Monday, October 30, 2017

The Creek

When I moved here nearly 11 years ago, Kobae, then 22 pounds (now 185) and the two dogs I brought with me Bishop and Chewey, would cross this creek all the time hiking over to the gravel pit. In those days most places I could jump across or drop in and out, Bishop and Chewy would jump in and out, and Kobae would slide down the slope and sort of paddle up the other side. On Sunday Jax, Kobae, and I hiked the same creek bed which is now four to fifteen feet deep and anywhere from ten to fifty feet wide. It didn't change much the first six or eight years but three or four years ago we had five of those once in 100 year storms in about three weeks and it turned into a raging river twice trapping Kobae and I while we were out hiking.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Jax Figured it Out

Kobae is constantly chasing Jax but after four days Jax figured it out. Kobae can't fly.....yet.

Saturday (Jax is on Crack)

We hiked most of Saturday afternoon. Lots of vehicles stopped to take pictures of the guy with the big back pack hiking with a small dog and a large tortoise. Jax jumped in almost every vehicle to lick their faces and say hi and Kobae went over to each vehicle the people thought to say hi but in fact was chasing Jax until Jax disappeared inside the vehicles or side by side. Still many people were touched by them both coming to say hi so I said nothing. When we went into the dead end canyon Kobae tried to climb stuff he can't climb and Jax found a piece of napkin or toilet paper buried and dug it up. Normally you'd think it was buried for a reason but in this case it much have had crack in it because Jax was crazy after that and in turn made Kobae crazy.

Friday Everning

Friday evening as Michelle and Kobae slept on the porch Jax and I finally got a little hike in. One of many more to come I hope.

The Argument

I wish this had come in a little clearer. A pinon jay and a stellar jay are having an argument in the desert willow tree. Kobae has his head over his shoulder looking at me and I swear you can read his thoughts. "Don't they ever shut up."

It's Quiet

No guests at either location. I've turned my 24 hour a day walkie talkie off as there's no one to call me. Jax, Kobae, and I. Not a lot of talking going on.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Beth and J

As they were checking out I ask them to watch Kobae while I ran next door and cleaned a hogan that had guests checking in. I wouldn't be very long. Kobae took off right after I left and so 45 minutes or so later I found them about half way to the Wind Caves. Thank Beth and J.

Return of Jax/Kobae is on Fire

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Thank You Rikkert

Rikkert sent me an email from Holland saying how much he enjoyed Base Camp as the favorite part of his trip which included Yosemite, San Francisco, Zion, and Grand Canyon. This is the screensaver on his phone.
Also a picture he took from hiking out behind Last Hurrah.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday Evening Red

There are three people camping behind the solar panels and one hogan rented at Last Hurrah. It's quiet tonight. Tomorrow when they leave I won't have any guests staying here for the first time in at least a month. It's almost ghost time when the winter comes and it's just me and the ghosts of the past and time to do the winter grid searches to see what I can find of the history of where I live. I'm just thinking not a day do I take it for granted the beauty of the canyon lands and then, almost as if on cue, everything turns red. I hear my whisper. "Kobae, look at that."

Friday (Forty Six Short)

Maybe the busiest day of the year. I'm full with one room, one hogan, and one house checking out and then filling right back up. Each time I go over to Last Hurrah to clean I have to get one of the guests to help me pick Kobae up and put him in the truck and then at Last Hurrah find another guest to help put him back on the ground. If there's a dog then I can use it as bait and he'll follow it into his pen and then close the door but on this day there isn't.   

The hogan checks out so I run over and clean it. A room at the lodge checks out so it's load up Kobae and drive back and clean and then the house checks out so it's back over there to clean.

With time it's getting dark and I have a whole bunch of guests that haven't showed up. Three guys come up the driveway pushing their bikes. They saw the arrow at Jackson Hole indicating the trail going up to the top, Jackson Ladder, but it didn't register. They've ridden all the way back to me and they are beat. This is a scenario that has played itself out many times. They are trying to figure out how to ask me to take them to town that will give them the highest odds of success.

"We're done. We got nothing left and it's almost dark. We'll give you $100 to take us to town." Guests for the main house haven't checked in yet, guests for the second house haven't checked in yet, for the male hogan, and for three rooms at the lodge. They are all missing in action and Kobae's on the porch. I can't leave. I tell them and their heads drop.

I ask "Where is your vehicle?" They say in the Amasa Back parking lot. I say "You can have my truck." One of the guys says "Then we get ours and drive yours all the way back here?" I say, " Leave it in the Amasa Back parking lot and after all my guests have arrived tonight and I've put the last one to bed I'll figure out how to put some head lamps on my trials bike and I'll ride out and get my truck. Are we clear?" He says "Yes, leave your truck in the Mazda dealer parking lot around back." What!

"We don't have a Mazda dealer. You said your vehicle was in the Amasa Back parking lot. Leave mine there and I'll come get it tonight when every one has checked in." They all take a beer out of the fridge to celebrate their day of constant sorrow coming to an end. Mine is just starting.

Right at dark one guest shows up. Five are missing.

I'm watching a little bit of the Yankees Astros game and then looking up on Hurrah to see if there are lights coming down. The phone rings and it's Enoch, a guest, says to get from Arches to downtown Moab took an hour. It turns out Utah has the largest high school mountain bike racing league in the country and 2,500 competitors are coming in to town for the race tomorrow. Enoch says he has four more guys in the truck. I ask him to swing by the Amasa Back parking lot and bring a white Ford 150 back, keys in the gas cap compartment. He says no problem.

I walk back outside and there are headlights off in the distance in lots of places shining to nowhere. I see lights wandering around out towards Jackson Hole and other lights have just gone up the sand hill towards Chicken Corner. Oh crap they missed the turn.

I jump in the jeep and head off for the sand hill. When I get up on top I can see tail lights in the distance. No problem. I'll catch them quick. They are booking. I'm doing 40 on whoop de doos and in sand and I'm not catching them. Finally after a five mile chase and losing walkie talkie contact with Base Camp who says there are lights coming up the drive way I pull up along side the jeep all the way out at the Lockhart Basin/Chicken Corner sign. I ask the driver if he missed the turn. "The turn to where?" "Base Camp." He says "I'm from Texas. I'm just trying to find a place to camp." It's not even one of my guests and when he saw me closing fast on him he went faster to try and get away from whoever the crazy person was following him.

I blow back to the lodge and when I pull up in the driveway there are vehicles everywhere and guests feeding critters. Enoch walks over and says "Are you Tom?" I say "Yes." He says "I brought your truck back. I hope it was your truck. There were a couple of them sitting in the parking lot." He hands me keys but they don't feel right. I turn my head lamp on and look down. They aren't my keys. Holy crap he brought the wrong truck back. I start shining my head lamp around the parking lot and spot a Ford 150. It looks like mine. It's got lots of red dirt on it. It's mine?

"Enoch, you sure these are the keys you used to start my truck?" I hand them to him. He says "Oh, those are mine. Here's yours."

As I'm driving the main house guests and hogan guests over to the lodge I spot the second house all lit up and people milling around. They apparently found their way to the house stumbling around in the dark.

As we get to the main house a kid gets out of their truck and says "Do you have scorpions out here?" I say "I've seen four scorpions this whole year. I turn on the lights and there's a pretty good size scorpion walking across the floor.

A few more trips back and forth between the properties getting people extra blankets and pillows and roll a way beds and all my guests are settled in. Lights start going out in the valley and it's truly dark across the landscape.

I walk out on the porch and all the little people are waiting The ringtails are in the rafters, the skunks in the hole, the raccoons consume six bowls of Kit&Kaboodle and fight with each other the whole time. It's who they are. Fox after fox comes to the sidewalk for a hot dog. There are three sitting on various guests vehicles, two at Breakfast at Tiffany's #1 and one on the hay bales at the fire pit. By the time hot dogs are done hitting the sidewalk, elevating to the ringtail rafters, and being drained down the skunk hole, there are 44 less hot dogs and an empty raccoon bag of Kit&Kaboodle.

I turn to close the door and see movement behind me. At Kobae's house and sitting on top is my friend who's eyes don't reflect. He jumps down and comes to the sidewalk. Make that 46 hot dogs short. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Allison and Cathleen

So a month or so ago two women booked to stay in the female hogan at Last Hurrah. I went over and saw them a couple times to see if they needed anything. They were drawing and painting. Their time was limited so they were all over the place on the side by side trying to see and sketch as many things as possible to turn into finished work later. As they were preparing to check out I ask if I could see any of the things they had drawn and they both said no instantly. I figured it was just them crazy artist types and who can figure them out so that was that. However, I just got an email from Cathleen. It's called Kobae's Kingdom. It's emotional for me. Thank you Allison and Cathleen.

Maggie and Kobae

The first day Kobae chased Maggie around she had her tail between her legs but now I think she likes it.


A few years ago Linny and I had a canyon wren that would come in and clean. She'd eat any spiders she found or flies dead or alive in the windows. She was very methodical and could go right under the doors to start work in the next room. I didn't quite get to the camera in time but I've had one come in two days in a row and do some cleaning. I was outside hanging up clothes and she was next to the back door hanging on the wall making big noise to let her in so she could clean but by the time I got back in the lodge she had moved on.


I'm over cleaning at Last Hurrah and when I'm done and get back to the lodge there's a bicycle on the front porch with some clothes lying next to it. Nobody knows anything or saw anybody. A few hours later it's still there. I notice the top of the mail box is open and I look in there and it has $10 in it. 

A few hours later a guy walks up the drive way and says how much he enjoyed the disc golf course. I say "You rode your bike out here from town to play the disc golf course?" He says "No, from Seattle. I'm just riding around playing disc golf."

Kelly and DJ come back from side by siding and hand me an I-phone. I say "You found it on the trail?" They say "No, actually Steffi and Andi found it and gave it to us." We put a sign on the front gate come here for the lost phone and put the word out to some trail riders. An hour or two later an ATV comes up the driveway and I can tell. He's not looking around to see what's here or try to pre-determine what the place is about, he's singular focused on me. He's lost his cell phone.

He pulls up and says "I lost my cell phone. You have it?" I pull out the cell phone and he takes it with a big smile, looks at it, then hands it back to me and says "That's not mine." and drives off.

Wednesday: Mad Bro and Steffi and Andy

Last week both of the Kymco side by sides went down the same day. A rear axle was broken on the trail for the third time this year and kudos to Mad Bro knowing how busy I am that they pulled a trailer all the way out here to take it to town and get fixed for me. Later in the day the second one wouldn't start. Melinda, a guest staying here, in addition to taking Kobae for a hike one day (tortoise herder) also added being towed in a side by side by a side by side over Hurrah Pass to her resume.  Mad Bro pulled a trailer out to the other side of Hurrah and again picked up one of the side by sides. I told them next weekend I was full and I had to have at least one of them back so I'd have at a minimum two side by sides for two houses full of guests, two hogans, and five rooms at the lodge.

On Wednesday Mad Bro called to say one of the Kymcos was ready and they'd trailer it out here Wednesday evening. Right after that I got an email from a guest saying they had gotten a compact car at the rental company and didn't think they could get out here. I told them to go to Mad Bro, pick up the side by side and drive it out on Thursday. Then I emailed Mad Bro to tell them somebody was going to come get it and not to bring it out.

Wednesday evening I'm cleaning rooms on the back porch and I forgot to take my walkie with me. When I walk inside the lodge and head for the front door I see the blue Kymco sitting outside. At first I don't understand what I'm looking at. When I walk outside there it is and there are fresh truck and trailer tire tracks in the driveway. I'm thinking they must not have read their email. I jump in the side by side and catch Luke about a third of the way up Hurrah. Tell him I sent him an email but I need the side by side back in Moab so guests can drive it out tomorrow. I feel bad knowing he just spent a couple hours out and back to deliver it being the full service people they are but we load it up and they take it back. I wave goodbye, turn around and realize I'm walking back to Base Camp.

A man and woman pull up on bicycles and I ask them where they're going.....down Lockhart? They say they left Alaska in June and they are on the way to Chile. I think they mean Chinle in Arizona. They say, no, Chile. It's the Pan American Bicycle Trail and now it comes through here. Oh boy. Like I don't have to do enough rescues and water drops down Lockhart Basin. I offer to put them up at Base Camp and oh by the way while you're there if you see any guests ask them to come get me in the Polaris. They do and DJ does.

Steffi and Andi have been on the road for 19,000 miles and not gotten a flat but they got two coming down Hurrah. Here's some people with heart. So in the morning they change out two flats with Kobae's help and they're off down Lockhart. You can follow them at

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What Kobae Likes Most

On days when we don't get to go hiking it's because there's more people staying at the lodge usually and more people means more dogs so all in all, still a pretty good day for Kobae.


On the rare days I can get away for an hour or two Kobae always manages to pick up a few friends we find in the canyons that want to join us for a little part of the hike.

Courtesy Melinda

The First

The first place I ever ran across petroglyphs out here and I bet I haven't been there in at least a couple years. See the stairs cut in the rock leading to the dwelling.

Moab 240 Mile Race

Flags start showing up in the driveway from Last Hurrah out to the front gate at Base Camp and signs talking about a race. I look it up online and it's 240 miles. On foot. I'm really busy but I'm hoping somebody will show up and ask me if it's ok to use the property. On Friday morning Melinda wants to see the closest petroglyphs so as we're heading out we come across a check in point, first aid station, timekeeper's chair and the whole works right in front of the Base Camp sign. Since nobody ask and I know the races have somebody in charge of this stuff and while I'm all for helping and could have set up the aid station at Base Camp with bathrooms and the whole show if they would have ask, the least I can do is make them feel uncomfortable for not asking.

We pull up and I ask if I can help them. They seem confused. I tell them that when somebody sets up on my property I like to know about it and it's a shame they didn't ask. I can see their faces as they all look at each other like "Oh boy, we've got a major problem just before the first runners show up." I grill them a little more about who was suppose to check with land owners and who's running the show and a guy meekly says he's with the race organizers. I give him a little more grief and then tell him I'm on their side and I can help. Huge relief all around and people are breathing again.

He says he'll come see me in the next few hours as this is going to be a yearly event but he never shows up. Anyhow, 240 miles and the winner is Courtney Dauwalter, she's an eighth grade school teacher and she ran it in under 58 hours. Or a little over four miles an hour for 58 straight hours and she smoked the next closest person, a guy, by 10 hours.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Twelve Days

The days are blowing by. It's so busy. Twelve days since I posted. If I tried to remember everything that happen there'd be no chance. There is almost no day that there aren't guests checking in and checking out. There's a couple rooms to clean every day and trying to stay free to put guests in the river in town, at the bottom of the hill, side by siding, and taking them on hikes. There are nights where both places, Last Hurrah, and Base Camp are full.
Sneaking away occasionally for an hour or two hike with Kobae. Today Melinda, a guest at the lodge, took Kobae out for a five hour hike. I had no time at all.
I'm back in the foxes good graces. For whatever reason they've picked up a habit lately of sitting or sleeping on guests cars waiting for their hot dogs.

On the upside for Kobae the place being so busy, more dogs for him to chase.