Sunday, April 11, 2021

Reviews

Jax, guest Rachel, and I climbed to the top of the Wind Caves. Jax went crazy that we were doing the hiking stuff we use to do every day. 

 

The best part of this first review is that when I read it I thought "she's right on everything". She emailed me saying she could fix it and I hired her and she did all the work. 

 

“Read the reviews so you are properly prepared and your expectations are on target, then pack your bags and GO!! This place was stunning and so unique for a multitude of incredible qualities. I almost don’t want to give my review because I don’t want this place to be so busy I can’t get a booking. At the same time I am grateful for the reviews I read so our trip was just what I had hoped it would be and was prepare for physically and my expectations were just right. I was geared up for the crazy drive to get into Basecamp and had what I needed to be comfortable while there. What you can’t really be prepared for is the sense of wonder you feel being there. It is magical and made me feel like a carefree kid who fills their pockets with pretty rocks and gets excited to find cool fossils for show and tell. We had a blast laughing our way through caves and spent quiet evenings strolling and hiking through some of the prettiest scenery you will see but without fighting any crowds! I felt myself pretending I was a National Geographic photographer taking pictures every two minutes because every turn deserved its own shot! Empty your phone unless you have unlimited storage. Tom is awesome! He is the owner and host. He is low key, friendly and makes you feel like your questions deserve his time and he hasn’t already answered them a million times. He seems genuinely invested in you getting to enjoy what you came there to do. He isn’t intrusive in any way so if you want to just do your thing he is fine with that. . He is definitely what contributed and played a part in this place feeling magical. The land! So many things to do and see! Truly breathtaking and you don’t feel hurried or oppressed by crowds of people like so many other places around Moab. You can experience peace and quiet if you need that. The accommodations and amenities: We stayed in a room in the main house. There needs to be some renovations and updating. If you want the Hilton then go to one. But nothing that was wrong or needs work stopped us from having an incredible and unforgettable time in this unique and stunning natural wonderland. There is plenty of hot water, and the towels smelled clean. Bring your own soap and shampoo. If you need something Tom is never far and if he has it he will share or get it for you if he can. Yes, there are certain areas and items that need some attention, updating or an upgrade. like the ceiling fan in our room needed a good wipe down and the sink needs to be replaced. .but it worked. Tom is aware of all of that but he has many hats in running this place and he is great at the best things about this place. He knows the land by heart and will happily join you or guide you to seeing things that will last in your memories forever. I guess the best thing I can say is that I can’t wait to go back and stay even longer. Tips; Drive in during daylight! Drive a car with good tires and good clearance. Wear Depends if you are a timid driver because you might pee your pants on a few of those turns! If you have a heights phobia get someone else to drive and wear an eye mask. Part way up Hurrah Pass my husband commented that he was no longer sure he loved me enough to drive over this road ever again!” Ha ha! We have been married for 34 years so I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean that. By the end the trip he was relaxed and drove out like a pro. I would also watch the weather because I am not sure I would want to come in during a rain storm. Bring your own food and water and paper plates and forks etc and cups. if possible. Paper towels are a good idea too. We used the main house kitchen and were welcome to use Pans and kitchen supplies but be sure to leave it so Tom doesn’t know you cooked there. The mini fridge worked as did the mint microwave, the grills and fire pit. If it makes you feel better bring your own pillow and sheets. Bring ear plugs if you are staying in a room at the main house. The animals can get pretty loud outside and running around on the roof! Nighttime is party time for the critters up there. However they are fun to see until you actually hope to sleep. Be sure to have proper hiking boots if you plan to explore and hike. No one needs a cactus needle jabbing them through the fabric of a tennis shoe. If you own a telescope the stars are amazing! I loved our time at Basecamp. and can’t wait to go back. In the meantime I will look at the pretty pile of rocks I brought home a do nothing but smile and recall happy memories! 🌈☀️❤️” 

“The views are absolutely spectacular and you must rent a side by side (ATV type thing) for exploring once you’re up there. Tom gave us some great tips for where to explore! I drove in a Honda Fit, and I would absolutely never do that again :) Yes, Tom gives ample warning about the road, but if you do not have high enough clearance, this will be a harrowing experience, as it was for me! To be fair, it was raining, which made it even harder. Tom thankfully helped us drive the car back up Hurrah’s Pass when we left (he is an old pro and made it look easy!) It is beautiful up there, a real treasure, but if you have a smaller car (again I have a Honda Fit), know it will take you several hours to get there and nerves of steel. But Tom is very helpful and his dog rules!”
“What an experience! From the second you pul off on to Hurrah... you’re hooked! Don’t let the road scare you, it’s all part of the adventure. Just take it slow and take it wide on the turns. Would definitely recommend an SUV at least if you don’t have 4wd (you can make it either way, just a little less anxiety). The female hogan was well appointed with everything you need and anything else, Tom’s just a walkie talkie call away. Listen to what he has to say... he knows things! 10/10 recommend the UTV... the property has so much to see! Would recommend bringing bandanas for the dust! Overall amazing experience - will definitely be returning!”
“Rustic but not roughing it is how we would describe Tom's place. We liked Tom's laid back demeanor. He is super knowledgeable about the area, and very responsive to all questions and requests. You only need food and clothing. He provides plenty of water and firewood. The bed in the male hogan was very soft and comfortable. There is a propane heater that works great, though I like to bring an extra blanket for extra warmth. The outdoor shower was powerful and hot! The views , silence, and star gazing is amazing. I recommend headlamps or flashlights for night, as it is pitch dark at times. The grill wors great and basic supplies to cook with are also supplied. Take advantage of all the property has to offer. Kayaking to Colorado River, side-by-side rental (the most affordable rental you will ever find for these) and ride to the wind caves and Chicken Corner, he has discs for the 2 amazing frisbee golf courses, and hikes you will not find on any trail map. Pay close attention to his instructions and maps if you are not use to the area and terrain and bring plenty of water on your hikes. Our only regret was not staying longer. We recommend 4-6 nights to fully explore and enjoy the property and surrounding area. Loved everything!”
We had the extra surprise and pleasure of discovering our view from the Anticline Overlook (past the Windwhistle Campground where we set up camp) was your place and all the wonderful hikes we did while staying there. We saw Skinny People from above, and all the twists and turns of the Hurrah Pass Road. It was really fun to see it all in a bird's eye view.

Our time at your place was really special--the views, the hikes, the hogan, cooking outside, the fires, the night sky. More than that, your unique hospitality made it special. I almost feel sorry for folks who don't get it. Their loss.

Thanks again for doing what you do.

If you're looking for a true Southern Utah experience, this is the place to stay! Its a unique location right in the middle of hiking trails, kayaking on the Colorado River, 4 wheeling, and more right out the door. Tom is a great host who is anxious to share info on things to do and places to explore. The disc golf course looks amazing even though we wore ourselves out on the hiking trails and didn't get to do the course. Tom is host also to many wild animals & feeds them on the porch and in the yard . We loved Kobae the 200 pound tortise, all the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and the ringtails which would eat from his hand. Even the baby skunks were cute. The road in is a challenge but doable in our 4 wheel drive pickup. But once you're there, away from the busyness of town & internet, the experience can't be beat. We'd definitely recommend staying here at the Base Camp if you're looking for fun and an adventure.




The Days

Each day has such high hopes but it fills up with day to day items as the sun comes up so for the last few hours and now late into the nights is when I've got to get the administrative stuff done.


I've been putting substantial time into the two Polaris side by sides. Each day I check oil and gas and clean the air filters. Last year I spent $25,000 roughly on them and got nowhere near that back in rentals. It was actually starting to look like I might break even this year but today while pumping water next door one quit on me on the way back and oil all drained out quickly. I have to get a trailer. Tow strapping them to town takes two people and that's not possible right now and probably for the rest of the year and maybe forever.
A real view looking out the window of the front queen. I had a similar shot on the web site in the early days and somebody ask where I got the picture.
Last year when May 31st came I was down $75,000 over the year before and then the phone started ringing with people cooped up in their houses for two months and they were done. When the year ended I had gotten the whole $75,000 back and $75,000 more. This year, not even have into April I'm $35,000 up over last year.
Jax and I drove another vehicle up Hurrah and got to hike back.




Not long after we got back, that very next night, the wild horses, thought to be only in the Maize section of The Canyonlands, in the dark, a lone Mustang showed up. 







Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Settling In

 Kobae has assumed his customary position guarding the front door. Still surprising people that drive up to check the place out, play disc golf, or use the bathroom. I hear a scream once or twice a week followed by "I didn't know it was alive."


The days are mostly warm. Had three days of 80s in a row. Usually don't put the air conditioners in until June but way it's going will be sooner this year.


Most every day is about as full as we can get it. Since I have a two day minimum stay someone might rent the 1st and the 2nd and somebody else the 4th and 5th and the 3rd never gets rented because of the minimum two nights. That and a cancellation because of the road now and then, though it's in wonderful shape compared to the usual.



The two new kayaks finally made it down to the beach. Starting to hear tour boats go by now and then. Water is rising a little. The boat dock was about four feet above the water and it's probably two or three now. Sand bars are a little further from shore every day.


Jax was sitting in the office, face looking out the window, watching the parking lot, hoping for a rock squirrel to head for a vehicle. Suddenly he's gone. Some people, and probably rightly so, think the white trash can in the kitchen is for trash but it's origins really come from Jax. He'd be heading down the hall way to teach the outside rock squirrels a lesson and when he'd hit the slick kitchen floor he'd crash into the wall so I put the trash can there to cushion his collision with the wall. Jax hits the parking lot and pins the squirrel up in a vehicle engine. The guests are out hiking and won't be back for awhile and the hood isn't released so Jax waits for two hours under the car for the guests to get back and before they can hardly raise the hood Jax is in the engine trying to get the rock squirrel.



Wind

 Wind blew pretty good for a couple days. One of the boxes at the fire pit that hadn't been burned yet was swept away and speared by the deceased Cottonwood.