Sunday, June 30, 2019

A Good Dog Day Two

Michelle showed up to drop off Jax and we're off. One hike Friday, two Saturday, and another this morning though I forgot my camera. Never know how long he might be here so we're getting in as many hikes as we can. He's so happy. Each time we go he gets crazy and runs around me jumping up and down he's so excited to go exploring. Early morning and late evening as every day is 100.

A Good Dog Day

Heather sent me this:

UPDATE! WE FOUND THEM!!! Alive and well. Tired, thirsty, hungry but OK. Thanks everyone! More later.
Image may contain: dog, living room and indoor

Home and all cleaned up. We are all ready to sleep for a few days. I’m still processing a lot about the last 4 days. It started as a quick trip with friends and turned into a nightmare, then a mission, then one of the best moments of my life. I’m forever grateful to all of those who offered their time. I need to shout out to a few individuals.
Bill Burke for all of the initial search help, especially recommending that we focus on tracking paw prints. Without doing that we would never have adequately narrowed the search area.
Daniel B. Markofsky. For being a rock in the first hectic hours of the search. You kept me level and offered a lot of great insights.
Mike Boyle for finding our dogs!
Alan Ace Brown for coming out to Lockhart to help.
Rory Irish for the fuel and water.
David Armbruster for helping me wire up a spotlight.
Shane Pierce Williams for the maps.
Heather Swearingen for keeping the outside world informed.
Erin Rose Kowalski for putting life on hold and coming out to help with the search.
Marissa Morrison and Baili Foster for helping us sell those darn concert tickets.
Chris Green for helping with social media.
Louis Grassi for holding down the fort while I was gone.
Bella Gourley, Roxie Cote and Judy Platt for helping with the kids.
My wife Tiffany for being rock solid the whole time. She found key tracks that narrowed the search and kept me going the second and third days.
And all of you who helped spread the word, communicated with the right people and offered support. I feel fortunate to have such an amazing army of support. I love you all.

comments i found on facebook

Here’s a track from the inreach showing OUR adventure
No photo description available.
Cory Willoughby Wheew nice one where were they?
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Jonathan Harris
Jonathan Harris Cory Willoughby close to where the last tracks were found 2 days prior. Several miles from where they disappeared.
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Cory Willoughby
Cory Willoughby Awesome man thats got to feel good
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Dusty Jenkins
Dusty Jenkins Were they hiding when found or just tromping through the uncharted territory still?? So happy you found them man!

Mike Boyle Dusty Jenkins they were right on the side of the road. I didn't believe it was them at first.
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Dusty Jenkins
Dusty Jenkins This is such a crazy story! I feel like with all the filmmakers a little mini doc needs to happen haha!
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Mike Boyle
Mike Boyle From what little tracks I found it appears that once they made it down into the canyon bottom they stayed fairly close to the road, which really helped. I also cannot claim that I actually found them, I think we just found each other.

The devices they used

Jonathan Harris Also on the wish list. The InReach was invaluable in communicating with the outside world. I was using my employer’s but once I have to give it up I will definitely want one of my own. ht

Monday, June 24, 2019

You Know, Just Stuff

It's so much easier watering each evening and take about one third the time with the Cottonwood tree gone. Branches are falling off now and soon it will probably just look like a pole. I have a trip to town tomorrow and I'll swing by the garden place and see what they have to replace it. I want a tall tree so the birds can see the predators coming.
Both cisterns that collect water off the roof, west 250 gallons and east 320 gallons, were about empty and I was thinking I was going to have to pump river water into the truck and then drain it but storms every other night for a week and not watering the cottonwood got both cisterns mostly filled up.
All four small spotted skunks and the three ringtails that were showing up regularly are all making appearances again, at least most nights, along with five or six foxes and about the same in raccoons. There are guests on the porch nearly every night and I've turned the chucking hot dogs over to them.
It's been a weird couple of weeks. I get maybe four or five people a year that leave before their booked stay is over. Usually somebody doesn't feel well or there's an issue at home, or something more pressing that cuts into their time off. But I've had four or five of them this month. They all say there's no problem with their room, hogan, or house, just something came up and I had one that didn't want to drive back and forth for Arches and Canyonlands and the like and two that were nervous about the road though they both got here ok. Still I've driven or escorted guests out three times in the last week and the road is about in as good a shape as it's been this entire year. Today I took the bike up and down Hurrah and that's way funner than driving their car.

The river is still high and lot of water coming down it every day. I'm still not letting guests kayak, it's just too strong and dangerous for my taste.
I haven't seen the big horn herd in a while so each day I head out and search another area I haven't been to in awhile. Flood hit Dripping Springs two days ago so no footprints of anything.

On the way back from Dripping Springs I got sloppy in the deep sand.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Early Gray

Never Ending Thunder

Boat Dock

The river got so high at the boat dock it washed away the land where the stairs were to get in the boat house.

Boats on the River

A lot of river traffic this year.

The Early Gray

Most evening five or six foxes, five raccoons, two to four skunks, and one to of the ringtails have returned. As soon as the people count dropped the little people count went up. Also most evenings one gray fox shows up early. I know he's coming up from the river even from inside the office as I can hear the white tailed antelope squirrel sounding the alarm that a predator is about.

Kane Creek

For those of you who had to battle to get through Kane Creek in May and early June, this is what it looks like now.


A few weeks ago Heather sent me this:


Finley and Oliver ran away from camp at 6:30am on 6/6. We spent the following two days tracking them.

The Dogs are still missing. Oliver (Golden) and Finley (Rhodesian Ridgeback/Pitbul mix) were last seen just north of Lockhart Canyon at 6:30am on Thursday. Attempts to track brought us to a side canyon about 1/2 way down Lockhart (SEE GOOGLE EARTH FILE IN GOOGLE DRIVE). The canyon has rock steps up to a bench which we confirmed they reached but ran out of daylight/water to continue the search. We are en route home to rehab.

I will return on 6/8 to perform a foot search on Sunday (6/9) beginning at 6:30am. Terrain is rugged and infrequently traveled.

If you are interested and able to help with the foot search, that would be great. Your help is valued. Know that you will need to be comfortable operating on your own and will be responsible for yourselves. Lockhart Basin is extremely remote and rugged. If you are not already used to traveling these types of area you may want to stay home.

Temperatures are expected to be in the 90s with low humidity. I recommend bringing 2 gallons of water per person per day. There is a lot of cheat grass. Wear long pants. Bring sunscreen, bug spray and food.

If you plan on hiking, know that the terrain is confusing and it is easy to get turned around. I would strongly recommend that anyone hiking has a GPS, Satellite Communicator and 2m radio. If you do not have one. It would be best to link up with someone who does.

Access should be obtained from the SOUTH end of the Lockhart basin trail. This is the fastest and smoothest access. High Clearance 4x4 is required. Extra fuel is recommended. I recommend 15 gallons extra for an average 4x4. Depending on how much back and forth driving you do, you may need more or less. I recommend traveling in pairs if possible. A tracklog for the trail can be found here.

Here is another trail description.…/canyonlands-na…/lockhart-basin-road

Here is a KMZ showing what we have discovered to date.…

I intend to camp at this coordinate. It's a large well pad/mining site in the canyon. I do not know when I will arrive but will likely be there around 8pm. I will post in this thread when I leave Grand Junction.
38.339973, -109.684355

I likely need to leave on Sunday afternoon but anyone is welcome to continue on if we are not successful. I will be able to monitor continuously through the week.

COMMS will be on 146.460 and CB30.

Lastly. I need to focus on the search and can not coordinate or baby sit other people. If there are things that can be done, posting signs, relaying etc. feel free to offer. DO NOT BECOME THE SUBJECT OF YOUR OWN RESCUE!!!

I would like to have participated in that search but I can't leave the lodge. The bike breaks down while I'm 20 miles away I'm not here for people checking in later in the day and I could have been valuable taking the trials bike places they can't go.

Then a few days ago at the intersection to Lockhart Basin and Chicken Corner I find this. The clock is ticking and time is running out.

Morning Ride

Business usually drops off quite a bit 2nd week of June and it has dropped off some but there are still days where I'm full or close to and with both Linny and Michelle gone it's been a lot of work. But when I get a little free time and with Jax still gone also there's no one to hike with so I've pulled the trials bikes out and to my surprise they still run. So that's most of my mornings. I'm glad though because I had forgotten just how spectacular the mornings can be.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The River Cometh More

I remember ten or so years ago when the river flooded the property next door by the garage. There were multiple people out working for Doug building berms and putting a pump in the grease pit. There was panic everywhere. I've been spending a lot of time reading charts and graphs for water run off and snow melt dreading the same problem. Each day I've watched the progression at the boat house and have seen the river climb the stairs one at a time day after day.

At this web site I've been watching the water CFS at three locations. CFS is cubic feet per second.

On the Colorado border it might show 34,000 and then at Cisco it would show 38,000 as the Delores River would join the Colorado River there carrying 4,000 or so CFS. So I'd expect 38,000 CFS to come to me 8 to 12 hours later. But once it went over 34,000 CFS at Cisco it didn't match up with 4,000 more CFS for the Pot Ash Boat Ramp three miles up river. It might only be a couple thousand more. I finally realized it was because a big chunk of that extra 4,000 CFS was flooding other properties up river from me and not making it to me. Somebody else was taking the bullet for me up river.

The river flooded onto the property somewhere south of the boat house at 35,600 CFS and topped out at 36,000 CFS later in the evening. 1 CFS is a block of water one foot high and one foot wide which equals about 7.48 gallons going by every second per 1 CFS. At the peak of 36,000 CFS were going by which is 269,200 gallons per second. I'd estimate the beach is currently about 12 to 15 feet under water.
Going over to change out laundry in the garage washer and dryer I saw the river spreading out across the property. It finally happened. It felt like a foreign intruder on the property. Was late at night and just me. Nothing I can do about it. I'll check it again in the morning and see if I need to turn the grease pit pump on to drain it.
With morning it had covered quite a bit of acreage but in short, nothing happened. Later in the day I saw all the water levels dropping from here to the Colorado border and as of a few minutes ago it was down from it's peak of 36,000 to 31,800. In retrospect I have no idea what I was so worried about the river flooding. It watered a bunch of weeds but I can't see anything else that will make a difference, perhaps a few more mosquitoes.

Monday, June 10, 2019

The River Cometh

This is the bottom of the hill a couple days ago when it was at the top of the stairs and two days ago I went down there and the kayaks where they normally stay were in water so I pulled them up the side of the hill.

Three days ago the river was at the top of the boat ramp. Today I had to drive through 50 feet of water to get to it.
The progression of the water creep next to the boat house.

The stairs over the last few days leading what use to be down to the boat dock and now it's just about even with the boat house. Three more stairs. As I go to bed tonight it's two inches from coming over the top next to the boat house. I expect to see water all across the property in the morning.

The concern is it will get to the garage and flood the grease pit coming up into the garage. The garage itself has a berm around it and I think it will hold but there's still a ways to get to the garage.

The big picture.

Just a Few Pictures While Wandering Around

Friday, June 7, 2019

Horror in Moab

The reporter called me and ask me how to spell Linny's last name and then butchered mine.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Different Kinds of Stuff

The Desert Willow always, always, blooms between May 10th and 14th. This year it didn't bloom until the movie people left on the 24th.
The Cottonwood tree sprouted leaves on four or five branches around the 10th of May and I forgot to water it for five or so days and it gave up. I watered it hard for the last three weeks and went online to see what other options I had and it said to dig a trench around it five feet from the base as that's where the roots are now with it's height but it never forgave me and didn't make a comeback. Today I quit watering it. It's had a hard divot down it for a couple of years and despite an incredibly wet year it just quit. I've been told that the roots go as deep as the height and it that's true it probably has hit the well water which is salty and drank itself to death with the salt content and no amount of rain water is going to compensate for that. I'm going to leave it up at least for awhile as it's a good view point for the birds to watch for predators.
The river is crazy. Just when I assumed I'd made it through the flood stage it's risen five feet in the last 24 hours. While the snow pack is half of what it was it's still 554% above last year at this same time and now we have three to four more days of mid 90s temps to melt what's left. This morning the water is about six feet from flood stage.