Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wednesday Hike

Linda, Jax, and I took a side by side down to the mouth of Lockhart Basin. Hiking first up the canyon to see how bad the road is (bad, but passable if you're good, really good). Then we took a small canyon to the left side where we got up in the moenkopie and hiked around in it.

Tuesday Hike

Linda, Jax, and I hike part way up Hurrah and then cut across to the Jackson Hole trail for the way back running across two guys that para-glided off Hurrah and landed by the Jackson Hole road.

Monday Afternoon Hike

Linda, Jax, and I hike out towards Land of the Skinny People and then double back before dark.

Monday Hike

Linny couldn't come back to the lodge with me but Linda did. As we're driving back I called Michelle to see what Jax was up to and she said he hadn't been hiking since he left here and he just sits around in the house doing nothing. I said I'm coming right through Provo on the way back to Moab and will be there in about half an hour. Michelle said she was going to get gas right by a freeway exit and would meet me there. Jax jumps out of the car, into the truck and on Monday we're hiking.

There were two guys staying at the lodge working on Doug's hogan on top of the cliffs when I left. When I got back Johnny said they had left Friday saying they had another job to do and would be back in three weeks. Linda, Jax, and I swung by to see how much had been accomplished.

As we're walking along the cliff road a bald eagle flies right up next to us just 30 feet away. I call Jax quickly but the eagle doesn't seem to care about him. I don't think to take a picture until he's past us.
As we're taking the main road back to the lodge I see a flicker of movement to my left. Jax stops and smells the air in the same direction. We look at each other and you can tell he knows that I know, and I know that he knows, there's something not right. As we start hiking over to something not right, a conspiracy of 20 or so ravens take off into the air. When there are that many ravens together it's never good news. As we walk over the hill there's a cow that has passed quite some time ago and smells the same.
Driving out to the lodge Sunday evening there were cattle tracks going up Hurrah and cattle scat that weren't there when I drove into town on Friday and we spotted five cows out on Dex's property. I'd already called the cowboys to tell them they still have at least five cows out here. I'll be calling them back to tell them this one won't be leaving.

Monday, January 29, 2018

My Best Friend in the Whole World

On Friday I drove up to Salt Lake to see Linny. On Friday and Saturday nights we went to hockey games at the Maverick Center. On Friday night we saw a lot of this and we won. On Saturday night we didn't see very much of that and we lost. Then we saw some of this, it's not hockey without it.

Saturday afternoon Linny and I dropped by Salt Lake Indoor Soccer. The first facility we ever opened back in 1987. It was an old building then and then we put 30 more years of indoor in it. A new hospital opened up five or so years ago just a block away and we got an offer for this building for twice what we thought it was worth so they can demo it and make doctor offices out of it. I walked Linny around the building and told her the stories of what we had to go through in those days to get a facility open when nobody had even heard of indoor soccer. Marketing was calling people in the phone book with long last names hoping they were from some foreign country and knew what soccer was. Thirty years worth of stories. This building is slated for closing later this year and the teams moved to a new facility we built not too far away. Will be a sad day. I ask the staff to call me when they knew the date of closing so I could drive down and attend the last game. Linny played her first indoor soccer game there and she was emotional as well.

Time to get back to the lodge and say goodbye to my best friend. Almost fifteen years of being best friends.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


With Jax gone and without a hiking partner and a little bit of rainy weather it's a good time to catch up on the couple weeks of paperwork that I have to do. I did wander down to the beach though and it's finally an actual beach not an island beach and it's a long one stretching all the way to the real island a thousand feet or more south of the lodge. The river does whatever it wants. The first seven or so years it was a great beach. Then for two years never had a beach, it showed up on the other side of the river, and now the last three years it's been an island beach though only 10 to 15 feet of knee deep water to wade through to get to it. But last year the river didn't rise all that fast it just hit the beach at an angle chipping away at it every day until it was gone in March sometime and that's what it looks like it's doing this year though we've had hardly any snow and there are sand bars in the river where I've never seen sandbars before. Wow Johnny cut a bit path to the river. Will be nice this June or July when the river goes back down below the banks to not have to get down there and cut out all the over growth in 105 degree heat with thousands of newly hatched mosquitoes.

Couple guys showed up on Monday who are working on Doug's hogan up on the hill and said they were tired of getting beat up every day driving back and forth so I rented out the bunk bed room to them. Today is there first day here and they knocked off a little early so they could go over to the gravel pit and look for gold.

I've got a small hawk showing up every day I've had to drive off three or four times a day. He just takes off as soon as I open the door so no conflict. I look out the office window and there's no birds at the Breakfast at Tiffany's feeding site, the sharp-shinned is here. Open the front door and he's flying down towards the river before I can even get to him.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Quiet Friday Evening

Guests checked in next door at Last Hurrah but here at the lodge it's just me again and it's quiet. The birds are feeding but it's not the mating season and no one is singing. The ringtails, skunks, fox, and raccoons show up later in the evenings now and the nights are too cold to sit outside and wait for them so they all have their food left for them in strategic locations so there's no fighting and no issues. Even the raccoons are quiet.


Michelle and Jax departed on Thursday and I took the jeep in to get an alignment as Johnny somehow hit a big old rock in it the week before. After they crawled underneath they found a whole bunch of stuff wrong and or broken. They said they'd have parts in by Friday morning and to be back at 8am. After I dropped the jeep off Friday morning I thought I'd walk around town and visit some of the shops while they fixed the jeep. Apparently in my 11 years out here I've never visited Moab early in the morning during the off season because A. there weren't any shops open and B. there weren't any vehicles with people in them to visit the stores. It was eerie how deserted Moab was compared to what it usually is during the season.

Wednesday Ravens

On Wednesday Jax and I head out for a possible last hike as Michelle and Jax are scheduled to leave Thursday. I let Jax lead and at first we headed over towards the finger canyons where we had previously found two raven nests. Immediately three ravens came out to shadow us. When Jax turned back to the road two of them left. The third shadowed us for another half mile until sure we weren't headed towards the next and then departed i the direction of the Wind Caves. We took a different road back to the lodge and got some good shots of the river. Each time a raven flies over us I still call out raven. I don't know how long it's going to take but now that I know they can mimic me I'm going to eventually get one to say "raven".

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tuesday: Five Hour Hike

I have lots of one to three hour hikes around the lodge. This year I'm looking for a four to six hour hike somewhere. Last night I was thinking I could hike up to Hurrah, over to Scorched Earth Trail, and then try and find a way from Scorched Earth, where the Three Guys on a Roller Coaster figures are, then see if I could find a way up on the Amasa Back, down Jackson Ladder, and back to the lodge. There is a way currently but you have to take the valley and stone canyon almost all the way down to the bottom of Amasa Back and then back up again. I wanted to find a way to traverse the stone canyon up to Amasa Back to get the incredible views.

Jax and I drove out to Jackson Hole and then hiked up Jackson Ladder. There was a huge rock missing right in the middle of the trail about two thirds of the way up and it made that part much more difficult than it's ever been.
The first time I ever hiked Jackson Ladder, probably almost exactly 11 years ago I ran across a rock that was pinned between two others and I remember thinking that it probably wouldn't still be there when I got back to start down the ladder yet here it is 11 years later.
Looking down from the top of the ladder I can see the side by side next to the big rock and then we start working our way across the rim to the furthest point you can see on the left side that is jutting up in the second picture.

We take Upper Ahab bike trail, split off to Himasa bike trail and then make our own trail the last mile or so to the top.

In the first picture you can see the large shadow of Jackson Butte and behind it and elevated a little higher is the small shadow of Jackson Ladder where Jax and I had climbed up a couple hours before. The second picture shows Behind the Rocks and the La Sal mountains behind them. The video puts it all together.

Now it's time to try and find a way down in to the stone canyon. After scrambling around for 20 minutes I find a way, but it's dicey. Walk across the black patina, it's a steep angle, then slide down the angled wall, then drop into the stone canyon below. Jax is staring at me just waiting for the word that we're going to try it. I'm nervous I'll lose a couple guests and I'm not 100% sure I can make it either. I'm almost positive I can't make it back up so I better be right that this will take us back to Three Guys on a Roller Coaster and eventually back to Hurrah. We're not going to find out today.

It's getting late. Time to get back so we can get down the ladder before it gets dark. I run across these sort of cut out brick formations up here on Amasa Back a lot. It's very unique and almost always cut square or rectangle. I find them in granary's a lot where the Anasazi used them to make their storage facilities.Tight fit.