Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Reviews

 Most of the online booking reviews you type in correctly but when the review comes out they don't break up the paragraphs. I know not why.

“Staying at The Last Hurrah was absolutely amazing! When we first arrived, we were greeted by Koabe, Tom and Lynda and had perfect timing to see all of the birds, chipmunks and white tail antelope squirrels being fed. The house has amazing panoramic views of the mountains and had every pot, pan and dish we needed. And considering that the entire property is off-grid, the electricity and water worked seamlessly!! We loved being so close to the Colorado River where we kayaked and could play on the sand bars and beach with our daughter, dog and our kitty! The Wind Caves were a short drive away and something I would definitely recommend checking out.. Tom has an easy map to follow. We loved it so much we ended up staying an extra day! All of the adventuring you could want on this trip will be found here - river, hikes, caves, canyons, 4 wheeling... it was the best birthday I’ve ever had!”

“This is a place of pure magic”

“Oh gosh... where do I even start? Tom’s place is incredible. Since a lot of folks mention the drive in, it’s worth noting: if you’ve ever done off-roading before, you’ll have no problem with Hurrah Pass. I found it fun! For reference, I have a 2012 RAV4 with a little 2” lift. It took us about an hour and a half from Moab. I personally would plan to drive in during the daylight hours. We did the half day kayak trip and Linda graciously took us to the drop-off point. Rookie mistake, I forgot to bring extra layers and she LITERALLY gave me the long sleeve shirt off her back. Tom and Linda, whether they know it or not, are in the business of making magic moments. They may appear to be in the business of renting rooms, but that’s just their side gig. It’s what makes this place so over-the-top wonderful. Tom is ALWAYS available for your questions (everyone has a walkie-talkie) and is willing to get up at o-dark-thirty to get you off on your adventures for the day. His humor is second to none (so long as you speak desert-dry wit), his stories will have you wide-eyed and laughing, and the nightly animal feeding is NOT to be missed. “Going above and beyond” is what the English language has to offer for this situation, but somehow it doesn’t seem to cover the magnitude. The property itself is just amazing. From the pristine Milky Way to the sandbars on the Colorado within wading distance to the epic sunsets to the side-by-side trails to the views from our private patio, Tom’s place is utter perfection. Go.”

This was our first time in MOAB. We picked up our rental, where they gave us an upgrade to a Mercedes(ha! Of all times). We drove straight to MOAB to Tom’s place. The drive in was a bit more than we anticipated but worth every bump and deep breath. Tom is a really cool guy and has some of the most interesting stories I’ve heard. His animals are his world, we are just visitors he is sharing his amazing world with. Show him and his place the respect it deserves and you will have the experiences of a lifetime. From the kayaks to the side by side to caves, hikes and Chicken Corner. I cannot thank Tom enough for sharing his place and his world. And thanks to the amazing lady Linda that is there cleaning and giving you calming words and reminders. She really picked up on what you may need to make your stay more enjoyable, from a light on in the kitchen to clearing a table for you to eat a meal. She saw the need before you asked and it was a great touch to the experience. We traveled to 7 states on our trip and this and Glacier were my most favorite!

“My sister and I stayed at Tom's Male Hogan at the beginning of October. I will speak to the drive later in the review, since that seems to be the hardest part in the whole adventure. Once you arrive at Tom's place, everything is relaxing, easy and enjoyable with breathtaking sunsets. Tom goes out of his way to make your stay safe and memorable (always keep those handy walkie talkies nearby that Tom hands you on day one - whether you are on a side-by-side or in a kayak, Tom is your deep canyon savior in case of an emergency). While staying at the Hogan, Tom and his assistant Linda, were incredibly accommodating. For instance, we had thought that the pillows and the mattress in the hogan were a bit uncomfortable to sleep on (I hardly slept on day 1), so Linda provided us with new fluffy pillows and a comforter that we folded into thirds and placed under our upper torsos on the mattress (we slept like babies after this small change). Please just ask, if you are needing anything. Tom has everything you can imagine to make your stay a fun-filled, deep-canyon adventure. We rented his side-by-sides to investigate the canyon (including Chicken Corners and the Wind Tunnels), used his kayaks to kayak 8-miles of the Colorado River, self-guided hikes thru the canyon and we sipped wine in front of a roaring fire at the fire pit while watching shooting stars (shooting stars were too numerous to count - it was quite ridiculous and glorious). In the evenings starting around 7:45pm, Tom will feed some of the local *wild* animals (yes, I am not a fan of feeding wild animals b/c of the many issues that arise from creating animals dependent on human handouts, but I enjoyed this evening's activity nonetheless and it was one of the evening highlights of our trip). Tom's wild animal soiree starts with him calling out, "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon babies" and then dozens of gray and red foxes appear out of the darkness and wait for the hotdog slinging from the front porch - it was marvelous. Then Tom places bowls of cat food on the southern section of his front porch and about a dozen raccoons crawl out of hiding from areas above and under the porch to start feeding - it was crazy how they had been hiding in these obvious areas all-day, right under our noses, and we never saw them until this moment. After the raccoons, Tom walks to the northern side of his porch and pries open a floorboard to sprinkle a bit of cat food under the porch. I immediately got a whiff of what was most certainly a skunk and sure enough a family of the cutest skunks scurried around to get their evening's treats. Tom saves the best-for-last, which is the feeding of some of thee most darling of animals; a family of ringtails up in the porch rafters (I had never seen ringtails before and they almost have the look of a lemur - just adorable). This feeding frenzy went on for almost an hour or more, and Tom is careful to separate each of the specie's feedings, so that they don't become aggressive with each other while trying to secure their evening's meal. THE DRIVE: Okay, so many people talk about the drive being scary because of the sheer canyon drop-offs on one side of the primitive road. However, we found that we were so concentrated on the road itself, that we never noticed the steepness of the canyon while driving. Most of the anxiety that we had was of the road itself. We had a rental car ('20 Nissan Pathfinder w/ 7" of clearance with after-market Toyo tires that were slightly rugged, but not ideal) and we bottomed out several times on this road - crunching noises underneath your rental vehicle never makes one feel very good. We were more nervous about popping a tire or ripping something loose on the undercarriage than the "scary" steep road. Additionally, the road is only ugly for 2-miles on either side Hurrah Pass (you traverse up into a rock unit, present on both sides of the pass that is a competent *slick/smooth* rock, which has been eroded out by all of the ATVing). There were times on this 4-mile stretch that the front of the rental vehicle was vertical enough, that we couldn't tell if the road in front of us was turning one way or the other (note that we drove this road at sunset, so it made visibility a bit more challenging). Like I mentioned earlier, the elevation of the road is not an issue (nor is it scary), but the actual road condition that makes the drive a bit of a challenge. That being said, we had to leave Tom's place at 5am to make an early flight home, and we drove out of the canyon in complete darkness - it was not a problem (seems like it was easier out than in). The drive time in from Moab was the same as the drive time out - about 1.5 hours each way (remember we were being extremely cautious in the rental car). Like everyone has mentioned, including Tom, the drive is totally worth it and I would do it again. My only regret is that we didn't stay longer (I would've like to have played disc golf on one of his many 18-hole courses). I would recommend a duration of stay to be no less than 4 days, since he has so many things to do.”

“If you are looking for a unique experience in the heart of back country Utah, go to Base Camp and enjoy the funky accommodations, gorgeous scenery, great hospitality from owner Tom, try out the crazy disc golf course, paddle on the Colorado River in kayaks, watch Tom feed all his critter friends, watch the sun light up the incredible Utah mesas and mountains, drive the unforgettable Hurrah Pass, and meet other adventure seekers. Truly a unique experience that we will never forget.”

“First thing is first, get a 4 wheel drive truck or suv (with clearance to go over rocks) before making the trek up to hurrah pass! We were so happy we got a Jeep. Make sure you’re not a wimp when it comes to heights and off-roading ;) Once you make it to Base Camp, you’ll be amazed at the Mother Nature surrounding you. It’s truly breathtaking. You can chill on the porch watching the animals or go explore all day - opportunities are endless. Hot shower was nice after a long day kayaking, 4x4ing, and hiking all around. Bring cash to pay him if you want to rent a 4x4 and let him know in advance. Highly recommend doing the 4x4 trek through hurrah pass to chickens corner. Coolest views and Tom will give you a hand written map. Pay attention to his directions! At night, you can see every star in the sky. Sunrise and sunset are amazing with the 360 view at Tom’s home. Tom was so awesome! He’s a funny, down to earth dude who tells it like it is. He’s around if you need him and will give the 411 on how to make the most of your time. Jax the dog and Kobe the tortoise are awesome to have around base camp :) there are skunks and little animals that run around at night on the porch and Tom feeds them. The ringtails were always hovering over us and watching us at night while we were on the porch. I loved it but my boyfriend was a little iffy at how close they were haha (he’s lame!) **Once you get here you will not need or want to leave until you check out so bring all the snacks food and drinks you’ll need.**We recommend bringing stuff to grill (we did every night) and don’t forget the s’mores ingredients for when you make a fire at night (we forgot and were so bummed haha) We will be coming back year after year this was a one of a kind trip! If you’re on the fence, just take a risk and do it already, you won’t regret it!”

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