Monday, November 30, 2020

The Monolith is not mine

Here's everything I know. It was about a mile north of the intersection of Lockhart Canyon and Lockhart Basin. It's been there a long time. I know some one who graffitied it about six or eight years ago and somebody else that told the BLM it was there but no one cared until it got popular. It's gone. I don't know where it went or who did it. San Juan County called me this morning and ask if I had gotten any business from people coming to look at the Monolith. I said "No." It's 20 miles south down a very difficult Lockhart Basin and you're better to come in from the south end. Weighs about 400 pounds and you got to carry it about a half mile or better to get it there. San Juan said they had quite a few people show up and stay in Monticello motels going to look for it and if it showed up again would bring a bunch of people in. I repeat. It's not mine, I didn't put it there, I didn't take it.

Hiking Hurrah

 I drove a guest vehicle up Hurrah for them yesterday and Jax and I hiked back. I was a little surprise at how busy it was. Something new this year is tricked up side by sides with huge speakers on them and lights blinking all over resembling a police vehicle almost. In the last week I've seen 20 something of them with Hispanic occupants, music cranked up to the sky, and lights flashing everywhere. Five of them passed Jax and I on our way down Hurrah.

You can tell weekend warriors from seasoned drivers. The weekend warriors keep cranking the gas up, then letting off, cranking up so their vehicles is in a herky jerky movement all the time where the people that have been doing this a long time have a fluid motion and don't make much noise with just a slight off and on of the throttle.

New Job for Jax

 Couple of disc golfers told me they lost discs on #1 of the original course. Jax is so bored without have a squirrel issue, raccoons or foxes out of their place, tracking Kobae, and other misc jobs he's had and having solved them all. So I got a disc and we sat on the porch stairs of a couple minutes while I said disc over and over again. He smelled it, chewed on it a bit, and then we headed down into the thick tamarisk bushes. We both waded in deep into the brush and I'm comfortable that he knew what he was looking for but neither of us found anything our first time. I did re-find the old dwelling that had been there 50 years before there was a Base Camp and I found the remains of left over birds so apparently the hawks are just doing their work somewhere else.

Meanwhile in San Diego


Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Monolith is not me

I didn't put it there. I didn't make it disappear. I don't know who did. I only know generally where it was. I'm getting emails and phone calls everyday asking if it was me. Even my doctor of 14 years called me at home and wanted me to take him to it. It was about 20 miles south of here off Lockhart Basin but it is not me. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Shortest Hike

I drove a guest vehicle up to Hurrah who was a little nervous. We said good bye and Jax and I started down Hurrah to hike back. I took a picture of the guest leaving and it turns out the vehicle they passed was disc golfers coming to play the course so Jax and I only got about a quarter mile hike in before we caught a ride back down so I could go through the map with them.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Wind Caves

 Jax and I had a little free time today so we hiked over to the Wind Caves with guest Gabrielle and her dog Pepper. Jax saw a couple cows along the way and lived his dream for about ten minutes of being a cattle dog.

We found the "Shark" rock which is where the way to the top of the Caves starts but I was a little nervous about her pup making it and suggested we not do it. Jax was pretty persistent and kept climbing up about 20 feet until I headed down and he was finally convinced that we really weren't going to the top.

Sunday Evening

 I checked guests into the Main House and they appeared pretty amazed by their surroundings. Somebody said "You get some decent sunsets?" I got em squared away and Jax and I drove back to the lodge. When I got back the evening looked like this.


 The problem has been the right rear axles keep burning up. We've changed brands, types, and installation procedures and had two shops put them in and it makes no difference they burn up before I can even get out of town. Three times.

All of us going online it appears it's just the model year I have of course that is having this problem. About a third of the discussions say it's a bad transmission screwing it up. A third say it's the wrong size tires or multiple sizes of tires, and the other third say it's the exhaust system that is overheating it. After a short drive the left rear axle would read 135 degrees and the right rear axle 235 degrees. So we replaced the transmission, put all new tires on it, and built a heat shield between the exhaust and the right rear axle. Mad Bro called me and said they had driven it a lot and they don't know which one it was but it works. When you have this many vehicles you always have something that needs working on so I drove the Jeep into town and brought the Polaris back stopping every five or so miles so all the new parts could get broken in slowly.
I'd stop and Jax and I'd walk around a bit letting the Polaris cool off a bit. Each time anticipating a melted right rear axle as I'd get out to look and each time it was fine.

The thing that has taken the longest was finding parts. When Co-vid hit so many production lines shut down parts are hard to come by. I use to have three Honda ATVs which were really dependable but when the tsunami hit Japan the Honda factory got swamped and I couldn't get Honda parts for six months or at least that's what they told me regarding getting parts.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Courtesy Kurt


Even More Stuff

 I'm out looking at desert weed circles and if I'm interested well of course Jax is interested. This is weird, his face is in the picture I posted but doesn't show up on the blog.

I'm driving back from town Wednesday and I see the cowboys setting up their camp on the other side of Hurrah so the cows are coming. I swing by to say hi and ask what day they are bringing the cows over so I can close my gates and put signs out. They say within the next week. On Thursday some guys show up to play disc golf and say it took 2.5 hours to get here because they got caught up in a herd of cows coming over Hurrah, saw my gate was closed and assumed this wasn't the place and kept going. I comp the guys the round of disc and ran out and put the We're Open, close gate sign up so no check ins missed the turn.

This morning I'm cooking bacon and a guest's dog is pretending like he doesn't smell it but is working it's way towards the front door which is open. I start saying "noooooooo" and stretch it out. Dog is inching closer. I say "noooooooooo". Dog is on the side walk now approaching the stairs. Jax blows by me snarling and growling and the three times his size dog freezes. I could see Jax's face staring in to the eyes of the dog. "He said no. No, means no."

Jupiter is still pretty bright in the night sky and Saturn has just about caught up to it but not nearly as bright anymore. Mars however is shooting across the sky and will probably catch both of them in the next few weeks and they'll all be fairly close together.
About a month ago I had a 100 hot dog night. The foxes just kept coming. I think it was Tuesday night I'd gone through 40 hot dogs in about ten minutes. Seven ringtails were in the rafters, a couple skunks under the porch, a few raccoons here and there, but the foxes were everywhere. In less than half an hour we were at 85 hot dogs and then everything just quit. No more anybody showed up. I thought maybe the mountain lion showed up because it's almost that time but the last two nights things are back to normal 40 to 50 hot dogs.

More Stuff

The last rain storm beat the reeds down in the pond and they formed sort of a dome on top of the pond. When I went over to pump water into the pond I heard all the red-winged blackbirds under the dome talking and whispering. As the pond kept filling up they got louder and irritated. I got it about half way full and called it a day. I wondered where flocks of 100 or so birds sleep and I now have one answer.

I think of all the hikes I enjoy the Skinny People one the most. The varied terrain. The wonderment on guest's faces. It's been probably 10 or 12 years since a four of year old Linny and I wandered into the maize and Linny said "Tom, I think skinny people use to live here."

It always happens this way. This time it was some folks in a Jeep Cherokee chewing my ass about how hard the road is to get here and how I mislead them and've heard it before. Then a couple, the third time this has happened, pulled up in a Prius.

Had two kids here who love turtle and tortoise and this is their review. After meeting Kobae. "Dad says we're coming back." "Best trip ever." "Best moment of my life."


Had to pull over three times to get an hour of sleep since I'd been driving 26 or so of the last 60 hours and awake must of the rest of it so didn't get back to the lodge until noon on Friday.

One of the guests had a birthday here and his wife had a cake made for him. Pretty cool. Over the years I've crashed once or twice on my trials bike and said "I ate red rock." This time I actually did eat red rock.

Somebody sent me this cup but I don't know who. Thank you.
Finally got a better picture of The Canyonlands that Brendan gave me.
Though not much grows on the tamarisk. What does has dropped to the ground.