Saturday, June 12, 2021

GS 13 Rescue on Lockhart Basin

Guy pulls up on a street bike and says they came up Lockhart Basin, had a crash that destroyed a crankcase. Been creeping along. Ran out of water four or five hours ago, and there is a 68 year old dehydrated man limping back with his street bike. Could I help? 

It's 15 years now doing rescues. Hundreds. I'm tired. The days are long. The money is nice but I retired. I didn't buy the place to make money. I bought the place(s) to be retired. I know this seems cold but I had to think about it for a few minutes if I wanted to kiss away another whole evening on another rescue. It never goes like it's suppose to and it always takes longer than it should. Jax and I and a rider pile in the truck and head for Lockhart with lots of water. 

We load up the bike and take the bike and rider to town. They pay us well. On the way back from town I find a bike rider with two flats and give him a ride to town. A rescue that started at 3pm or so ends at 10:30pm. 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Plateau Passage

 A relatively new, last three or four years, bicycle trail comes through called the Plateau Passage. It's pretty cool. Should check it out.

Overland Adventure Came Through

 They just kept coming. Last night of a three day journey around the southwest. I think there were 38 vehicles of all kinds.

Primary sponsors MotorTrend, Four-Wheeler, and Jeep.

Once again the big garage became a dining facility.

Here's the whole story.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

The River

 What started as about 16 feet of snow pack is now down to six inches and maybe the river has risen a foot but I think it's less than that. It all melted real evenly as the days were mostly the same temperature wise. The bugs and mosquitoes in particular will be here in the next few days but I don't expect many of them or for very long. The sand bar/beach across the river turned into an island but it's not going anywhere. The river will begin dropping quickly next week and we'll see what we wind up with on our side.

Last week couldn't walk down to the boat ramp through the dry creek bed as the river came up just a little and made the last 15 feet pretty muddy.

The sand bars that were at the boat ramp hung out for a couple more days and finally surrendered to the slightly rising water.

Finally it began touching the bottom of the boat dock.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Linda and the Ford 150

 I drove a vehicle up Hurrah and then as Jax and I are hiking back Linda is coming around the corner with the Ford 150 on the way to town. That truck is unbelievable the abuse it's been through. 230,000 plus miles and a whole bunch of it going up and down Hurrah.

Look Who's Coming to Dinner

 Dinner on the back porch with a guest.


 This was kind of a big deal and I thought I posted it but I can't find it anywhere so here goes. In the early days I didn't take guests. Just managers of the indoor facilities. In time the managers favorite people and with more time I took a few guests, who told somebody, who told somebody else, and now I have a job again. 

For eight or ten years I coasted along and was happy. Then I bought the place next door, Last Hurrah, sort of my accident. Mortgage payment doubled so had to adjust to that and started putting everything on airbnb and other online booking sites thought airbnb was the bulk of online booking through vrbo wasn't too far behind. Things really took off and now like when I ran the indoor soccer company I'm back to 60 to 100 hour weeks. I'm retired, in theory.

After Covid hit most all the online booking sites came up with cleaning procedures. Airbnb made one of the requirements wearing a mask. I told them that wasn't going to happen. They told me if it didn't they were going to suspend my eight rentals. I knew they wouldn't do it back in November because they were going public and you can't have a scandal or lose a bunch of business during that period of time. Every 10th or so time I was on the site they said they were going to suspend me. Sometime back in March they did, sort of.

They blocked my calendar showing all possible dates as being full so nobody could book. It has a boomerang effect. All the other booking sites that were linked to their calendar also showed me being 100% booked forever. So I disconnected their calendar from the other sites but when I did that it now showed the bookings from airbnb that were made before the block not show up. So I had to hand enter all the bookings into each individual site for each of the eight rentals on every other booking site. It took three 15 hour days. During that time airbnb rentals didn't show up on vrbo and 23 people tried to book nights that we already taken by airbnb renters. I had to email those 23 and tell them the nights weren't really available. Was pretty embarrassing and a big waste of potential guests time and mine. I got it all straightened out but some damage was done with a couple double bookings and a couple of missed bookings. I withdrew all my properties from airbnb. I explained to them that Utah doesn't require masks, San Juan County doesn't, and even CDC says they are only 1.2% effective. Still airbnb is sticking to their guns claiming they are going by the most recent science. Bullshit. Plus they're arrogant about it. Sending me occasional emails saying I'm blocked and when I get it together and decide to come back they'll help me. I tell them when they get rid of the mask requirement to tell me and maybe I'll come back. My feeling was it was going to make a big difference but vrbo has filled the gap. Where I was booked solid for about 45 days, now I'm booked solid for about 35 days. So net effect on my revenue and bookings is zero. I doubt that's the case with airbnb however. A lot of people that booked on airbnb previously either went directly with me this year or booked through vrbo.

The Drive, The Hike

 There's been a tricky spot on this side of Hurrah Pass for a couple months now so when folks ask me to drive them out I don't mind. It's about the only time Jax and I get to hike and it's all downhill and usually early before it gets hot. Still I know I'm taking a big of a risk. It's only a matter of time before I hit bottom and somebody takes it serious or I actually do damage to a vehicle. I hit six or so one time driving an Impreza out. That thing had about two inches of ground clearance. I was pushing cow turds along. Most everybody else I've gotten out without a scratch or an inappropriate relationship with Mother Earth. I was driving something out, don't even remember what a couple weeks ago and hit bottom twice at places I've never hit bottom. When we got to the memorable spot on the other side I got out to check where I wanted to put my tires and found out why'd I'd hit bottom twice.

We looked in the truck and there was just a doughnut spare so went ahead and slid it down the bad spot and then put the doughnut on and made it to town. I should have known it was flat and it felt a little bit different but as it turns out it worked out. If we would have put the doughnut on earlier and then blown it on the hard spot we wouldn't have made it to town.

Still it was a good month. I got a Fit, Geo Prism, Prius, Civic, Corolla, and a couple more fairly small cars out without touching bottom. At the same time I had a couple guests that didn't make it because of the road and one left early who had planned to drive back and forth to town everyday to see the parks. I explained it would be extra driving but they wanted to avoid the crowds of Moab and the city is packed busy. We use to call April and May "No left turn months" and how do you know Spring is here? All the license plates turn green. Colorado.

One day driving someone's vehicle up a single female big horn walked right by us in the middle of the road, moved slightly but didn't seem to be concerned with us at all.

Driving the truck up Hurrah Pass one day with 30 bags of trash in the back the steering went out. Was very dicey turning around, driving back to the big garage and unloading the 30 bags. I didn't have a truck for ten days or so and in time Chris came out from Nations in the dark, hooked up the truck, and we loaded the 30 bags back in it and he hauled it all off to town closing in on midnight. I got an email from him at 4:44am saying the truck is ready so the next day I drove some guest's vehicle to town and picked up the truck. The Jeep then promptly had the started go out and one Polaris overheated. A week later Chris drove out again and had them both working in a couple hours. I've been plotting to tell his wife I saw him with a woman and then when she kicks him out I'll put him up in the bunk bed room and get all my vehicles done up good.

When the truck went down I really had supply issues at the lodge. Can't haul trash in, can't bring drinking water back, not in quantity anyway and can't get a good load of wood. So I decided to buy an extra truck. I went by Canyonlands Auto Sales and they had eight trucks out front. I found a red Ford 150 Super Cab with a 100,000 or so miles and test drive it over to Nations. Chris went through it and said there was a whirring noise inside that didn't predict a long future. I didn't hear anything but he and Stephen did. I went back and said the windshield was broken, the tires sucked, there's a whirring sound, and $19,500 was too much. I'd pay $17,000. He quoted a couple places that said it was worth $18,500 and said he'd sell it for that if I took care of the windshield and tires and I want my own tires anyway. I told him $17,500 and he said $18,500 was best he could do. A few minutes later at Village Market he called to say $18,000. I figured by morning he'd say $17,500 and I'd go get it but by morning it was sold. Next time by all the trucks I'd seen a few days earlier were gone. I found a blue Ford 150 I liked. He said $18,500. I said $17,000. When I drove by a few hours later it was gone and so were three or four of the others. Every time I go by there's eight different trucks in the sales lot and they never last more than a couple days.

Chris said "Don't by a nice truck. Hurrah will beat it up. You need a beater and I have one." He took me over and showed it to me and it was a beater. He ordered some parts and then one day we were talking and he said he had a F-150 Super Cab he forgot about and he could fix it up and sell it to me. I said "You have an extra truck you forgot about?" He said "It's at the extra house I forgot about." He ordered parts. I'll take them both. I can't be without a truck again. They're just too valuable.
I had three vehicles follow me out and my canteen fell out right at the top. The first two missed it and I saw the front wheels of the 3rd one miss it but the back wheels didn't.