Monday, June 26, 2006

The Wise One Canyon

On Sunday about midnight, I decided Jenna and I would embark on a mission on Monday. So Monday morning as the alarm went off for some damn reason, I wrestled with the thought of actually going. Ah, what the heck lets jam. I loaded the vehicle with food, clothing, sleeping bags, and other survival materials. I am always prepared for the unprepared. We jumped in the vehicle about 720 and headed south. I called and woke up Phoebe hoping she was in Cello so she could scrap the looking at grass today and head out with us. However, she was in her other town and couldn't accompany us. I told her I would call her when I reached civilization. Come Tuesday night, send out the troops. I also called upon my coworkers and indiciated if I wasn't at work on Wednesday, well come a looking in the vast area.

I have no idea what time we arrived at the trailhead and could care less because it is my day off. I already had a plan of what I was going to do. There are two canyons...The Pisces and The Wise One...normally this is a loop hike, a two day hike, but with zero water in the canyon, it definitely isn't a summer hike. We opted for the top of the canyon with minor level drops. Well I opted for that way, Jenna didn't have too much say.

We came to our first minor level drop. And she did what she always does even though it was so simple to go down. SHE FREAKED. But eventually she went down, but not without some serious pushing.

After viewing the above site we headed around the other side where I had seen another one. She wouldn't even walk down there and it wasn't even a level drop. So out came the rope so she would be presuaded again. This time knowing darn well she wouldn't be able to get down or up the level, I left her water and tied her to a tree.

Of course, as I was chimneying down the rock I was thinking to myself...would I be able to get up? Oops if not. But there had to be a way since there were ruins down there. As I climbed down into the area, I listened for the wind to speak to me. I listened for the voices of the past. And I spoke into the wind myself. I let them know I was here visiting not disturbing. I was here to listen to them tell their story and show me their life. I would leave when I felt I wasn't welcome anymore.

There were these ruins...I would say probably several rooms. Look closely at the photo of the small wall as you can see the fingermarks of them making the wall.

And then farther down the level was these two places...And I can't tell you how much I wanted to be able to peer inside those windows. To be able to peek into their world and souls. To be able to see how they spent their nights and days. How they made due in the harsh environments. And how in the heck they dropped the 200 feet into the canyon below for water?

But without a partner I wasn't going to risk it. Heck Jenna was above tied to a tree and I couldn't leave her like that.

After finally making it back to Jenna, we trudged on, but not without major difficulty as she was freaking about the edges. After checking out this one from above and lifting her up and up and up, I finally gave up looking down the levels.

We walked some more and finally Jenna sat down in the shade by a tree. She was done. I gave her some water and found some shade myself eating my PB&J. At 1215 PM, we started back towards the trailhead. It was getting hot and shade was pretty much nil. The rocks, sand, and crypto were hot on her paws. As she was pausing to see if the lizard was worth chasing, I paused to snap this...

We were almost to the vehicle and much closer than I realized as she turned left between some trees. I said ok, you want to stop in some shade and then I looked up to see we were at the trailhead. The sand was burning her paws, but she is smart and ran to the shade while I ran to the car to open it. She immediately jumped in and I immediately filled her dish with ICE water. We headed out shortly after she stopped panting at 90 MPH.

We stopped here so she could really cool off and I would wake up. Then we called Phoebe to say we were alive.

As always check out the other PHOTOS. Plus I have added some albums and chapters

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Colorado River Trip

Boss lady came to me recently and asked if I would like to go on a river trip. Well, let me think about 2 damn, well, I guess. She said I would have to eat my days off. Oh shucky darn. I figured it wasn't a bad way to eat my days off. I contacted my toe doctor and he said it would be just fine. So on Sunday, June 11, I set out around 8am with T-Berry, Doc, and Telluride. The raft trip would be three days two nights. My biggest concern was having to use the groover.

This wasn't your typical raft trip with oars. We had two Mercury motors on the back. Which seemed to helped quite a bit in the head wind flat water. We started down the river and I would say about 30 minutes to an hour into the trip, I was taking a nap. The sound of the water and the vibration of the boat was soothing.

We did some sight seeing along the way. We went to some ruins and petroglyph/pictographs and to a site of petrified logs. When we went to the first archaeological site, I forgot my camera. At the second one, my battery went dead. But I had a backup camera.

That night as we pulled into Spanish Bottom and T-Berry stopped at several camps to check names for permits, we met Toby and family. Toby had never run the rapids that were below us and asked T-Berry for support. Being a good park ranger, T-Berry said sure and that we were leaving about noon tomorrow. Keep that in mind. We camped right below them and had a wonderful dinner and hung out with the State Park crew. We all tried to stay up for the full moon, but most of us got a glimpse of it as we rolled over and opened our eyes for a moment. The river and sun suck the life out of you.

Monday morning, we arose early and hiked past Toby's camp saying good morning to them and headed up the hill to the Dolls House. The hike was primarily straight uphill, but it was worth every moment of it. It was even worth the pain I was enduring with my toe, which was now uncovered and covered in dirt.

Coming down the trail was brutal on my toe and I watched as blood oozed out of it. Thank goodness we had a doctor along as he kept saying it was ok. We passed by Toby's camp and it was filled with other boaters. Keep in mind that Toby had to pass our camp before heading into the rapids. We loaded our gear and headed down river. T-Berry had told Toby to meet at the top of Mile Long Rapids. When we arrived, Toby was not there.

We checked the banks again and then continued on. After Big Drop 1, we stopped for lunch. I was freezing and had changed shirts and went to sit on the hot rocks to warm myself up. After finishing my sandwich, I was daydreaming when I heard a pop and then watched as a flare floated back down toward the river below us. We quickly gathered our lunch stuff throwing it every where and untied the boat. We went through Big Drop 2 to find Toby on river right with his boat upside down, his belongings all along shore, and only him. He was throwing up hand signals that we had no idea what they meant and shouting directions on how we should proceeded. I was the lucky one to get off with Schmuch (aka: Toby) with a radio. There were two females in the water, a woman and a 16 year old. We were concerned. I helped Schmuch flipped his boat. In the meantime, T-Berry and crew had found the females. We helped him re-rig his boat and T-Berry went over how he should proceed down Big Drop 3, the only rapid I did not get to run. Then we walked back to our boat and waited for Schmuck to scout it and run it. I look up to see him already going. T-Berry took one look at him and said get ready because he is going to flip again.

Now let me back up a bit...the first flip was probably at Rapid 15-17 and the young female was found at Rapid 26 I believe. So she had swam a long ways before hitting shore. Sure enough they flipped again. So she got to swim Big Drop 3 twice. But this time she was over to the shore quickly. As T-Berry drove, Doc, Telluride, and myself picked up Schmuck. This story surely isn't as funny reading it as being a part of it. We rigged a system again to turn over his boat. At one point, he attempted to tell T-Berry how to do something and the look T-Berry shot Schmuch pretty much said...well you can only imagine. We got the boat turned over and T-Berry suggested the girls ride with us through the last two rapids. He agreed. We had already rescued him twice, would there be a third or fourth?

Finally rid of Schmuch we continued on our peaceful way, but without making fun of Schmuch the entire time. We did a hike where I took a short nap with my Nalgene bottle as a pillow. We finished out the night with an unbelievable pasta dish. And I finally used the groover, but not without gagging and nearly puking.

The next morning, we finished the trip in Hite.

For more photos see: Photos

I head to the Doctor tomorrow because I believe my toe is now infected with a lot of sand and wonderful clean river water.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Boys Left

My cousins have left and gone back to cool weather of the mountains. And I have pretty much been sad and moping around. But I still get my mom up early to take me for walks. It is not as much fun without the others, but now I can spend more time chasing lizards.

Mom goes on a raft trip on Sunday and hopefully by July she will be able to walk longer and her toe will be all healed up, but this little 30 minute walk sucks.

Have a good summer all.