Saturday, December 29, 2018


A few times I've seen green eyes on the hill since the walkie incident but much like the gray fox that I had come for so long who's eyes didn't reflect when hit with the headlamp it could be one fox is different again. Last night I saw the green eyes and threw a hot dog up the trail going to the hill and a fox ran down and grabbed it and later I saw a set of green eyes and two sets of white eyes real close to it so there's no way two foxes would be hanging out with a cat of any sort. So while there are rules to eye color, apparently there are exceptions.

It's been mostly quiet. A guest here and there but the next couple days look like three rooms and two hogans. This is so much better than the busy season. I actually get a chance to know the guests and speak with them and feel again how special the place is to them. The last few days I've been sending guests out on hike with just a verbal description of the hike or a hand drawn map and the smile on their faces when they return is heart warming.
I had some people in the dark miss the turn into Base Camp and go straight over to Last Hurrah. I was waiting for them to show up and then looking out the back window saw the lights were on in the main house. I drive over, walk in and there's three people cooking and watching tv. I ask them what the story is because out here you can get shot for less than that. They say they found their hogan and thought this was the lodge where they could cook. Little language barrier issue. They tried to email me but the wifi was down at the main house. We get things worked out and they have a good stay. Yesterday I get an email saying they have left a review on one of the booking sites. I click on it and it says "Hi Tom, sorry we broke into your house."

Just prior to Thanksgiving there was a family staying here who had a relative with them that was looking for her place in life. As they were checking out the husband said "My mom (who doesn't speak English) thinks you're really cute and wants to know if you have a woman to keep you warm for the holidays." I thanked him but I was fine and then looked out in the parking lot and she was waiving at me.

I'm in the Post Office a couple days before Christmas and the line is long with people holding three or four packages to mail out. I put a big smile on my face and say "Holy cow. Thank God I don't have any friends." They were all over me. "Nice attitude." "Good Christmas spirit." "No wonder you don't have any friends." Apparently people in small towns have stress too.

I open my PO Box and there's a letter from the guy saying his mom wants to know if I found a woman yet for the winter because she can be here for Christmas. I slide it in the trash can and a lady says "No wonder you don't have any friends. You get one Christmas card and you throw it away."

After the death of the sharp-shinned last week the smaller hawk still showed up every day but instead of looking for prey in the feeding area it sat at the top of the Cottonwood tree looking out towards the river. I think they were connected. A large new hawk showed up yesterday, also a sharp-shinned so I'm back to where I was with The Butcher, small and a large sharp-shinned. I'm putting the food as close to thick bushes as I can so I don't lose any songbirds.

Two problems solved themselves. Out by the Base Camp sign there was a large cow, way bigger than all the others, at least a thousand pounds. If broke it's foot or ankle or something and fell down. There it laid for three or four days unable to get back up while they tried different methods to re-right it. By that time there's no more circulation in it's legs and it's about over. They tried to get the front end loader and stand it up but it had a flat tire. They tried the dogs to motivate it more but there's just no getting a thousand plus pounds to stand up in the boonies if it physically can't. Finally they shot it and dragged it off the road and back into the creek bed where all the jerks had been going off road in their side by sides and tearing up the landscape. I was going to put a fence across it but now when they turn into the creek there's a thousand plus pounds of dead cow blocking the creek bed and apparently they've lost their stomach for tearing up stuff. There are no new tracks in the creek bed on the other side of the remains.

When the bobcat was here none of the little people came to eat on the front porch. One raccoon family had found it's way under the lodge and later that turned into just one raccoon. The bobcat is gone now but there's still just one raccoon eating the two nightly bowels of Kit&Kaboodle. He hasn't gone under the lodge in four or five days. Last night I walked outside to feed a ringtail and a couple of foxes and the raccoon was on the porch emptying the two large bowls by itself. It's huge. I thought it was a bear when I first saw it. Then I realized why it's not under the lodge anymore. It can't fit through the hole.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

I Thought Wrong

Thursday night I set up walkies at strategic places on the hill to scare off the bobcat with my banshee howl. It was successful. I went back up at 1am or so to get my walkies and two of them were gone. I closed the post with what I thought was a joke of sorts saying I couldn't find two of the walkies hinting the bobcat stole them but thinking with daylight I'd find both of them.

I thought wrong.

I went back up Friday around noon and for a half hour or so I searched for the two missing walkie talkies and they aren't there. I did find a food bowl that something had carried up the hill. I found four sets of tracks, mine from Thursday, two sets of fox tracks, and the bobcat tracks. No humans. I don't see any tracks where either one of them were located or do I have any sort of explanation. They are just gone.

Last night, Friday night, five foxes, one raccoon, one ringtail, and one skunk came back to eat. One raccoon moved back under the lodge and I could hear two other stirrings under the lodge, the ringtail and the skunk I assume. The bobcat did not come back last night.

Friday, December 21, 2018


On Sunday and Monday nights there were green eyes on the hill right in front of the Base Camp hogans. I think it's a cat, either bobcat or mountain lion. It's the wrong time of year for the mountain lion who visits twice a year. Thanksgiving and early March. I saw a bobcat three or four days ago and found tracks going down to the river so I'm guessing that's who the green eyes belong to. On Tuesday night there weren't any green eyes on the hill and a few foxes returned.

On Wednesday night I stayed outside for awhile and watched and there were no green eyes on the hill. I saw white eyes coming up the drive way and I called for the fox. It was a bright moon and as the eyes got closer I could see the fox. I threw it two hot dogs and as it walked over to get them I looked up on the hill and my headlamp lit it up. Two green eyes rose over a rock. The fox must have seen them too because suddenly it broke for the river. I've called hundreds of foxes down the hill and have seen them run down for hot dogs many times. I know their speed. I see it night after night. The fox was like a bullet towards the cover of the tamarisk in the river. The green eyes broke off the hill in a straight line cutting off the angle of the fox trying to get to the river. Whatever ran down the hill with the green eyes I only saw a blur but it was heavy enough that I could hear it's feet running down the hill and it was probably 50% faster than the fox. I might be short a fox.

I came back inside and looked up "fox predators". There was the bobcat and it said they hunted fox pretty successfully. This is reminding me of some of the sharp-shinned hawks that I've had over the years who sit on certain rocks to provide a good angle to intercept songbirds trying to get to the river shrubbery for cover. They also like rabbit, dogs, cats and can take down a small deer. Then I realized Jax is coming back next week. I've got to solve this before Jax gets here. Reading further I found they generally hunt a few hours before dark and a few hours after and then again a few hours before sunrise and a few hours after.

On Thursday I grid searched the property looking for any remains or signs of a struggle of the bobcat taking the fox it sent fleeing. I found nothing. I went up the hill and walked around looking for any sort of cat tracks but the ground is hard and it was hard to distinguish any track of anything at all.

I was pretty sure I pinned down the rock it sits on and last night was hiding behind until a fox made itself available.

I'd spent a chunk of Thursday checking electric heaters to see which worked and which didn't and which brand seemed more effective and used up the least amount of energy. Then I collected the three different types of walkies I have and spent a couple hours seeing which worked, what didn't, changing out batteries and making sure all 18 of them were set on channel 21. When I came back down from the hill looking for tracks the walkies were all still sitting on the table. I realized it worked on the sharp-shinned that was such a problem a few years ago why wouldn't it work on the bobcat?

I went up the hill and surrounded the sitting hiding bobcat rock with walkies in every direction.

I waited. Three times I went outside and waited in the cold night air for ten to fifteen minutes and nobody came, nobody. There were no green eyes on the rock. At about 8:30 I walked outside and there were green eyes on the rock. There was a little fog coming off the river, a little mist in the air, the moon trying to break through. It was eerie out. In the highest, ghostliest, high pitched voice I could find I spoke into the walkie. The voice, my voice, of the spirits came from everywhere up on the hill and the green eyes disappeared immediately. They popped up again to the right. I screamed into the walkie, the green eyes disappeared and showed up to the left, I screaming into the walkie. I was everywhere and the bobcat was surrounded. The green eyes disappeared.

An hour or so later one fox showed up. I haven't seen anybody else. Not ringtail, not raccoon, not skunk, not fox. At 1am, just a few minutes ago I went up the hill to collect all my walkies and get them out of the mist before they short out tonight. I couldn't find two of them. Hopefully I'll find them in the morning. I hate to think what it means if I don't find them at all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018


Temp was in the low 50s today and so I spent part of the day in Jackson Hole looking for lost cows and the big horn. I found neither but it was a good ride.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Wildlife Battles

Most nights the ringtails are in the rafters, skunks under the porch, raccoons own the east side of the front porch and the foxes own everything surrounding the lodge. That's the way it is. Everybody has their own place and it keeps the peace, between different types of critters anyway. Raccoons always fight among themselves, always.

Each night I go through two bowls of Kit&Kaboodle on the porch and one in Kobae's pen which is about half a bag. When morning comes all the bowls are empty. However the last two nights there are a pair of green eyes sitting on a rock just this side of the Base Camp hogans, all night. It's a cat. Either the bobcat I saw a couple days ago or a mountain lion. Whatever it is, it has discouraged everyone from coming to eat on the porch. When morning comes all the bowls are empty. Here's what they have looked like the last two mornings.

The songbirds, house finch, white-crowned sparrows, dark-eyed juncos, mourning doves, Eurasian-Collared doves, and red-winged blackbirds with five or six other types that show up occasionally have been under constant attack by one of three predators. The butcher, Loggerhead Shrike, small enough to get in the bushes with the songbirds and snatch them. A small sharp-shinned hawk, probably male that makes lightning quick strikes into the feeding area coming in low over the horizon and a larger, medium size sharp-shinned hawk, probably female who flies right above the bush the songbirds are hiding in, comes crashing down on the bush trying to get them to run. I've taken to feeding the songbirds right next to the tallest and thickest bushes and looked around at the landscape nursery to see if there was anything I could buy that would I could plant this time of year that would help provide cover.

If I don't see any songbirds at the feeding areas then I know one of them is here. The small sharp-shinned and the butcher fly off as soon as I open the door. The medium size sharp-shinned does not. She stares at me and talks to me. She seems pretty frustrated. I've been kind of enjoying our conversations. Her behavior the last few days of looking in the windows and fighting the one window on the back porch where she sees her reflection is pretty unusual but who knows how things work in the hawk kingdom.

On Monday I'm gathering up stuff to go to town and when I walk onto the back porch where the female always looks at herself in the window I find this.

She's dead, and recently. I look at the windows anywhere near to where the body is and there are no signs that she hit any of them. Besides she knows better. She spends a lot of time on the back porch. She was the last decent size hawk that I've seen out here as the ravens have killed all the others. I look for wounds on the body and there aren't any and her neck isn't broken like she hit a window. She's still warm and it's a cold day. She has just died in the last few minutes.

I take her around to the front porch where there's more sunlight. Ever since I read that 60% of raccoons die in the first year from starvation I decided nobody starves on my watch. It's been an expensive promise. I feel her ribs and stomach, they seem empty. I'd never thought about the predators starvation. I walk back around to the back porch and there are several poops she has left there the last few days so I don't think starvation was it.

Did she die wearing herself out fighting the reflection? I don't think so I think she had come to realize it was her since the last two times I saw here she was just looking in the window reflection while perched on the back of a chair.

I pick her up to look her in the eyes to see if she will tell me how she died. I think she did.
When I moved here I found several dead house finches that had theirs eyes swollen, almost sewed shut or in a couple cases popping out of their heads. Reading up I found they normally got it from their water or food source. So i put out water bowls and keep the water fresh in them and change it out frequently and it pretty much went away. Sometimes it crosses over the other finches but it's primarily a house finch seeing eye disease and you can look it up using just those words.

I've never heard of a predator getting it but clearly they do eat house finches. Whatever the cause she only had one eye functioning so something was going on inside. She is settled now in the wildlife  graveyard that Linny and I constructed with our friends and enemies, the Cemetery of Frienamies.

Off Season

I was switching channels last night between working on propane heaters so I have a couple extra when one goes out and saw the winter baseball meetings were going on in Vegas. It occurred to me it's kind of like that here to. It's the down time, I have no revenue coming in and I'm spending big to make sure I have a successful year.

Disc Golf: I sent the check to Innova so some time in the next couple weeks 18 more baskets should show up and sometime in the next couple months Doug Smith and some players will come down and set up a second 18 holes. It will be difficult to match some of the epic holes that are here now but it's all new terrain so I suppose anything is possible. The 9th and 10th of March are the dates for this year's tournament. I have set aside all the hogans, rooms, and houses for the 8th and 9th for disc golfers. If you want something the sooner you let me know the better.

Vehicles: I lost a considerable amount of money last year on the side by sides. The most expensive of the repairs were guest messing up the two Kymco's. I'll be doing the math in the next week or so but I'm going to have to raise the price on vehicles to I don't know how much yet until I see what the final damage is. I'm having one more six seater delivered in the next few weeks and I've put the two Kymco's up for sale.

Energy: It's going to be ugly but there is nowhere near enough power next door so there are tens of thousands of dollars worth of new panels and equipment coming in. It's going to be massive and hopefully done by the end of February.

Water: It's real good over here and still need some improvement at Last Hurrah. I need to find a way to route water faster from the river, to settling tank, through filters to holding tanks. When Last Hurrah is busy 3,000 gallons of holding tank water goes pretty quickly.

I had water issues over here at the lodge when the well went dry and the washing machine busted about the same time. So put in a 1700 gallon holding tank with a jet pump. Whenever the pressure falls the jet pump kicks on and drains water out of the extra holding tank and keeps the flow to the lodge even. Turns out that after we quit using the washing machine the well mostly filled back up and the water issues went away but still I'm glad I have the back up.

That just left the washer and dryer at the main house. Then the main house started renting a lot and sometime we couldn't get in it for a week or two so we went to town and bought extra sheets, cases, and comforters, then there was hardly any room in the office to hold all that stuff.

I bought an extra washer and dryer and put them in the garage. Found a separate water supply for the washer that didn't drain the holding tanks so that was a big help but there's not enough power to run the dryer at that site. So taking the dryer back to town and getting a propane dryer.

Sheets were always getting messed up and hard to sort out we were so busy all the time so now king is one color, queen another, doubles, one more and singles too. It's coming together.

Doug, former owner of next door, is telling me the hogan up on the hill above the Base Camp hogans is almost done and ask if I'd rent it out for him and we worked out a split so the workload just went up even more.

I'm going to a couple hockey games with Linny soon and we'll discuss the next year. If Linny doesn't come back I'll be in real trouble and looking for help, and based on this coming year's bookings which are way ahead of last year, which beat the year before by an incredible amount, which doubled the year before that, looks like I'll need it.

I'm going to take off a few days this year so I'm going to need somebody to watch the place for a few days and up to a week periodically. If either of these last two paragraphs interest you let me know.


Sunday, December 16, 2018


I wanted to get out and go riding anyway so when I heard the cattle herd was starting to be pushed down Lockhart Basin and they were doing one more search of the area before moving their camp down Lockhart I went out to Dripping Springs where there are several springs that pop up off and on to see if any cows were out there.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Some, Crazy Stuff

I should know better. Whenever I think I've got the little people of nature figured out they surprise me. There is a new ringtail, pretty small. It snaps at the hot dog it's so happy to see it when the stick with the hot dog on it comes. Usually it only gets half the hot dog because the bite is so vicious the bottom half falls to the porch. It's learning to slide the hot dog off the marsh mellow stick. My favorite part which it doesn't even seem to notice is the other ringtails are so curious about it and come watch it snatch the hotdogs and mostly swallow without chewing. It's complete fascination.

I brought my seventh load of wood back so far this month and all the fire pits and fireplaces are full and the back porch is filling up. If Linny doesn't come back in March I'm on my own and I have to figure out how far ahead I can get on things that will become time consuming later on.
The cows have all been pushed out of Jackson Hole to almost the turnoff to Lockhart Basin so probably I can put the trials bike in the garage, couple more rides maybe. They've closed the gate on the road to Hurrah.

When I went down to check on the kayaks I saw bobcat footprints going down to the river. That solves what everyone is scared of. I came back to the lodge, in the office, sat down, saw movement outside. There, with dark black hair and pointed ears was the bobcat walking softly and cautiously up the driveway. I crept out to see if I could open the door and get a picture but when I stepped out on the porch it was gone. I put the camera in my pocket turned around and there it was on the porch staring at me, no fear in it's eyes. Only 30 or so pounds but all business.

It will kick the raccoons butt, fly up the pole and get the ringtail, and chase down the fox. With night I walked out on the porch, no one was around. The moon was eerie behind the clouds and barely showing itself. I moved my head to guide the headlamp around the perimeter. On the hill there were green eyes. I know the blue eyes of the deer, the white eyes of the fox, the yellow eyes of the raccoon, the red eyes of the coyote and now I know the green eyes.

I heard a scratching violent noise against the back porch window and walked out to see a Sharp-shinned fighting with it's reflection in the window. Flying in place with legs extended, claws out, and flailing away at it's reflection. It retreated when I walked up to it.

The next day I heard it again and when I opened the back door it was going at it's reflection again. When I pulled the camera out it took off.

Now, walking around doing chores with the GoPro on my head all the time is a little irritating but it has paid off. Where we are now is she's pretty sure I am protecting the reflection hawk inside the lodge. When she lands in the trees and bushes now she's not facing the feeding areas, she's facing the lodge, and she's not happy. I talk to her, she talks back.

She's moved up to the Desert Willow right on the front porch looking in the windows but apparently not at an angle that she reflects in.

Today, Friday there were no birds moving in the bushes so I know she's here, but where.

Night of the Fox

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Something Has Changed

There is a reason the gray foxes don't wait in the parking lot for their hot dogs like they have for years and now sit up by the mud huts and wait for me to come out before they then run down the hill to feed. There is a reason why instead of getting roving bands of raccoons all night I now only get a few and they are the largest ones. There is a reason after only two nights the family of raccoons that moved into the crawlspace have left. There is a reason the ringtails collect their hot dogs and then run across the roof instead of hanging in the porch rafters as they always have. They are probably all the same reason. What is a raccoon scared of, what makes a fox think something can catch it, what would kill raccoon babies, and what is agile enough to threaten a ringtail in the rafters? I'm hoping over the next few nights Go Pro can help me find answers. But it wasn't tonight.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Where are the Big Horn?

I've seen no fresh tracks at Last Hurrah and there weren't any at the Wind Caves or on the road to Chicken Corner. So, it's Jackson Hole time to see if they climbed up Jackson Ladder to the Amasa Back. Not finding any tracks at Jackson Ladder I travel around to the other side of Jackson Butte and there are large numbers of big horn tracks all leading up to and inside Jackson Butte.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Journey to Chicken Corner

Go Pro and YouTube

For quite awhile now whenever I post a GoPro video on YouTube it's off centered to the right side of the screen as is the arrow. I haven't been able to find a way to fix that. If somebody knows please tell me.

Until that happens if you want the video centered, it's better to click on the video title and that will center it.


Little People Stuff

Probably it doesn't seem like much is going on unless you've been here a long time and can sense things. The foxes are coming down to get their hot dogs and then retreating up the hill to the hogans and watching from there. They don't hang in the parking lot like they use to. Something has them spooked around the lodge. The song birds are under attack almost constantly.

When the Pinon Jays come to the feeding areas to eat all the songbirds have been scared and retreat into the bush. They are about half as large again as the songbirds but I figured in time they'd get use to them just like they did the Eurasian Collard Doves when they showed up. Because underneath they look much like a hawk coming in to land everybody ran. In time the Eurasian doves would land ten feet from the feeding area and walk over. Everybody figured it out.

A couple days ago I saw a Pinon Jay land in the feeding area, twice strike a songbird in the head with it's beak. The songbird fell dead and as it turned out it was the Loggerhead Shrike (Butcher) who is about the same size and almost same color. The Butcher reached down snatched up the dead songbird and flew off. I was inside looking out the office window thinking it was a Pinon Jay until death struck.

There is a small sharp shinned that comes in low over the hill and is on site before anyone has time to do anything. Because so many vehicles have pulled up to the front of the lodge across the parking lot and each pulls further and further up the hill they've crushed the bushes that were there and both the Butcher and Sharp-shinned can get into the bushes to attack the songbirds. Until I find a solution I'm feeding right up against the bush or inside the bush. Four or five times a day a large hawk, I haven't gotten close enough to see what kind flies right over the feeding areas and then dives down trying to pick off a songbird. Today coming back from Last Hurrah I saw it's profile on a rock as the sun set and I walked up the hill to chase it off. It flew across the river and landed at it's nesting place at Caveman Ranch or Tangri La, whatever it's current name is. So the hawk lives almost right here.

There are three ringtail every night in the rafters and I hear them go under the lodge when they are done eating. I can hear them in the insulation in the crawl space. At least two skunks are waiting for me each evening for food blow the porch and they also live under the lodge. For the first time ever a family of raccoons has found a home right under my bathroom. I'm good with the ringtail and skunk but the raccoon are going to be an issue at some point. Though I think I'm down to just one family that shows up each night and I assume it's the one under the porch.

It use to be the raccoons would eat both their bowls of Kit&Kaboodle and then head out into Kobae's pen and eat the foxes food also. Now it's the opposite. With few raccoons the foxes have found their courage and are constantly raiding the raccoon food bowls. I hear them eating outside my window all night and their crunch is lighter than the raccoon crunch.

I have not seen deer or big horn in over a week since the mountain lion was here. Everyone else has returned though so I assume the mountain lion is gone so once Jax returns and I start hiking again I expect to find another set of deer or big horn remains out there somewhere. She always takes one and then goes back up on top of the Anti-Cline.

There's still not a solid leader of the foxes but somebody is trying. Each evening when I go put the fox food out and bring the empty bowl back somebody has peed in it.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

I Met Somebody Today

It's been eight days since I've seen anybody other than going to town last week to get propane, firewood, and groceries. I'm catching up with stuff to do at the lodge so finally I was able to get away for an hour or so taking the trials bike up to Hurrah Pass.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

It's Here

Time Management: Lesson Learned

Trying to get as much outdoor stuff done as I can before the first snow comes which is usually shortly after Thanksgiving. When I was running the indoor soccer facilities we would make phone calls from each facility to build teams for any upcoming leagues that were short. Most facilities just had two to three phone lines but a few had three to five. We only made phone calls from 6:30pm to 9:30pm on weekdays feeling like that was after dinner and not too late for bedtime. If you only had one phone line you could call out on you weren't very effective. But if you faxed or emailed your list to a facility that had extra phone lines and gave them the details they could compliment your calls and go through three to four times as many phone numbers per evening. It wasn't just that. If the call center was in Michigan where we had four facilities we could help the Wichita facility until it was 9:30pm Wichita time and then still help a Denver, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake, and or Boise facility for an hour as it was only 8:30pm there. When 9:30 came to those locations we still had an hour we could call to assist a San Diego or Sacramento facility. It was very effective.

Here I just have two locations about a mile from each other and though it's hardly recognizable as the example above it still works. This time of year the sun comes up from behind the Anti Cline which Base Camp is not far from the base of. When the sun comes up it makes about a five to ten degree difference almost right away and the same when it goes down. If I have a busy day trying to accomplish a lot of outdoor tasks I've found that the sun hits Last Hurrah because it's further away from the Anti Cline nearly a half hour earlier than it hits the lodge and because it's at a higher elevation goes down about 20 minutes later. Despite a mile a part there's nearly an hour or one time zone difference in sunlight and warmer temperatures.


There's a new ringtail, smallest of them all. He's pretty funny. When I hand him a hot dog he bites it hard as if it might escape. The other ringtails delicately pull the hot dog out of my hand or off of the marsh mellow stick. The new one only gets a half to a third of the hot dog each time as the rest falls to the porch. It's taken a little bit of work to get him to catch the hot dog when I throw it to him. Most of the others can catch it first time. This one usually gets hit in the face once or twice before he figures it out. However, he's getting better.


In previous years my ghost time began right after Thanksgiving with nearly 100 days of almost no guests. Just me and the little people and the ghosts of the past that I was free to explore for 100 days.

Now with revenue having doubled for the second year in a row it takes nearly two weeks to close down and prepare for next year. Just water at the lodge to fill the extra tank takes a day and then I have one propane heater that will only work on the pilot light so it's perfect to put in the well house which will keep it heated and the pump from freezing up and since it's just on pilot it takes almost three weeks to drain the propane bottle.

Next door at Last Hurrah it's much more work. It takes a day to pump water from the pond to fill the two underground water tanks. It would be nice if I could do that while at the same time pumping water from the river into the pond but then the mud is all stirred up and going into the holding tanks so filling up the tanks is first. At the same time though I pump water from the pond into the truck tank and take that water back to fill up the cisterns at the lodge that I use for watering.
Just putting the tank in the back of the truck by myself is a bit of work. I run two motorcycle ramps from the ground into the back and then muscle the 420 gallon tank into the truck. Fill the tank, drive back to the lodge and gravity feed the two cisterns so they're full for the winter. Then muscle the empty tank back to it's storage place.

When all the water for other purposes is transferred then it's fill up the pond again from the pump next to the boat house and into the pond.

I've heard that in some places when people want a drink of water they turn on the tap. It's a little more work here.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Big Horn of Last Hurrah

Some More Stuff

Things have settled back in since the brief trip to San Diego. I keep my trials bike outside ready to go so that when cows show up I can run them off the property. Trials bike roundup.

The moon is nearly full and it's Thanksgiving week. I await the arrival of the mountain lion who comes down from the Anti Cline this time each year, takes a deer or big horn and then goes back up. Both the lodge and Last Hurrah are full and it's pretty much the end of the season. Then I have about 100 days of ghost time for exploring. My list of things to accomplish this winter is huge.
I ran out of time to get everything done by myself before the big weekend so I hired a cleaning company in Moab to come do some work and after just three hours or so inside the Condo it looks better than it ever has.
With Thanksgiving night the moon comes up just to the left of the Two Trains. There should be one more vehicle in the parking lot but with darkness there's a vehicle missing up on Hurrah Pass. Somebody knocked the sign down and they took the mining road. I drive up to tow strap them but it's perilous so at midnight it's another call to Chris at Nations Towing.

Returning to the lodge no fox or raccoon show up for food which tells me all I need to know. The mountain lion is here. In the morning next to the Base Camp hogans guests who slept in them find mountain lion tracks outside the door.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Some Stuff

I hiked Mission Trails with Kobae on Tuesday, came back to the house, got three or four hours of sleep and took off around 11pm. Massive traffic jam out of Riverside and sat there at midnight not moving at all so I just put my headlamp on and read two more chapters in the book I was working on.

Michelle hung when she brought Jax back to watch the place saying she needed some rest. It didn't work out that way. I've had three maintenance cleaning guys in a row that drank a little, than drank a little more than wrecked my jeep. This time I decided to skip the wrecking my Jeep part and let one go early. However apparently he hooked up the water to pump from the pond into the tanks and on Tuesday Michelle found that the Condo had flooded and it took 50 something shop vac loads to get it out. Then just before I left the cowboys came by and said they were taking some cows out to Jackson Hole but they'd keep an eye on them. When I got back on Wednesday Michelle and Jax had left and there were cows everywhere. So tired or not I pulled a trials bike out and I've spent the last three days herding cows out with the trials bike and closing the gate. Fortunately they were hanging out at the muddy water hole and not the main house pond which they could have done significant damage to.

One more Hayduker came through, pretty late in the year. Said he didn't have a trail name but Chris said he was just going to focus on the Hayduke most of the time. Then on Saturday night a lady knocked on the door at 10pm and said her friends had called her earlier in the day and said they were going to hike from Hatch Point to the Wind Caves and she needed directions to the Wind Caves to see if they made it. I explained that within the next 20 miles there was only one way down on this side, and without much daylight this time of the year it would have been borderline if they could make it. The most difficult part being the trail, if any, is difficult to read, and, get this, it seems like it ends at a big old tree but if you know you can climb through a hole in the tree trunk and find the continuation of the trail. She left I never saw her again so don't know the outcome.

It turns out the barber in town and I have something in common besides when I need a haircut he happens to be able to cut my hair. We both read a lot so we exchanged some books. When he told me he had a book from many years ago about the Potash Mine when they had the big explosion that killed everybody I ask him to bring it in and last time I was there we exchanged books. I pulled it out on the Saturday before I left and was just skimming through it to get an idea of how long it might take me to read it when the phone rang. It was some radio station asking me if I lived close to the Potash Plant and I told them I did. They said there were multiple emergency vehicles heading there what did I know. I saw a plume of white smoke coming out and told him that was the extent of my current knowledge. Turns out a boom touched an electrical line and three men were killed, all of who were well known and liked in town.
Having spent so much of the last couple weeks with Jax and Kobae it feels weird to not have either one of them here but there's plenty to do. Just out of habit when I get in the truck to go next door to work and clean I hold the door open for a second expecting Jax to jump in and then I remember.

It's that time. The moment the sun goes down the temperature goes down by ten degrees. The raccoons that show up to eat has dropped to six or eight each night, two ringtails and two skunks are solid, and the number of gray foxes has dropped in half to just five or six. I heard the first animals under the house last night tearing the insulation out and making their beds to prepare for winter.
I'm preparing for winter too. I checked all the engines, generators, and pumps today to make sure they all had plenty of oil and anti-freeze and covered up the entrance to Kobae's house so not to repeat the mistake of a few years ago when I didn't and a badger moved in who was extremely determined not to get kicked out. Both places go vacant tomorrow and one more massive cleaning job for the Thanksgiving weekend where I'm completely full at both places and then the season is pretty much over. I'm ready for over.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Tuesday: Mission Trails

Kobae and I got six hours of hiking in Mission Trails on Tuesday.