Clear Creek

> Grand Canyon> Day1 Kaibab trail to Phantom ranch Bright Angel Campground-7miles-overcast> Day2 Clear Creek trail to Clear Creek-9 miles-rain, wind sleet, snowdrifts> Day3 Clear Creek-sunshine, high winds, snow> Day4 Clear creek trail to Phantom Ranch-9 miles-sunshine/clear> Day 5 Phantom ranch out via Bright Angel Trail- 9.3miles-overcast/snowing on> top>> This was a great trip!!!>> Despite a missed airplane, last minute dropouts, forecasted storms, agroup of> four (out of 10) were able to pull it off and thoroughly enjoy all fivedays.> The final four consisted of James, Todd, Peterr the sheep, and myself.> Todd went up early and hiked down ahead of the group. He fished BrightAngel> creek on Saturday and caught a real nice trout. Peterrrr,James and Idrove up> early Saturday. We met Steve Yahner on the way up, but Steve decided notto go> based upon the weather forecast. We didn't start hiking down until about1:00> and arrived shortly after 4:00.> We had Hikers stew dinner and a few beers at the Ranch that evening. TheStew> was absolutely the best!!!> The hike to clear creek was a little challenging as it started rainingand> gusting around 11:00. We all had the appropriate gear and although attimes it> was A little tough we arrived at clear creek reasonably dry. As ifdesigned> for our trip the rain/sleet stopped when we arrived and we were able toset up> camp and eat comfortably. Clear Creek is a gorgeous area populated by> cottonwoods. During dinner a couple of wild Turkeys stopped by for avisit.> We had difficulty getting the stoves going in the wind and experienced> operational problems with both. Todd and James totally disassembled onestove> and patiently got it into operation in the wind.> It rained hard that night and we were pummelled with strong winds allnight.> The storm lifted the next morning and we spent the day relaxing by thecreek> in the sun which was intermittant, as clouds kept drifting through. About> 3:30, another storm blew in and we were hit with high winds and driftingsnow.> The storm blew by in time for dinner and we had a good night without bad> weather.> Hiking back to Phantom the next day was one of the nicest hikes/days thatany> of us had experienced in the wilderness. The sun was out and the temp wasa> perfect 60 degrees. It was really a mellow day. Along the trail, a babypink> rattlesnake (this species found only in the canyon) was sunning itself.We> also crossed the path of a tarantula.> There are great views of the river on this trail. A majestic 8 point buck> stared down at us from a ridge. Four does gracefully leaped, as if inslow> motion up to meet him> That evening was clear but we were warned that another storm was on itsway.> We planned on an early start to avoid the weather.> Peterrrr the sheep misbehaved a bit at the ranch. He stole El LOBOscampsite> that had been staked out and then spitefully got into our tent and kickedup> dirt because El Lobo had accidentally got a few grains of dirt in histent.> We again had a great feast of hiker's stew at the ranch. A ringtail catwas on> top of the canteen peering at all the people going in.> The following day was overcast, but we were able to get out just beforethe> snow. We drove to to Flag in a small blizzard. We decided to stop At EL> Cellito anyway> for our traditional Mexican feast. It was great.> All in all this trip was a 9.9. It would get a 10 without the rain.>> Next year:> EL LOBO SEZ:> I WILL ONLY MAKE A PERMIT RESERVATION FOR THOSE WHOM HAVE PREPAID THEIRPERMIT> FEES PRIOR TO JULY 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!>> Next year we are considering the Tanner trail> Day1 to river> Day2 relax or day hike escalante or Beemer> Day3 Upper plateau> Day 4 out>> FEARLESS FOUR (GOOD BOYS)> TODD> JAMES> EL LOBO> PETERRR THE SHEEP, YUKON PETE, PEDRO>> BAD BOYS:(IN PRIORITY ORDER)> Worst of the Bad> #1 Brian Hinshaw -although he prepaid his permit fee, he dropped out latein> the game for the third year in a row. He bitched about a doing a less> strenuous and more relaxing trip-This one was designed with his strong> considerations and then he dropped out!!> #2 Steve Yahner-dropped out at the very last minute due to weather? Didnot> prepay any permit fee!! Hedged his bet for months saying that he wasn'tgoing> if bad weather.> #3 Rick Callus-dropped out at the last minute due to a toe injurysufferred> when he got lost in Michigain and hiked 38 miles? Rick has missed fiveyears> in a row. Did not prepay any permit fee. Works too much.> #4 Kirksey- Todd's friend-dropped out at the last minute due to backspasms??> To his credit he did prepay his fees to Todd.> #5Peter Frobe -Todd's friend. Dropped out late in the game, because he isjob> searching, unemployed, and did not pay Todd for his portion of the trip> permit. However Peter is going to the Baja if he does not find a jobsoon!!!> #6 Ted Hill> Ted has now missed two years in a row. He ran out of vacation time!! Wason> the fence for months and kept going back and forth without committmant.Ted> did not prepay permit fees. Ted is one of the best of the bad boysbecause of> all his family committmants.> #7 Haanu Haarma> Haanu is the best of the bad boys. He got put into the bad boy categoryfor> not going, however he prepaid his fees up front and said that heprobably> could not make it depending on his work travel schedule.>> GENTLEMEN-THERE SIMPLY ARE NO EXCUSES FOR NOT GOING TO THE CANYON ON OUR> ANNUAL TRIP-LIFE IS TOO SHORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keet Seel

Backpack-Keet Seel Ruin-Navajo National Monument17 miles roundtrip Hike/ 10 hour roundtrip drive from PhoenixKeet Seel (broken pottery in Navajo) is an unforgettable hike along atributary of the deep desert Tsegi canyon, past waterfalls to asuperlativeAnaasazi ruin. The towering redrock is similar to the beautiful formationsfound in Sedona. Keet Seel with it's 165 rooms, is the best preserved andarguably the most outstanding ruin in the Southwest. The site has a viewovera lovely valley complete with stream, cottonwoods and meadows. Thecampgroundin the cottonwoods was excellent. We enjoyed a great view of the ruin fromour site. The trees provided a needed canopy, helping to keep us dry duringthe early afternoon and evening thunder showers.CALLING UP THE SPIRITSNavajos who had lived in the area had long known of this and other cliffdwellings but stayed away, believing that the sites were haunted by Anasazispirits. This is one of the factors contributing to their finepreservation.The only tough part of this hike is the 1000 ft. descent and subsequentclimbout of the canyon system. You must pack in a couple of gallons of water asthe streams have been polluted by grazing livestock. Dirty Bovines!!!Staying on course is a must as wandering down side canyons can draw ahostilereception by the local Navajos.On Friday, we drove to Kayenta-gateway to Monument Valley and stayed at thenew Hampton Inn. A very nice hotel. Steve and Russ dined on Navajo Tacos atalocal establishment. I took less risk and opted for soup and salad.We visited the Navajo code talkers exhibit. This is highly recommended ifyouvisit this area. The US Marine corps organized a special Navajo signal unitfor combat communication service during WWII. A platoon of Navajos wererecruited and trained in signal work using the Navajo language as a code,adapting a scheme tried in WWI, when the enemy was completely baffled bytheemployment of an Indian language in front line communications.On Saturday we started our hike at 9:30 A.M. after a required orientationatthe visitor center. We arrived at the campgrounds at 1:30 P.M. and wereblownaway by the view of the ruin, situated under a cavernous Navajo sandstoneoverhang where the canyon opens up. It started to rain about an hour priorto arrival. The rain was of great concern due to the flash flood danger inthese canyons during August.We dropped our gear at the campgrounds and headed to the rangers cabin foratour of the ruins. A young enthusiastic ranger gave an extensive tour. Hisname was Tim Mcglothin, he was 1/2 Irish and 1/2 Navajo. A great guy thatreally loves his job and this beautiful country.MAGICAL MYSTERY TOURThat night it rained until about 1:00 A.M. Not a drop got into El Lobo'snewone person Walrus tent with rain fly. "I am the egg man, I am theWalrus-KooKoo Ka Choo"SCARY NOISESThe evening noises included the pitter patter of rain, varmints scuryingabout and Steve's Indian Taco music. I heard loud laughs from the othercamp.The next day we rose early and climbed out close to 10:00 A.M.Steve and Russ waited for their spouses to pick them up for a trip toCortezColorado to look at some property.

Rim to Rim

: GC N Rim hikes & RIM to RIM trip report (Embedded image moved to file: pic06482.jpg)August 15, 1869--"Early in the afternoon we discover a stream entering fromthe north--a clear, beautiful creek, coming down through a gorgeous redcanyon. We conclude to call it "Bright Angel."Ger and I left for the North Rim on Sunday and arrived in time for a niceafternoon hike on the "Uncle Jim" trail. The aspens and birch had turned abrilliant yellow and the afternoon shadows reflected a surrealistic colorscheme in the canyon.At sunset we sipped beers on the patio of the North Rim lodge. Totalrelaxation.The North Rim receives only 10% of the visitors that the South Rim absorbs.We stayed at the Kaibab Lodge. No telephones or television.On Monday we rose early to catch sunrise at Cape Final. This was a shortbutrewarding plateau top hike. We then drove to Cape Royal and then enjoyed ashort but fascinating hike below the rim of Walhalla Plateau. This hikefeatured a well perserved Anasazi granary, and a dripping spring hidden inanalcove beneath the rim.The afternoon was spent hiking the Widforss trail. This trail is arguablythefinest plateau-top trail in the Park. It is a mildly undulating trail andaffords panoramic vistas of the Grand Canyon. The route follows the rim ofthe Transept, an abysmal tributary of Bright Angel creek. It passes greatviewpoints in shady strands of conifer and Aspen. Very mellow!! Gerry keptgoing AAAAHHHHHHHH.This trail is a 10!!!After logging 17 hiking miles we treated ourselves to a great dinner in thesplendid N Rim lodge dining room featuring a killer panoramic vista viewandanother brilliant sunset.That evening we met our good friends, Bob and Peggy Shea from Minneapolis.The next morning we joined them at the North Rim campgrounds. Bob and Peggytook the kids-Toby and Sam (Wheaton Terriers) for a hike in North Canyonwhile Ger and I lounged around camp reading and relaxing. Peggy fixed agreatpasta (carbo load) dinner.Bob and I rose at 2:30 A.M. and drove to the Kaibab trailhead. We startedourRim to Rim at 3:00 A.M. This hike was a celebration of Bob's birthday. Wewere guided down the steep trail by Bob's headlamp. My light burned out at3:30. We stopped for a break at Cottonwood camp-7 miles at 6:00 A.M. andmetSteve Yahner and John two miles from Phantom Ranch. We arrived at Phantomat9:00 A.M. and took another short break. The temperature was perfect -low70sand John and Steve's excellent company got us to Indian Gardens at 11:15.Another short break. Steve made friends with Hans, a nice German fellathatSteve claimed was trying to stalk him and bowl him over. A little trailtrashtalk settled everything.Now after 20 miles of hiking we headed for the Mountain. (South Rim) Alightrain made the climb out surprisingly easy and we arrived at the top at2:05.Steve's friend Lynn greeted us at the top, she had hiked to Phantom andback.This hike was unbelievably fun and easy, primarily due to the perfectweather. My last rim to tim was a little less fun, a death march in 109+degree July 4th temperatures.Peggy and Gerry greeted us with congratulatory hugs and kisses and we allheaded for the bar to celebrate Bob's birthday.The drive home was very long. Gerry did a great job. She had broke campanddriven from the North Rim. Thanks to her we were able to pull this off andget home safely.We arrived home to find out that a major storm had hit Scottsdale. Fallentrees covered the landscape and flooding debris was in the streets.Our voice mail had a message from Clint asking to call him at work, he hadablowout in the Mustang and was in Tempe. We finally hit the bed at 2:00A.M.Today was a long day at work, my body and mind was still in the canyon.

Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway trip report "To know the Canyon is to love it? Not necessarily. Crawling up the Tannertrail some moonlight night in August without food or water, you will hatetheCanyon.Bitterly. That pale rim so far above, higher than five Empire StateBuildingspiled one upon another seems inaccessable as Heaven, remote as salvation.Butif you survive, if you make it, you learn to despise not the Canyon, butyourown fear and foolishness, in being unprepared, and return again and again,ready to risk everything for one more intimate encounter with the mostsublime place on the planet. Who could ask for a finer place than ourCanyonin which to taste life deeply by risking life? By hanging it over theedge?" Edward Abbey Down theRiverThis Grand Canyon adventure was designed for a fun weekend getaway.Ger and I took off for Williams late Friday afternoon. Williams is 30mileswest of Flagstaff. The plan was to spend the night in Williams and thencatchthe Grand Canyon railway to the South rim the next morning. We arrived inWilliams around 7:00 P.M. and checked into a Best Western in the pines. Weenjoyed a great dinner at Rose's Cantina. The margaritas were great.The next morning we woke to find snow flurries outside our window and alight blanket of snow on the ground.We arrived at the train station at 9:30 and caught a short Western showwithcharacters that would entertain us on the train..The train ride takes about two hours and was very pleasant. The people onthetrain were great. We were served 8oz. bottles of real coca cola withstraws.We were entertained by a young cowboy fiddler. The scenery went from sparsepines to plateau and then into the dense Kaibab forrest.When we arrived at the South Rim it was seriously snowing and the wind waswhipping. The chill factor was close to 0. Ger wanted to do a hike, so webraved the elements and went a few miles on the Rim trail. It was a littlechilly, our faces suffered just minor frostbite.The sun did come out a few times and provided excellent views of the heartofCanyon. The Canyon is gorgeous when blanketed in snow.We wanted to have lunch in the famous El Tovar (Where Bubba Clintonstayed)but could not get in, so we spent the rest of the afternoon shopping, andshivering inside the bar, where we settled for snacks.The trip back was also fun, with several events, that included the trainbeing robbed by bandits.No weekend getaway is complete without EL Lobo finding a souveneir. Itcamein the form of a route 66 ceramic gas pump. The old legendary highway runsright through Williams.This is a fun trip and highly recommended. The service is first class, andthe railway keeps cars from polluting the Canyon.It was really nice to visit the canyon and not have to drag my $%& out ofthere. I will be back in three weeks for a backpack down the Tanner overtheBeemer to the confluence of the little Colorado and back out the Tanner.Thisis another four day trip of 38 miles jammed into three days.


"How can I be sure in a world that's constantly changing?" Rascals--- 1967RENO has been and always will be home to me. Arizona is a great adventurebut going home is magical and special. The biggest little city in the worldhas now blossomed with a new art museum and a diversified set of culturaland outdoor adventure activities. Reno has been discovered and isexperiencing tremendous growth. And with growth comes some pain.Alas, the train that goes through the center of the town is going to gounderground. I always loved hearing the train whistle at night.Lake Tahoe is still however, only 45 minutes away.Hot August Nights, a celebration of the 50s and 60s brought in thousands ofpeople and over 10,000 vintage cars from 38 different states.There is no better place in the world to have this event. I know, because Igrew up in the 50s and 60s in Reno.This report will be brief, only covering highlights as I have to pack andleave bright and early tomorrow morning for an adventure in the CanadianRockies.Highlights:-Visiting and dining with great friends and family-Hot August Nights-BJ Thomas and Rascals concerts-The annual Damon party with special friends-Aaron Evans wedding in Verdi above the Truckee River-The Emerald of the Sierras-Tahoe-It still takes my breath away-Hiking the Indian Meadow Trail in the California Caribou Wilderness toseveral alpine lakes-Revisiting Boy Scout Camp Fleishman just out of Chester California, whereI spent several summers (What happened to the creme soda at the store?)-Enjoying the Diego Revera exhibition at the new Reno Art Museum-Sharing the peacefuland beautiful evenings with Doug, Diana, Gerry andClint in the Damon backyard by the torrente de la tranquiidad. Engaging inthe dangling conversation.Men Behaving Badly:Spook,Lobo-& Jim Littlewood quite oftenWillie-All the timeThanks to the Damons for their great hospitality and friendship. They aretoo good to us.I will end this report with our Boy Scout Troop's marching yell at theCamporeesTroooooooop 1 Troooooooooop 1 Beat by None! Beat by None!A little known fact:El Lobo Grande was in the elite Boy Scout Order of the Arrow.

Picketpost Mountain -Arizona Trail

"You see I've been through the desert on a horse with no name"America1972This 16 mile hike through the beautiful Sonoran desert, circumnavigatesPicketpost Mountain near Superior and followed Alamo and Telegraph canyon.Itwas a beautiful day in the high 70s. The stately saguaros were everywhere.Wefollowed the Arizona trail up Alamo Canyon, and headed East off trail to aridgetop and then descended into the highly scenic Telegaph canyon. TheseEdward Abbey type off trail hikes have become a preference. They certainlycondition you for challenging trail hiking, which now seem much easier.This hike involved some easy road travel but also quite a bit of steepuphilland downhill navigation, boulder hopping. streamside thickets, and spinyplants galore.I am still picking cactus out of my flank side.The Arizona trail is about 80% complete. When complete it will coverArizonaNorth to South from Utah to Mexico for approximately 600 miles. El Lobo isplanning a through hike when he leaves the corporate world of fun.Overall this hike is rated a high 7. A great alternative to the crowdedSuperstitions. Well worth doing.Next week-Saturday-Thorn Peak near Wickenburg (offtrail)Sunday-We leave for Hawaii for a week!