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.

Monday and Seventy Eight

On Monday I opened the gate and we were hiking in 78 degree San Diego.

Thank You Utah

On Sunday morning Kobae walked outside, felt how cold it was and started to turn around and sleep off the rest of the day. A disc golfer was walking by and I ask him to take one side and I took the other and we put Kobae in the back seat. I got my pack, boots, a couple canteens and we headed off to San Diego.

On the drive I passed Utah fire trucks on their way to help California with the fires. Last time they did that it resulted in this.

Despite that, here they go again. While in the convenience store where I got gas there were lots of people getting out of cars with California license plates and walking over to the firefighters and thanking them.

Saturday Evening

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Friday Hiking

I checked Thursday night and it said the high on Friday would be 48. No way we're going hiking but when I opened the door and Kobae walked out on the porch, he hesitated for about 30 seconds and then headed up the hill. It couldn't have been more than 40 degrees at departure. Since Michelle had showed up the previous evening with a fresh groomed Jax and looking good, Jax, Kobae, and I headed out.

Kobae heard the construction noise at the hogan so headed over to see if he could help. Since this project has been going on for 18 months I don't know if he can help but I doubt he could slow it down. I ask them how much longer and they thought this month and then they'd start on the Sun House. I said what's that. They said they didn't know Doug hadn't given them the plans yet.

I think back to when I ask Doug if he's sell me the last 70 acres and he said he wouldn't because he wanted to make sure that nobody ever built on it?

We're Going to Jackson and We Ain't Never Lookin Back

The high was going to be 50 but at about 45 Kobae headed down the driveway and was ready to go. I don't know if he knows, he must, that his 2018 days here are numbered and he's going to get in every hike he can. I've never had him go hiking in under 55 degree weather but here we are ten degrees short of that and he's moving at a pretty good clip. Usually at about 50 he's almost frozen and can barely move.

When we got a couple miles from the lodge a cloud cover set in blotting out the sun and the temperature dropped into the low 40s. Normally Kobae would be frozen and barely able to move but today he turned around and head back to the lodge slowing down a little but not much. I'm seeing a transformation going on here.

Plateau Passage

On Wednesday a guy pulls up on a bicycle, says his name is Chris, and he's riding the Plateau Passage trail. He says it's on the Mountain Bike Project site. Starts in Durango and goes, well he's not sure yet, but he's riding it. He stayed the night, fed critters on the porch, and when morning came though the temps were only in the 40s Kobae took off down the driveway so Chris went with him while I got my boots and pack together. I caught them on the way to Jackson Hole, thanked him and he headed back to the lodge to get his bike and finish his journey.
I found this

Oh Kobae, You've Done it Again

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Return of the Red-Winged Blackbirds

The Road to Chicken Corner

Brandon has been passing out my maps showing folks how to get to the Wind Caves and Chicken Corner but had never actually been to either so we got out for an hour and some change to solve that issue. Somehow rubber chickens are reproducing.
The story that I got when I moved here was that a cattleman, not too long ago, was found perished at this spot on the way to Chicken Corner when his horse showed up at Base Camp, before it was Base Camp and they followed the tracks out and found the cowboy. Then this plaque showed up recently disputing every bit of that story.
Views on the drive.

The plaques at Chicken Corner keep growing.
Campers at Chicken Corner. Dead Horse Point across the river. The trail going around Chicken Corner. Brandon, Needles, and The Saddle.