Friday, May 21, 2021


 Last weekend beginning Friday a bunch of vehicles pulled into the place across the river. Planes began landing and taking off. It was busy. One evening during the busy it got quiet. Jax and I walked down to the boat ramp and just listened to the quiet. Across the river, on the beach, stood one man, just pondering it seemed to me. That's him. That's the guy running the show. I watched him for four or five minutes. He seemed to do the same with me. Neither of us said anything or acknowledged the other. Someday we'll meet and see what's going on. He walked back toward his boat ramp and I did the same.

The snow pack is down to 5.5 feet and the water is just now starting to touch the boat ramp but there's a long ways to go to get to the top of the boat ramp where it is most years.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Jax and I

 Jax loves to find my gloves and then rub it in my face by shaking it and daring me to try and take it away from him.

He loves to hike. I do to and it's a lot better with him.

Always wants to lead.


 There was a lady staying here sort of drifting through life. Still young, trying to find herself, figure out who she was, who she wanted to be, where she wanted to be. We were sitting on the porch. The temperature was perfect. Three of the 60s or so VW vans had formed a triangle to camp behind the solar panels. They were set up and from the porch I could hear American Pie drifting softly up the hill. On the back porch was a daughter with her dad. They owned or ran a music store somewhere and they would play their violins and mandolins together and make beautiful music. On the front porch were two of the nicest couples possible and I'd hear a beer can open occasionally as they told stories and laughed. Male house finches were singing from the trees and bushes and the cowbirds are back making their R2D2 sounds. A single yellow-headed blackbird would talk occasionally. She said "Perfect." I thought "Yes, it is."

We stopped to sit on a rock while hiking. There was a 360 view, every direction. The last of the rental side by sides went by us headed to town. Usually the rentals have to be turned in by 5pm and the place clears out. It's unlikely you'll see anybody on the way to the Wind Caves and Chicken Corner. As the last side by side went over the pass there was only the sound of a few rock finches around us. She said "Perfect." I thought "She's right."
That evening a few raccoons came out, and a couple of foxes drifted down from the hill. But a few crickets were chirping. The Milky Way is beginning to form, little more each night and the sky was filled with stars. She said "Perfect." I said "It is isn't it?
She ask me to drive her out and I had a wounded/fixed vehicle in town so I drove her vehicle in and she dropped me of at Nations. She said "Thank you. I know who I want to be and what I want." She drove off to look for "who" and "what". 



 “Tom's place is such a great find. It is amazing to be in such a peaceful place with so many activities available to you right there. We did a couple 4x4 roads in our Jeep right from Base Camp, there were amazing hikes, kayaking, disc golf, or just sitting on the porch watching the animals. You can keep as busy or as still as you want at Base Camp! My favorite part was meeting the other guests and chatting around the campfire at night. Tom has so many fun stories to tell and according to our 12 year old son, he is the best story teller! The road in over Hurrah Pass is definitely rough, but no problem for our Jeep (especially since we were in Moab to off-road). We went into Moab a couple days to do some 4x4 trails, but it is an hour into town, so keep that in mind. We grilled dinner most nights and cooked breakfast in the kitchen several mornings. Would definitely visit again if we get back to the area! Thank you, Tom!”


“A life changing experience, in the best way possible.

"It's impossible to summarize."

“A truly EXCEPTIONAL, once in a lifetime adventure. The "road" over Hurrah Pass is spectacular, yet testy. Some white knuckles, yet never an issue for our Wrangler. Initially, we were very reluctant as we navigated the hairpins, canyon drops and rock features, but with time, we became comfortable, took our time; navigating, photographing and admiring the spectacular views. The Base Camp is MUCH greater than we ever anticipated. We stayed in the Male Hogan (3 nights) and it was the most relaxing and incredible trip we have had in years... if not ever! The views are remarkable, the peace and quiet is restorative. The journey to Chicken Corners is highly recommended, and Wind Caves (en-route) is stunning. The Hogan is stocked with everything we needed, except food & drink (Tom provided us with plenty of water). Tom, with his dry wit, is a GREAT story teller and most accommodating host. His attention to detail and responding to our occasional needs was spot on! We shall return!”

“What an experience!! Tom goes above and beyond for his guests. Hiking, side by sides, and lots of firewood - it was a rustic dream come true. Just keep reading the comments about Hurrah Pass... totally doable but make sure you have a high clearance vehicle. We drove a Nisson Pathfinder and it was tricky, but Tom drove us up to Hurrah Pass the morning we left. This place is a diamond in the rough.”

“What an amazing place. Thanks to Tom we can enjoy the astonishing beauty of a National Park without all the people. It's a little scary at first driving in, but it's very doable with a high clearance vehicle. I highly recommend taking Tom's advice on the hikes on his property, going kayaking but make sure to go upstream and then float down, not the other way around, and taking Tom's Side by Side to the Wind Caves and Chicken Corner. The stars are incredible too! We stayed in the male hogan. It is such a magical experience. This ancient building style keeps it extremely cool during the day and warm at night. Tom gives you all the wood you need for a fire, so don't worry about bringing wood. One of my favorite outdoor adventures we've ever had.”

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Hurrah, the Drive, the Hike

The top of the pass, the last 30 or so feet is getting a little beat up. I drove a guest vehicle out five days in a row and then hiked back with Jax. A Prius, a Fit, a Prism, and I forgot the others. Then Jax and I hike back.

When we reach the top of Hurrah I can feel Jax's anticipation. Are we driving their vehicle all the way to town and drive something fixed back that we previously limped in with or we just driving them over the top and we get to hike back?

Sometimes we drive the side by side up and then just drive the guest vehicle up the last 100 feet and then head back down. Either somebody is getting ready to steal the Hurrah Pass sign again or I'll look for some bolts and replace them next time I go up.


Got a couple Fingers hikes in with guests, took a few to the Wind Caves, and a Skinny People hike or two now and then. 

I had what I thought was a tooth ache, I could feel the swelling, so I ibupropened for a couple weeks but the swelling never went down. I walk into the dentist, he xrays and says there is a chemical in people that is activated to destroy the roots in baby teeth so they come out. Mine activated 68 years later than most and the tooth roots are destroyed and can't be reversed. It will have to come out. During the yank the tooth broke so each root had to be drilled out individually. 


I read a review on Base Camp and me, not written long ago where someone said I was sometimes "Surly". But then he said "I would be too if people came up the drive way and ask me the same questions about the lodge, about Kobae, about Jax, and where are the Wind Caves. I was popping down one Tylenol and three Motrin every six hours to keep the pain down as little pieces of bone worked their way up though my gums the next couple days. I was reading the review, when a four seater side by side pulled up. I was determined to not be surly. One drifted toward the well house and I had to yell at them not to shit in the well. Another headed toward Kobae's house, another the river, and one came to the porch. The porch ask what this was and I explained the lodge and the property and he drifted off, the well house one walked up to the front porch and I told her where the bathroom was and she ask what the place was so I explained it to her. The Kobae one came over and ask what the place was and does the "turtle" have a name and what's his story. I explained. The lady came out of the bathroom and ask the same questions about the tortoise, the guy walked back from the river and ask me what this place was and what about the tortoise and the cycle kept repeating itself. I hung in there and was nice and polite and then a two seater side by side pulled up to the porch and the driver said "What is this place? I heard you had a turtle?" One of the original four looked disgusted and said "He just explained all that. You should have been here five minutes ago."


Got a call from someone about a movie. The garage next door which was a dining facility for The Canyonlands, an auto repair shop for Yamaha, and a detailing station for Jeep is full of all the stuff that got taken out of the rooms during a remodel, all the cardboard from the last six months, and boxes and boxes of Michelle stuff. I'd like to show it at it's best but they are suppose to be here this weekend. I get over there at 6am and burn for three hours. Finish up all the cardboard and Linda replaces me to get it cleaned up some. I get back, phone rings, movie people say they're sorry they weren't here at 9am today but how about tomorrow? I thought it was Saturday. They're are two spots in the road. The spot that use to be bad on the other side, 5th or 6th turn up was solved by the county bringing out a rock chipper but it's turning bad in a different way now with a rock step at the bottom and a one plus foot hole there and a big rock in the spot to go around it. All but three people have still made it and the county thinks maybe two more weeks and they'll be able to get out here. I ask the movie people what they're driving and they say a Mercedes SUV. I suggest something else but they don't think they'll have an issue.

Linda is holding down the fort and doing all the cleaning by herself. Daughter Heather and Linny's birthday (she's 18) are within four days of each other so Heather sent her a ticket to Disneyland and they are both there sometime this week so it's all Linda on cleaning. Everybody in Moab needs help but the unemployed don't want to quit being unemployed since with the added gov benefits they make more than they would if they were working. I think it was McDonalds a couple days ago I saw a sign said $18 an hour. Chris at Nations told me he could use four more tow truck drivers and another mechanic or two. I could use at least one more person and I'm in that same price range except you have no rent, eat all the food that get's left here, and I'm turning the bunk bed room into an apartment for someone to live here. Last, I haven't been able to determine what to do with the room on the back porch that use to have two singles in it and now it has a small bunk bed and a full. It's the room that rents the least so I'm going to put a queen or king in it and yank the bunk beds and full though I have no idea where I'll put them. Adults can't stretch out on the bunk bed like they did on the singles and the ladder goes straight up and down. I can't climb up it and the one adult that slept up there hit his head on the lowered ceiling when he woke up in the morning so I'm phasing it out. It looks nice but it's not functional. With it gone and the bunk bed closed it's the end of kids mostly unless parents buy an extra room with a king or queen in it. Kids are a lot of extra work. 
The snow pack is still melting at a consistent clip. No water rising and sinking. At the boat ramp still got to go straight between the sandbars to get in the river. Turning right or left at the bottom of the ramp get you into a little lagoon in each direction.

It's both good and bad. If the water never floods into the tamarisk then less places for mosquitoes to lay eggs. At the current rate it looks like the high water mark if there is one will be end of May or early June and then there's no more snow pack. That means the mosquito season will last about 10 to 14 days. That's nothing. But it also means the beach is going to stay on the other side of the river. I think I've had it 10 of the last 14 years. Oh yea. Another good thing is it means my side is too shallow for the Vikings or Pirates to try and steal the kayaks.What a relief.

Crop Circles

These are the lines made in the sand by the smallest of weeds.

Across the River

 About three weeks ago people started showing up across the river. Apparently it closed escrow. I figured since it had been under contract for about a year that the new buyer figured out that he was paying a couple million or so too much and was trying to wiggle out of it or get concessions that would reduce the price to close to what it's worth, or what I think it's worth.

At first there was what seemed like a cleaning crew. Then the next weekend a propane truck pulled up and that tells me somebody is moving in. The next weekend nothing. I thought I might get a call from the real estate agent saying the deal fell through. If I'd bought it I'd be there 24/7 getting it up and running and learning as much as I could and that's always been the case. But maybe somebody has enough money that they're just not in a hurry to get any return back. This week they've been moving in but all the unloading is going on in the big building which had a kitchen set up, three bedrooms, and a rec room. The building was designed for hosting events and that seems to be their priority. Nothing is going on at the three bedroom house in the rocks. The vehicles are a mixture of new and old. At first all I saw was new so I thought it was corporate but now it seems to be family and corporate. Today they are moving stuff into the rec center and it's old and new trucks both.

Then I do get a call from the real estate agent that did the deal across the river. She wants to know if I have anything on this side of the river I want to sell. I'm shocked that somebody would think I might want to sell. She has somebody that might be interested in some or all. I give her a hard no immediately. She says "I hope we can still be friends." I watched the place across the river for years. Took Johnny back and forth for groceries when he was working over there and the only thing I ask was for first right of refusal which the agent and sellers verbally and in writing told me they would give me when they were done suing each other. I called to see if they were done and said I'd like to make an offer and they told me it was under contract. I can't say I would have paid what I heard it sold for but I don't know because they never ask. It's bullshit and irritating. Then she says that the new neighbors will be contacting me in the next few weeks. They want to be good neighbors. I don't know them but it feels weird to see if I want to sell something. Maybe they have a water rights issue on that side. I don't.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Wind Caves Hill

 Jax and I are out hiking and run into guests coming back on the Polaris who couldn't find the Wind Caves so we got a ride and took them over to the Wind Caves and then Jax and I left and hiked over to the big hill not far from the caves.

Jax and I head back to the lodge taking the turn off that brings us to the high trail above the river.

But before we take the turn off I hear the familiar sound of a trials bike coming from the distance and sure enough it's Linny. It's very liberating when your work day is over to take the trials bike out Jackson Hole, up Hurrah and listen to the people that pull up admiring the view, or head out to Chicken Corner and see if there is anyone left out there. Usually all the rentals have to be turned in by 5pm so anytime after 4pm you go to Chicken Corner it's as likely as not that you won't run into anyone at all out there.

Then it's head back to the lodge.