Tuesday, March 29, 2022


 It's been May of last year since I last did this and there have been hundreds of reviews since then. Many are so emotional. I can feel they come from the heart.

You can make the drive. Believe. And it’s more than worth it. Go off grid! Stay on a vista w a terrace and have the canyon as your backyard. It’s like all the national park splendor wo all the people. We just kept saying we couldn’t believe we could have it all to ourselves!! Plus running hot water and flushing toilets…what?! But yes!!
One of the best places I’ve ever stayed at. At first, the ride in was smooth until it wasn’t as we felt like we lost a sense of direction and weren’t going to make it to the lodge. But because me and my husband are not experienced with driving on the side of a canyon like that we felt a little irritable and scared. We finally made it to the lodge and were greeted by Lydia who was super sweet and Collin who helped us out during the whole trip. We plotted an escape plan to leave the next morning because of the drive in, it had our nerves shot (coming from Dallas, Tx we didn’t realize the extent of how adventurous this was going to be) but decided to give it a shot and see what the lodge has to offer. And it didn’t disappoint, as I was sad when it was time to leave. I still, keep thinking about our stay there and how amazing it was and how we do plan to go back. I will say, after driving in and knowing exactly where we are going made it very easy to drive out with no issues. We were both more comfortable after driving on the Kane Creek + Hurrah Path twice. Another thing is the creative freedom to hike as you please. Collin provides the best areas to go depending on what you’re looking for. The seclusion from the crowd in town and travelers is very peaceful. I will say, if you don’t like doing communal things like sharing a kitchen with others there then you might want to bring food to cook on the grill outside or food to put in the microwave in your unit. The kayaks were one of my favorite things and so were the side by sides. Oh! If you want to rent their side by sides, make sure you bring a check or cash to pay for it. I look forward to going back and bringing others. If any future potential guests read this, know, that it’s worth it. (:

The solitude of our stay was incredible. Tom and Collin were great hosts and made us feel welcome. We got a walkie talkie to get a hold of them if we needed anything. We brought along our 3 kids (ages 7 to 13) and they had a blast! They loved staying in the female Hogan. We had the place to ourselves one night and got to play the drums around the fire. I thought I would be nervous without any other people around but we all felt very safe despite being in the middle of nowhere. The property is beyond beautiful and very peaceful. The drive in is definitely part of the experience. It's like no other. We did have 4 wheel drive which definitely made the ride more comfortable. Follow Tom's directions EXACTLY and you'll be fine. Also, I highly recommend renting the side by side to check out the wind caves and chicken corner. Tom draws a map and offers some great advise for view points.The views are even more spectacular than Dead Horse Point State Park ( and no crowds). This was definitely an adventure that I'm very grateful to have experienced with my family.

The Hogan has been one of our favorite Airbnb experiences so far. the Hogan was such a wonderful, rich experience that had everything we needed, stayed warm, and had a comfortable bed. We loved sitting by the bon fire every night and looking at the stars. The bathroom is heated and there was tons of hot water for an outdoor shower in December. Tom is very accommodating, knowalagable, and has created a special place that we feel lucky to have been able to experience. I encourage you to take Tom up on his reccemdations. We utilized the UTVs and checked out a few trails. We also did a really nice trail right on the property. If your looking for a true adventure in Utah, stop searching and book a stay at the basecamp adventure lodge. We will definitely be back again soon to explore more as there is so much to do and see.

Amazing gem deep in the canyons! Awesome property. We went at the tail end of the season (end of Nov), and practically had the area to ourselves, and yet still about 55F everyday. The other 'hut' is nearby, and it was occupied for one night of our stay, but you're not on top of each other. In fact, we ended up making great friends with the people at that hut and hung out all night! The drive is not for the faint of heart, but doable in our Rav4. If you follow GPS, note that it will take a LOT longer than the GPS tells you. (I think it took us roughly 2 hours from Moab). Totally worth it though, the sense of accomplishment made the stay more enjoyable. We rented the side-by-side for a day and checked out the wind caves and chicken corner. Ask the host about those - it was great! Bed was comfortable, linens were great. Had everything we needed. (But all we really needed was a bed and some good views. Electricity and the provided drinking water was a bonus.

Tom has done an amazing job at creating an unforgettable "OutBack Experience". Make sure that you bring a vehicle with above average ground clearance, give yourself plenty of time to navigate the "pass", and get ready to immerse yourself in the most legitimate OutBack Redrock Adventure of a lifetime! Hats off to Tom and his staff!!!!

Loved staying at Tom’s place. It is located on the Colorado river with unbelievable views & never ending adventures- hiking/kayaking/side by sides. One of my favorite parts was the interaction with animals- we watched Tom feed raccoons, foxes, ringtails, Jax (his sweet pup) & Cobae (his 20 yo tortoise). The drive up & down Hurrah Pass was insane (I have a fear of heights & was cautioned by this in Tom’s advertisement). Not sure I could’ve driven it myself, but luckily had my boyfriend. If you don’t have experience with off-roading or comfortable driving on a dirt road at best, I would opt to stay somewhere else. It’s a rocky & curvy road. We had a forerunner TRD 4WD & would recommend something like it with the ground clearance or even a jeep. Plan to arrive the first time while it’s still daylight & budget an extra hour into your drive for it. If you’re coming to see the national parks, it may be best to stay closer to town as it usually takes an hour to drive Hurrah Pass alone regardless of how close it looks on a map (Tom advised us to do this as well prior to booking). Tom’s place is truly a piece of heaven & worth the drive if you choose to make it. Would return & stay at Tom’s the whole stay as there is more than enough adventuring to do on the property.


So many more but I ran out of pictures I hadn't used so another time. 


Monday, March 28, 2022


Cowboys came by and said they are missing 11 cows. Think some are down Kane Creek Canyon. We last saw a black cow about two weeks ago walking the road out to Jackson Hole so Jax and I head out but when we get there the water hole they were drinking out of is dry. I saw one fairly fresh scat and one fairly fresh footprint so I think the cow is out there but must be down by the river and that's full of tamarisk which tears your clothing and is pretty sharp. Despite that we took two trails down to the river but didn't find anything. Still a couple more to do. The next day when we returned to look again it appears like a foot race is coming through as there were ribbons and signs around. 

On our way back we ran into a Hayduker. Lucky Man taking his time down to Needles. Has hiked a lot of the famous trails so probably be ok. Said Needles Outpost is closed on Sunday so no need to get there until Monday.
Not quite caught up yet on paperwork and bookings but getting in hour to two hour hikes, sometimes with guests, sometimes without. Teresa and Lydia are starting to venture out on their own. We're deep in good people now and things are going pretty well. We've had two guests so far this year not make it and I think both times in the dark. Still out of three or four hundred guest trips numbers are pretty good so far.
Jax, Teresa, Lydia, and I hiked up on the mesa above the Fingers one day and inside the Fingers the next day. I'm getting a chance to appreciate this incredible place all over again.
Some pretty funny stuff this morning. Kobae who has been pissed off at the laundry room for a couple days and the washer and dryer, goes inside the room and crashes into the walls and the washing machine over and over. I have to leave the office and open his door and say "Hey, knock it off." Strangely he quits doing it. But this morning he came out, warmed up on the porch, walked in the kitchen and stared at the refrigerator. It was too soon to feed him. He went over to the drawers, grabbed one door knob with his mouth and pulled the drawer open, then let go. Collin walked over and with his foot pushed the drawer closed. Kobae grabbed it again and pulled it open. While Collin was making breakfast he and Kobae battled about whether the drawer should be open or closed. Finally a dog showed up. Kobae went out and chased it around the parking lot a bit, humped the stairs, and was in a pretty good mood the rest of the day.

Jax, Ranger (Collin's dog) and I hiked out towards the Wind Caves today. Ranger just runs and runs while Jax and I much more slowly enjoy the hike. When we got back, I think it was mid 80's today, Ranger put two feet in the water bowl. He tried to figure out how to get all four in but finally got two in good and then just soaked his feet.

Friday, March 25, 2022

So It Begins, Another Rescue Year

 After the pottery hunt I'm going to continue around Jackson Hole and show them a few more things but I hear Walkie Talkie traffic on our channel. One of our guests side by side out in Jackson Hole with me somewhere won't start and they need help or a ride. I figure I'll head back to the lodge and check out their vehicle on the way or give them a ride. I get to where I can see the lodge but I haven't seen them. It turns out they were broke down probably about a quarter mile past where I was when I started back.

As I'm pulling into the lodge a motorcycle pulls up in front of me. I ask Collin if he'll head out to Jackson Hole and look at the side by side. The guy on the motorcycle says he's stuck deep in the creek bed by the river just past the Wind Caves. Collin thinks his vehicle will be able to pull it out better so he heads out to rescue that guy and Teresa and I head back to Jackson for the guests. Lydia says she will feed Kobae and upon hearing his name he heads right for the feeding spot on the porch. As I'm leaving I hear Lydia say "Kobae, I'm not ready for you yet."
I open up the front of the broken vehicle and wiggle some wires. My other side by side shows up and he wiggles some others and looks at the fuses and we can't figure it out so I pick up the stranded guests and we head back to the lodge. Not long after we get back Collin shows up and says he can't get the vehicle out of the creek bed. We call Nations Towing and they send a truck out. He gets stuck too. Some of his friends come and pull him out and he pulls the truck out.
Collin calls from Jackson Hole and says "Did you take......" and before he said the fourth word I knew. Guests had started to hand me the keys and I can't remember if I said leave them in the ignition or give them to me and I'll put them back in but the keys dropped into my hand. I noticed Teresa and Jax were not around so I called Jax and somewhere in the calling Jax the keys went into my pocket and now Collin was out in Jackson and can't find the problem with no keys. I jumped on a side by side and blew out to Jackson. Collin took the back seat out and the starter wire had become disconnected to the starter and it fired right up but we had an extra vehicle.

Collin took off on the trials bike half way back. I pulled up behind him in a side by side and took him back to the formerly wounded side by side as we tried to beat the darkness. I took off in the quicker side by side, got to the trials bike and jumped on it taking it to the lodge. Collin came up behind me in a side by side, I jumped in and we headed back to the abandoned oil well with the side by side was and we got them all back before dark, barely.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

A Pottery Day

I started wondering what has happened to all the sites I've found and how they've aged since I found them. Was a slow day so Teresa and Lydia went with Jax and I to see if the first site I ever found was still there and if there were others around it now that I have a better eye of what I'm looking for. Collin held down the fort and babysat Kobae. When we visited the first site from 15 years ago there were two pieces that had come up since I was last there so many years ago. 

Then we spread out the search to the surrounding area and it was a pottery day.

They just kept coming for a couple hundred feet in each direction.

That's how the next hour or two went. Little pieces of pottery showing up here and there. No pieces of pottery were hurt, injured, damaged, removed from the site, during the picture taking, before or after.


 The critters are returning at night after a mild winter. Last night three gray fox, two ringtails, two striped skunks, a spotted skunk, and mother, of the raccoons took her spot on the roof. It's different every night. Many are pregnant and they have to find food for soon to be even littler people.

Trying to manage Kobae's food intake better this year. He gets more than two or three green peppers and or cucumbers he gets squishy poop. Getting him to eat as much dry food as possible. Hurrah is getting more crowded and will be like this until Thanksgiving slowing down a little in the summer.

Kind of a sad day. Dave, our wood guy, is moving and is out of the wood business. Got my last load of wood from him. Was always nice to swing by and get four or five buckets put in the back of whatever vehicle I was driving. Get out and talk while adjusting the load in the back of the truck. Two good ole boys exchanging stories. He'd tell me what was going on in Moab and I Base Camp. Collin found somebody else.
River has gone up a little but the snow as of today is still below average so probably the beach across the river will stay there another year and all we'll have is the driveway that washed down to the river five times this year. It's not very far above the water line and will go quickly. We've had mostly 70s and some 80s coming which will melt the snow in the Rockies quicker and probably make our beach go away quicker.
Couple more Haydukers. One trail named Two Cups and ask if that was for a physical structure of some sort and he said "No, two cups of coffee in the morning."
The days are just incredible and the weather perfect. When the work is done Lydia sits on the porch quietly reading and enjoying the day. Collin has injured his foot and he's limping everywhere he goes. I remember being injured all the time when I got here and just working through it. So many things can happen to you each day. He sat on the porch waiting for check ins today elevating his foot. I walk out with Jax each morning still, sit on the steps, remind him where we live. Kobae comes out a little later and falls asleep in the sunshine and I lay back from the stairs to the porch and Jax jumps on my stomach and we all three drift off.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022


 Things have happened but been so busy that I've got some pictures here that I don't remember the story behind them so here's the one's I do remember.

When I was in San Diego picking up Kobae I got a call on a Sunday morning from the Monticello office of the BLM, not Black Lives Matter. The voice ask if I had found an arrowhead and removed it from federal property. I'm not sure which government agency owned the property where I found the arrowhead but assumed it was some government property so I said yes. I could have said I found it on my property and that would have been the end of the conversation but I told the truth. Did I know if it was illegal? I think I did, sort of. Once before years ago, I had found I think it was six pieces of pottery out toward Jackson Hole. Next time I visited it was five, then four. It was on the edge of a creek bed and each time it rained it took another piece with it into the Colorado River. I called the BLM to see what we should do about it. They said it was probably better that it went to the river. I did not understand that at all. Don't we want to learn as much as we can? I emailed the BLM a picture of the pieces that were left and said come get me if you think I'm a threat somehow. I took the pieces to the rock shop in town and then to the museum to learn as much as I could then left it on my counter to tell guests what I had learned.
I called once previously to tell them about stuff I had found and they met me at one site and I named the site. There is actually a Kobae site with drawings and a dwelling. I went in and told them about another site and when did they want to go look at it. They ask me approximately where it was and I told them roughly and to call me when they wanted to meet and see the site. A few weeks later I was out exploring by the site and ran across them looking for the site and they had never called me. I showed them a couple sites and then have never told them about anything I have found since. In this case my plan was to take the arrowhead and piece of pottery to the rock shop and museum again and then put it back where I found it and then if I was out hiking by there I could take guests, with discretion, and show them the arrowhead and what I had learned. I went to go get Kobae and then was going to take them into town when I got back. The voice ask if I still had them and I said I did. He could give me a warning letter or even a fine and confiscate the arrowhead and put a letter in my file. What was my full name?
I thought, they have a file on me? Does it have the 100's of rescues I've done? Does it mention that I led the SWAT teams and the search on this side of the river when a ranger got shot? How about the Life Flights I've been involved in, maybe a couple of river rescues, the lives I've saved, or Haydukers and Discovery hikers I've bailed out, or who was the first guy there when the helicopter went down, Lockhart in the dark looking for the lost motorcycle rider because they don't have anything that can go down Lockhart, probably there's something in there about all the trash I pick up or cleaning up the Wind Caves on Christmas Day's. Probably something in there about the 10 vehicles a day I give directions to so they don't get lost and SAR has to get involved or the hundred people a month that use the restroom here so there isn't toilet paper all over the desert, or the one person that polices the trails to keep off roaders from tearing up the land. In none of those instances was the BLM there with me. I'm the caretaker of the land as much as humanly possible for all the people that come out here. I bet that's all in the file.
It all flashed through my mind instantly. In a county so big that you can fit Rhode Island, Delaware, and Maryland inside it, this is today's, Sunday's, priority, the arrowhead I found. I said "If you have a file on me then you should have that information"and I hung up.

I was so pissed. The phone rang again but I didn't answer it. I never wanted to answer it again if I see their number. That's all you got to do is go after an arrowhead that I'm putting back and had always planned to put back. There are over 100,000 registered artifact sites in San Juan County and it's about one arrowhead. Don't ever call me for help again. I was determined I was going to keep it that way. They were dead to me.
I got a polite email, not pissed at me for hanging up saying they wanted to meet and work together on stuff that happens out here. As I spent the day hiking with Kobae and Jax the sting wore off.....some. From their perspective I had broken the law. I've also broken the speed limit taking injured people to the hospital, not my people, people I don't know. Want to get me for that too? 
When will I be back? They'd like to meet and see and collect the arrow head. They said they'd be here at 9am and got here at 8:30 am. I showed them the arrow head and said I'd return it once I took it to the rock shop and museum. They said they wanted it now. How do we know you'll really do that? Well because I told the truth. Because I always tell the truth. I'm not hiding anything. It was on the blog, then to Facebook, it's still here, and that's who I am. They wanted it anyway and then wanted to know where I found it. Really, 100,000 sites and you want to know about this one arrowhead. Could I point it out on a map. No I can't. But I'll take you. It felt like a set up but I'd already told them I took it so what would be the set up?

I showed them exactly where I found them and their faces said they doubted me. I pointed out my previous footprints with the exact same boot I was wearing that day and this day with the same print. Where I'd started to take a step, saw the arrow head partially sticking out, picked it up, and the piece of pottery right next to it. Why would I lie? They seemed partially convinced so we hiked back out to the road. They thanked me and left with the arrowhead mentioning they hoped we could work together.
Some Haydukers showed up going the wrong way so I directed them down the right way to Lockhart Basin. A side by side came around the corner confused and going into the problem part of Lockhart so I got him squared away and moments later a motorcycle showed up, a very small one, and I told him he'd struggle on Lockhart but he went anyway. Can't save them all.

The next day I finally found where my messages are on my "smart phone" that doesn't work out here and saw he had twice called me leaving me messages days ago. I felt bad about that and the 20 others of course. I emailed an apology for not returning the other calls and he said he turned the arrowhead over to some in house people who cranked out a bunch of stuff about the arrowhead and the people behind it. Way more than I would have learned at the rock shop or museum and way faster. In the future when I found stuff to take multiple pictures of the find, the surrounding landscape, and measure the items and he'll run it through the in house people and get me an answer to what I found as quick as possible. Who knew? Technology might have an actual purpose occasionally. We'll see how the relationship develops. 

It's the next day after writing this and I just re-read what I wrote. All said and done I think they hurt my feelings when they didn't trust me after all the years and in the end, they handled the situation better than I did.