Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Monolith is not me

I didn't put it there. I didn't make it disappear. I don't know who did. I only know generally where it was. I'm getting emails and phone calls everyday asking if it was me. Even my doctor of 14 years called me at home and wanted me to take him to it. It was about 20 miles south of here off Lockhart Basin but it is not me. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Shortest Hike

I drove a guest vehicle up to Hurrah who was a little nervous. We said good bye and Jax and I started down Hurrah to hike back. I took a picture of the guest leaving and it turns out the vehicle they passed was disc golfers coming to play the course so Jax and I only got about a quarter mile hike in before we caught a ride back down so I could go through the map with them.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Wind Caves

 Jax and I had a little free time today so we hiked over to the Wind Caves with guest Gabrielle and her dog Pepper. Jax saw a couple cows along the way and lived his dream for about ten minutes of being a cattle dog.

We found the "Shark" rock which is where the way to the top of the Caves starts but I was a little nervous about her pup making it and suggested we not do it. Jax was pretty persistent and kept climbing up about 20 feet until I headed down and he was finally convinced that we really weren't going to the top.

Sunday Evening

 I checked guests into the Main House and they appeared pretty amazed by their surroundings. Somebody said "You get some decent sunsets?" I got em squared away and Jax and I drove back to the lodge. When I got back the evening looked like this.


 The problem has been the right rear axles keep burning up. We've changed brands, types, and installation procedures and had two shops put them in and it makes no difference they burn up before I can even get out of town. Three times.

All of us going online it appears it's just the model year I have of course that is having this problem. About a third of the discussions say it's a bad transmission screwing it up. A third say it's the wrong size tires or multiple sizes of tires, and the other third say it's the exhaust system that is overheating it. After a short drive the left rear axle would read 135 degrees and the right rear axle 235 degrees. So we replaced the transmission, put all new tires on it, and built a heat shield between the exhaust and the right rear axle. Mad Bro called me and said they had driven it a lot and they don't know which one it was but it works. When you have this many vehicles you always have something that needs working on so I drove the Jeep into town and brought the Polaris back stopping every five or so miles so all the new parts could get broken in slowly.
I'd stop and Jax and I'd walk around a bit letting the Polaris cool off a bit. Each time anticipating a melted right rear axle as I'd get out to look and each time it was fine.

The thing that has taken the longest was finding parts. When Co-vid hit so many production lines shut down parts are hard to come by. I use to have three Honda ATVs which were really dependable but when the tsunami hit Japan the Honda factory got swamped and I couldn't get Honda parts for six months or at least that's what they told me regarding getting parts.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Courtesy Kurt


Even More Stuff

 I'm out looking at desert weed circles and if I'm interested well of course Jax is interested. This is weird, his face is in the picture I posted but doesn't show up on the blog.

I'm driving back from town Wednesday and I see the cowboys setting up their camp on the other side of Hurrah so the cows are coming. I swing by to say hi and ask what day they are bringing the cows over so I can close my gates and put signs out. They say within the next week. On Thursday some guys show up to play disc golf and say it took 2.5 hours to get here because they got caught up in a herd of cows coming over Hurrah, saw my gate was closed and assumed this wasn't the place and kept going. I comp the guys the round of disc and ran out and put the We're Open, close gate sign up so no check ins missed the turn.

This morning I'm cooking bacon and a guest's dog is pretending like he doesn't smell it but is working it's way towards the front door which is open. I start saying "noooooooo" and stretch it out. Dog is inching closer. I say "noooooooooo". Dog is on the side walk now approaching the stairs. Jax blows by me snarling and growling and the three times his size dog freezes. I could see Jax's face staring in to the eyes of the dog. "He said no. No, means no."

Jupiter is still pretty bright in the night sky and Saturn has just about caught up to it but not nearly as bright anymore. Mars however is shooting across the sky and will probably catch both of them in the next few weeks and they'll all be fairly close together.
About a month ago I had a 100 hot dog night. The foxes just kept coming. I think it was Tuesday night I'd gone through 40 hot dogs in about ten minutes. Seven ringtails were in the rafters, a couple skunks under the porch, a few raccoons here and there, but the foxes were everywhere. In less than half an hour we were at 85 hot dogs and then everything just quit. No more anybody showed up. I thought maybe the mountain lion showed up because it's almost that time but the last two nights things are back to normal 40 to 50 hot dogs.

More Stuff

The last rain storm beat the reeds down in the pond and they formed sort of a dome on top of the pond. When I went over to pump water into the pond I heard all the red-winged blackbirds under the dome talking and whispering. As the pond kept filling up they got louder and irritated. I got it about half way full and called it a day. I wondered where flocks of 100 or so birds sleep and I now have one answer.

I think of all the hikes I enjoy the Skinny People one the most. The varied terrain. The wonderment on guest's faces. It's been probably 10 or 12 years since a four of year old Linny and I wandered into the maize and Linny said "Tom, I think skinny people use to live here."

It always happens this way. This time it was some folks in a Jeep Cherokee chewing my ass about how hard the road is to get here and how I mislead them and've heard it before. Then a couple, the third time this has happened, pulled up in a Prius.

Had two kids here who love turtle and tortoise and this is their review. After meeting Kobae. "Dad says we're coming back." "Best trip ever." "Best moment of my life."


Had to pull over three times to get an hour of sleep since I'd been driving 26 or so of the last 60 hours and awake must of the rest of it so didn't get back to the lodge until noon on Friday.

One of the guests had a birthday here and his wife had a cake made for him. Pretty cool. Over the years I've crashed once or twice on my trials bike and said "I ate red rock." This time I actually did eat red rock.

Somebody sent me this cup but I don't know who. Thank you.
Finally got a better picture of The Canyonlands that Brendan gave me.
Though not much grows on the tamarisk. What does has dropped to the ground.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

San Diego

I've dropped Linda and Kobae off in San Diego and am getting ready to drive back tonight as I'm mostly full for the weekend. As always the city is interesting. I had the truck worked on today and while they were waiting for parts I cleaned it out and when I went to the trash can to throw the garbage away there was no handle or anything on it or the lid. Lady sitting in the waiting room smiled and said "Wave your hand over it but don't touch it." I did and it opened.

I always pick up trash when I'm out hiking with Kobae but here there's a lot more lying on the ground and the one thing I see the most are discarded masks. Everyone is wearing a mask. Many of them even if they are walking out side. I walked in to get a haircut today and the sign said "Sign In." I took a pen out of the cup and did so. There was another sign that said "Put soiled pens in the box." What soiled pen? My touching it to sign it soiled it?
I went to the drive through line at Taco Bell and the guy took the cash and the next window reached out and gave me a plastic box with a sack in it. So I took the box and set it down on the front seat. He says "You're not suppose to keep the box. You're just suppose to take the sack out of it." I handed him the box back. He looked pissed.
I was close to Target so I went there to get my San Diego shopping done. As I put everything on the counter the lady rang it all up and I paid cash. I stood there looking at her and she said "Did you want a bag for all of that?" I said "I don't think I can hand carry it all." She said "You should have said something because bags are ten cents." I said "Really?" She said "You didn't know? Here I'll just give you a bag but now you know."
As Kobae and I are walking around the San Diego neighborhood there was a sign on a fence at one of the houses that said "Whoever the POS was that ratted on us because our fence wasn't set back exactly ten feet is an asshole." Or something like that.

I got to read a little the last two days out hiking with Kobae. The Paradox Cafe. Chinle Miller. About Bud Shumway a Sheriff in Green River. It's pretty funny stuff the way they talk and I know 20 guys just like it. Driving through the high desert a couple of nights ago on the way here we were listening to the Highway Station, I think it was 102.5 and two of their self promotion commercials went like this. "Still the only radio station in the desert to not take a cousin to the prom." The second one was "Still the only radio station in the desert that hasn't kissed it's sister."

Time to drive back. Got 12 hours in front of me.

Linda and Kobae

The sun has set on Linda and Kobae's time at Base Camp. Kobae always goes back to San Diego just before the cold weather but we've had two light snow falls already so it is time.

Linda read my blog post three months ago that Tami was leaving and I needed help running the place and said she'd come out for a couple weeks. That was 11 weeks and hundreds of working hours ago. 

Thirty or so years ago we were building an indoor soccer facility in Salt Lake and Linda's parents, both in their 60s were working at the facility. Her dad Albert was fabricating and welding all the poles that go into the concrete floors to hold the dasher boards up and her mom Susan was drilling the holes to put them in. We set there for a minute not far from them amazed at their work ethic. Now we're deep into our 60s and working just as hard. 

Linda has been amazing with the work ethic and hours she has put in at the lodge and an integral part of three months of the best numbers the property has ever seen. People in the past who have worked there get a mention in the reviews occasionally but Linda got more compliments in 11 weeks than some who worked here for a year. Thank you Linda.

The Last Rock Squirrel

 Jax has driven all but one rock squirrel away from the lodge and there is not nearly as much crime as there use to be. The rock squirrels who all have long criminal histories, you're seen their faces on post office walls, taught their kids the same, how to steal from the guests, but Sheriff Jax changed all that and they are all gone cept one.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Kobae, The Hiking Man

Kobae hiked us all over the property yesterday. Went right out the door early morning and was determined to explore every part of the property. Much easier to follow when we're in sand. Then it was off to the big garage and the bottle place.

Then up the rocky slope all the way to the top on the north side of the property.

The last picture gives you an idea of just how long the property is. From a little below where I am when I take this picture all the way to the cliffs by the river.