Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Red Moon 13 Hot Dog Night

It's not even dark when the rafters come alive. Then came the moon eclipse and all the little people from the river disappeared. It was spooky for all of us. Roughly four hours later everyone was back and it was busy. The twins showed up first. I'd been trying to feed the shy one who enjoys hiding from the hot dog when a baby skunk showed up. When the baby skunks try to run with the hot dogs length wise in their mouths they keep tripping over them. Tonight one of them figured out a new method. Then the shy one shows up again and it takes two attempts to get it the whole hot dog. Once it's taken a bite out of it, it won't take the hot dog. It doesn't know what it smells like yet so when it smells itself on the bite at the end of the hot dog it's done with it. I have to retrieve it, turn the hot dog around and then serve it to the shy one. The night finishes with a back stair hand off.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Day

Two guys show up saying their friends are paddle boarding from town and they need a place to exit the river. I tell them they can use the beach and they sit down there for a couple hours until their friends. Somebody has decorated the sand bar. Jamie, a guest, has taken a chair to the far end of the island and says a big chunk of the beach where I sit fell off and washed away today. On our hike Kobae has found shade for him. Shade for me is my problem.

Hurrah Morning


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Chasing Shadows, Shadows Chasing


Thought I Was Out

Every year I see three or four Midget Faded rattlesnakes on or around the property, catch them, and take them down this steep cliff to the bottom not far from Chicken Corner. Last year I only saw one and I thought after depositing it down Chicken Corner way I was out. On the way back from hiking with Kobae we met two vehicles full of people just leaving Base Camp after having played disc golf. They all wanted to see Kobae and got out of their vehicles and we talked for fifteen minutes or so while Kobae took a break lying down in the road. Moments after everyone drove off Kobae continued hiking right past where they were all standing and I heard the familiar rattle/shake of the Midget Faded.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


The Lid That Came Home

Couple of years ago I ran out of my favorite mosquito repellent and haven't been able to find it again. Instead, each time one of the various brand bottles I leave at the lodge for guests goes almost empty I spray the last bit into my carrying bottle. It has three or four different kinds of repellent in it and probably the heaviest stuff since it's always from the bottom. It's sort of a collection of all different kinds and it appears with all those combinations nearly every mosquito finds something it doesn't like because they pretty much leave me alone when I use it. When I got back to the lodge after the first day on the island I couldn't find the lid and it doesn't spray without it. For tragedies I realize it's low on the list but still I was bummed. As I was getting in the kayak the second day to head down to the island I found the lid in the kayak and realized that in my pocket the lid was catching on the edge of the kayak when I got in and out and that's what had knocked it off. So I vowed to be careful but as I was heading down to the island I looked down and the lid was gone again. Reaching the island I turned the kayak upside down but nothing rolled in either direction or fell out. Half an hour later after the first tour boat came by and sent it's wake washing up on my little section of island I looked down on the beach and saw a little white object. Walking down to check on it......I'm back in business.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Morning on the Island: (Morning Two)


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Security Tortoise

You might think Kobae is facing the wrong way to be a security tortoise and that's because you haven't been around him after he's eaten two green peppers.

Nightly Ritual: (Baby Skunk)

The adult Spotted skunks are already really small. When the babies take a hot dog they keep dropping them because they're too heavy for the skunk to carry in it's mouth so they have solved that by eating about half of the hot dog in place and then departing with the second half.

Morning on the Island

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Friday, September 18, 2015

Kobae: Lot of Hiking

Oh What a Night

Last night mom ringtail showed up for the first time in a couple weeks and the two young ones were so excited. They were crawling all over her and wrestling with her on the roof. I looked up with a flashlight and saw three faces looking down at me. I watched them for half an hour last night and the game was to get a hot dog from me. Then take off an hide it somewhere. They'd all meet on the front porch and then split up going in search of the other one's hot dogs.

Thinking Ahead

I put one hot dog on the stick and hold another in my hand. The rest of the pack I put down on the cooler or table or someplace it's handy. Somebody has figured out a short cut for getting the hot dogs.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Shy One

This ringtail is very young, even younger than the two the mom drops off and seems to get picked on a bit so it's showing up in unusual places in stealth mood so the others don't pick on it or take it's hot dogs away.

The Days

Still nursing a swollen knee injury from my crash on Kane Creek last week I'm not doing anything very daring. Kobae comes out about 1pm with the cooler days and we're right off to hiking. Part way up Hurrah or most of the way to the Wind Caves before I have to turn him around to get back by dark. Walking back from the Wind Caves a few days ago a Gray fox jumped up out of the dead end that I lift Kobae up and though seeing both of us casually walked in front of us and off to the slot canyons. A few mornings ago the Gray fox couple was in daylight hanging out at the side of the lodge and about 3am a few nights ago I was sitting on the front porch with a couple of hot dogs and I threw one about three feet in front of me and the two baby skunks took turns trying to build up the courage to retrieve it. One would run for it and half way there change it's mind and shoot into the bushes. Then the other would get about two thirds of the way there and lose it's courage and shoot back between the water jugs. I was laughing so loud I was afraid I'd wake up guests.

Someone is Here

After dark it's rare to walk out on both porches and not find either a ringtail or a skunk. Both mothers (skunk and ringtail) bring their kids up at night and leave them with me (the babysitter) and know they'll be well fed while they go off to hunt something other than hot dogs. But on this night there's no one on the porches. Getting the brightest flashlight and checking the perimeter around the porch there's a reason.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Problem Solved, Maybe

Since the monsoon rains about this time last year the water has been directed by nature down the driveway and to the bottom of the hill just below Base Camp. We get a quarter inch or more and there is a two to four foot drop off at the bottom of the driveway. A month or two ago the neighbor at my request sent a front end loader over and did some re-engineering and with some additional shovel work by yours truly it looks like after a couple days of medium rain the water is being directed to a side runoff and no damage to the driveway. It's nearly monsoon time where the rains come up from the Gulf of Mexico and that will be the true test.

Accidental Assistant

There is one ringtail with no understanding of gravity. It drops about two thirds of the hot dogs I give it as it goes up the pole and then when it gets up on the roof it sets the hot dogs down on a slanted metal porch and they roll down and into the bushes. The skunks now just wait in the bushes for hot dogs to fall out of the sky and haven't come up on the porch much the last couple nights.

A Learning Curve After All

Saturday, September 12, 2015

It's In His Head


The Nightly Ritual: (Out of Control)

It's black and white in the air above me and on the ground. The mother ringtail use to come up with her two brothers from the mother before that would come eat in the kitchen. Then about a month or so ago she started coming up with her babies and putting them in the rafters for guests and myself to feed hot dogs while she went off hunting. She'd come back and get them just before daylight and take them back towards the river where all the creatures of the night live. Now they come up on their own and it's a rare appearance when mom comes with them. The mother skunk would bring her two babies up and about a week or so ago she did the same thing. She'd leave them under the porch while she went off for something other than hot dogs. The nights are very entertaining.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Kane Creek Canyon: (I Got Beat Up)

Was a strange feeling getting to this intersection and turning left versus going towards Hurrah Pass. I came out the other end on Highway 191 just slightly south of Hole in the Rock. I poured my extra gas in I was carrying for the journey back and it hardly made a dent. I wasn't going to make it without another three quarters of a gallon of gas. I headed for Hole in the Rock. They said they didn't have gas so I went to call Nations or Mad Bro to see if they'd bring me a gallon after hanging in the parking lot for half an hour to see if somebody showed up who had gas but there was no phone reception. In time they found about half a gallon in a back shed and I made it back with about a teaspoon of gas in the tank leftover.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

No Learning Curve

I had opened the gate earlier in the day with guests and mentioned to them I should probably just leave it open in case Kobae decided to hike that direction. In all the years he has never sorted out just because his head fits it doesn't mean the rest of him does.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Kobae Hiking

Pretty much every evening Kobae goes for two to four hours hiking.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Saturday, September 5, 2015

To Dream the Impossible Dream

From the Amasa Back

Spanish petroglyph. Hard to make out but once you have the helmet, saddle, and horse of the Conquistador are visible. The Lodge. Far in the distance up the hill to the left from the widest spot in the river. The La Sal mountains in the furthest background, the area called Behind the Rocks with it's countless fins.

Fire Pit

After playing on the edge the day before Kobae is being a little more cautious today and just hiking around the lodge.

Final Straw

I'm putting all the rock squirrels on group Jenny Craig plan. You might have to click on the pictures to make them larger but now even when a small to mid size hawk like the Sharp-shinned visits the rock squirrels are just mildly amused. A. They know they can take the Sharp-shinned, B. They know that even if the Sharp-shinned catches them off guard (meaning awake) it won't be able to get off the ground with them.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Kobae's Luck Runs Out

Kobae is always walking along the side of the creek with ten foot overhangs ready to collapse. I always warn him in a high pitch voice that he's playing with fire and I can see he stops when he hears that to think about it. Usually he looks over the edge and ignores me. Today was no different except this time his luck ran out.

Hiking with Kobae