Thursday, June 30, 2016

That Time Again

Two months ago after extensive testing my doctor told me I had Auto-Immune disease. My immune system has been attacking my body for many years and it just now got figured out. So he gave me a formula of things to do to get my immune system unconfused. He ask if I'd had anymore allergy attacks? I told him it had been probably two years. I don't eat anything new I haven't eaten hundreds of times before.
This morning at 2:30am the mother skunk was having a disagreement with something on the front porch and squeaking up a storm. I got out of bed to go break it up and for the first time in years I didn't put my flip flops on before I headed outside. Walking down the hall there was a pain in the bottom of my right foot. I turned the light on and some black almost beetle like bug was running for cover. I grabbed a boot and wacked it a couple times, folded it up and put it in a paper towel. It wasn't long before my right foot was swelling up. I popped two Benadryl. Then got ready to go if that didn't solve the problem. It didn't. I could feel tingling in my hands and working it's way up my legs. I grabbed more Benadryl, the Epi-Pen, phone, wallet, and boots and headed for the hospital. I wanted to be close in case it got worse and that's where I spent this morning. Sleeping in the hospital parking lot.
I popped another Benadryl in the parking lot and by just about daylight the tingling was gone in my legs and hands and I returned to the lodge. Now ten hours later I can almost get my foot in the flip flop. Almost.

The Crack: Reflection

This was easily the hardest hike I've done this year and probably in the top five or ten ever. I was so depressed when I hit the dead end boulder after having glassed it lots of times with binoculars to be sure there was a route. As I got into the Chinle (green stuff) it was really loose and I started climbing, crawling, up rock slides, as they were the only place I could get a rock large enough to get a handhold and not have it go tumbling down next to me. As I got closer to the top I had one boot fill up with pebbles. I found a sort of stable rock and took that boot off to shake it out and when I did I noticed all the material fell in the other boot. I took that boot off and while I was shaking it out I dropped it and it fell about 20 feet down the slope. I crawled down in socks to retrieve it and then had to squeeze out my socks before I could put them back on and then the boots.

Early on the way down I slipped, fell, and picked up a bunch of fine cactus needles in my left arm just below the elbow. A couple were in the tips of my fingers but so small I couldn't find them until I'd grab a rock to hold on to. I was so tired I'd see where my foot was suppose to come down but I'd miss sometimes and other times I thought I had lifted a foot over a boulder and I'd trip over it. Knowing my judgement wasn't too good I went down a lot of the Chinle on my butt. I lost my tracks from the way up early in the down journey. I knew I was a rockfall or two further to the left than I wanted to be but I couldn't find a way over so I just kept descending where I could.
This is the monster ant I found on the way down. You'll have to click on the picture to make it larger. It was about half the length of my index finger. I figured no one would believe me so I got ready to put my finger down next to it to show the size when I realized I hadn't seen a single critter on the way up or down except this monster ant. Then I started thinking he might be a super ant and it's probably why there aren't any other critters because it ate them all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Crack: From the Top

In the first picture in the far distance is the Windows section of Arches to include one of the arches. In the second picture a close up of the road up Hurrah. The third picture is the Pot Ash plant up river. Fourth the evaporation ponds with the lodge in the foreground. Fifth is a not adjusted picture of the road up Hurrah Pass.

The Crack: To the Top

The Crack

What a battle Tuesday was. Knowing I had failed to reach The Crack previously it had been bothering me for about a week or so. I went to bed early and was hiking toward the crack at 5:45am. Took about half an hour hike to get to the starting point and I was on the way up at 6:15 hoping to get up and back before the heat came.

For the first 45 minutes I followed my tracks from the previous attempt but not too far after that I hit a dead end boulder I couldn't get around or over. As I was hiking back down it hit me that if I don't make it today I'll be right back here again tomorrow trying it over so heat or no heat I should keep going. Pretty soon Hurrah Pass was below me and the lodge was just a dot on the horizon.

The Water Bowl

I left the Go Pro there for 45 minutes and 26 critters came to drink. Here's a few.

Ari, Wanderer, Hayduke Trail

I ask him why he wanted to hike the 800 plus mile Hayduke Trail in 100 plus degree heat. "I wanted to do something hard."

Monday, June 27, 2016

Barbarians at the Gate

All of the rock squirrels have long criminal histories of stealing anything you leave on the porch, from your room if you leave the screen door open, or from your car if you leave the window down. Now they are teaching their young. If you've been to the post office lately you've seen their pictures on the wall. Fending them off with the broom has been a challenge which has gotten easier with the new weapon that was left at the lodge by a child of a guest.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Criminal Element

There are at least 30 Rock squirrels at Base Camp. Tremendous battles to live under the porch. Whoever owns the porch gets the bulk of Kobae leftovers so clan after clan make attempts to take over. Fending off the rock squirrels while Kobae is eating is getting exhausting. Three or four of them will make a run at his food from different angles and despite my pushing them off the porch with the broom they come back for more. Once Kobae is done they are welcome to the porch and this is a brief moment of peace while everyone eats leftovers.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Crack

I've been looking at The Crack in the Wingate towards the top of the Anti-Cline for most of the years I've been here and always wondered if I could climb it. About an hour into the climb I realized it's probably three plus hours up, maybe four, and I didn't know if I could survive the descent. Today I shot for the half way mark so I could spend time building steps for a descent.  On a day when I don't have rooms to clean and guests checking in I'll return to finish the climb.