are all linked just put 500 in there until Ferrell gets here next week. He says "I see the two 500 gallon tanks, where's the 1,000 gallon tank?" I walk around the other side of his truck and it's gone. A 1,000 gallon tank that weighs 1,700 pounds empty has vanished in the last 48 hours.


There are fresh tracks of somebody backing in, loading it, and it's gone. First theft issue I've ever had at the property and it's a big one that makes no sense.




 

 



Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The River

 Jax and I got in a kayak early morning fire ash all around us and visited the beach on the other side and a couple of sand bars.










Jax and I Wandering

 







Beach Trail

 Jax and I cut a trail through the creek bed from the lodge to the beach. About a ten minute hike.