Nebrask is not boring!!!When you think of adventures you do not often include the midwest-HoweverGerand I had a great long weekend in the heart of the USA.We spent 2 days at the Arbor Day farm in Nebraska city. The Lied ConferenceCenter is a beautiful state of the art environmentally friendly structure.The National Arbor day foundation is dedicated to tree planting andenvironmental stewardship.The Arbor day farm is a National Historic Landmark and it's grounds includearboretums, windbreaks, agroforestry demo area, apple orchards, hazlenutresearch field, and a fuelwood plantation. This is a virtual forrest inthemiddle of the prairie!On Sunday morning I had a beautiful run in the sunshine through thecornfields.ANOTHER STATE BITES THE DUSTEl Lobo added Kansas to his lifetime lists of states. Three more left-NDakota/Teddy Roosevelt National Park scheduled in late August and SouthCarolina, Arkansas to be scheduled."Goin to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come""They got some crazy little women there and I'm going to get me one" Wilbur Harrisson1958On our way to Kansa City Missouri we stopped in Laurence and toured the KUcampus. We went to the arena where Wilt and JO JO played. It's animpressivecampus with many architectually interesting buildings. Great little collegetown.In Kansa city we visited the Negro leagues Baseball Hall of Fame museum inthe historic section at 18th and Vine. This museum is of the Smithsoniancaliber-World Class. EL Lobo is addicted to all souveneir shops and treatedhimself to an Atlanta Black Crackers baseball hat.The Nego leagues history and exhibits are a moving experience. Theseplayersendured incredable hardship in segregated America.We also visited the Jazz hall of Fame -it's OK, worth seeing.Kansas City Jazz clubs are legendary and we were fortunate to be thereduringthe Jazz festival. We loved the music and the junk food-barbeque, cajunetc.El Lobo enjoyed 3 oilcans of Fosters and spilled barbeque sauce all overhisshorts and shirt. Even El Lobo was slightly embarassed to be walking aroundpretty like that. Gerry of course was thoroughly disgusted.On Monday morning Ger headed to a meeting in Washington at the White houseand I headed back for Phoenix.
On Friday Dan Shapiro, (proud father of a new baby boy-Cole) Mooseman andLobo headed north for Lee's Ferry. We arrived close to noon and went downCathedral Wash a couple of miles to the river and had our lunch on thebeach. This is an easy river route with only a couple of pour offs thatrequire some negotiation. We also hiked up to Lonely Dell Ranch close tothe Paria River and to the Lee's Ferry cemetery. This area is rich inhistory and trout fishing in this part of the Colorado is world class dueto the cold water from the Glen Canyon Dam.Later we hooked up with Bob Audretsch and Bruce MCintyre at the MarbleCanyon Lodge for some pre trip planning. The Marble Canyon Lodge has anexcellent selection of books on the Southwest and the Grand Canyon andseveral were purchased for home libraries.We met an NP young fella that was tracking condors. There were two nestedclose to Navajo bridge. There are thirty-four in this area.We then took headed for the backroads on Navajo land and camped on a bluffoverlooking the Colorado across the River from Lee's Ferry.Lobo spent a sleepless evening within the confines of his bivy sack. A loudowl, the full moon, and foul smells assisted the insomnia. We rose at 4:30A.M. and drove Dan's vehicle on a very bad road requiring four wheel drive,in the dark to the start of the CCC route.We started up the Echo Cliffs with headlamps. It took a while to find theill defined route but thanks to some excellent navigation skills providedby various members of the group we were able to locate the passage. Thisroute was constructed by Civilian Conservation Corps workmen during the30s. It apparently was built so that the Navajos could more easily movetheir livestock to the bottom lands at Lee's Ferry.Cresting the Echo Cliffs we enjoyed extraordinary views of the VermilionCliffs, Marble Canyon and the snow capped North Rim of the Grand Canyon.Our plans were to hook up with Buzzard's Highline trail on the South andeast sides of the Echo peaks and then travel down a long sand slope back tothe river and follow the Stanton Road back to the cars. The onlydocumentation we could find on Buzzard's Highline reported that the routeis extremely faint and difficult to follow, consequently not recommendedfor hikers. Apparently this route was used infrequently by white men cominginto Lee's Ferry in the early 1900s.The group had much difficulty locating the Buzzard's Highline connectionbut again excellent navigation, provided primarily by the Mooseman got uson the route.Along the way we observed a very large bird on the top of one of EchoPeaks. There was much discussion as to whether it was an eagle or condor.After observing it's flight it was generally agreed that it was an eagle.The East side provided views of Glen Canyon, Lake Powell and the smokestacks of that nasty coal burning Navajo plant.When we crossed the ridge and got our first view of Lee's Ferry there was alarge pile of stones A battle between Navajos and Utes happened here.Subsequently, Navajos that passed through would throw a rock on the pile.The descent down the sand dunes was fun and we enjoyed fantastic riverviews up Glen Canyon. The rest of the trip was high above the river, apersonal favorite hiking position of El Lobo's.The Mooseman and Lobo walked an additional couple of mile while the rest ofthe group took a vehicle to retrieve Dan's shuttled vehicle. This ran themileage to about ten miles.Cervezas were at the car and we also stopped back at Marble Canyon Lodgefor a group beer.Dan, road warrior extraordinary got us home by 10:00 P.M. Thanks to Dan fordriving and to Bob Audretsch for organizing the trip.Men Behaving BadlyAll, I will spare the details.LoboWhen relating crude details of the trip to his son Jake, Dean Coreyrequested that El Lobo:"Eleminate the tone, and still remain informal and fun." ???????????Sunday evening Gerry and I enjoyed a superb gourmet candlelight dinner(steak, scallops, wine and carrot cake) hosted by the Sheas in their desertcampsite. We had a lot of fun observing the stars with Bob's new telescopeas coyotes yipped in the distance.Life is good.
I am not writing the trip report. "Tooth" (Sawtooth) and "Teet" (Tetons) myIdaho backpacking companions were tasked with that responsibility. They arelate and as a result have both been issued demerits by Lobo. (Monikersbestowed by El Lobo)They will eventually get around to writing it. Last year's River of NoReturn trip report came six months later. When it does arrive, El Loboexpects to get massacred in the Men Behaving Badly Section.I will provide some preliminary information.On the way to Oregon I met the boy's cousins in Idaho at every stop alongthe way. They were all named Cletus or Jethro. Their neck's were all ashade of red.The concept of backpacking light has apparently not yet reached Idaho. Theboys started out from the West Eagle trailhead carrying sidearms, 2 sixpacks of tecate, as well as bottles of tequila, rum and brandy. To ensurethat they had enough nourishment they packed close to five pounds ofshelled peanuts and kit kat bars. Each pack weighed at least 70 lbs, justright for a 3000' climb over 55 switchbacks to Echo and Traverse Lakes.The Eagle Cap is Oregon's largest Wilderness, an area of alpine lakes andmeadows, steep glaciered valleys. I found it topographically similar to theDesolation Wilderness in Northern California.After one night's stay in hail and rain flurries, Traverse Lake wasabandoned in favor of warmer weather. We packed out and headed for thedeepest gorge in North America-Hell's Canyon.This also gave us theopportunity to pick up more beer and tequila.In the Hell's Canyon Wilderness we did a fifteen mile loop that involvedCanyoneering down Mcgraw Creek. Wildlife appeared everywhere. At one pointa prairie rattler scooted over El Lobo's boot. We saw numerous othersnakes and a plethora of bear scat.That evening in camp we celebrated our Hell's Canyon survival with a feastof junk food and straight shots of tequila. With a quarter of the bottleleft, one of the party drained it, let out an Apache war scream andshamelessly tossed it into the Snake River. Later, while sleeping,(passedout) a skunk came into camp and got into the garbage that was not hung up.This gives you the flavor of the trip. It was great fun and very badbehavior. A detailed report will be forwarded at a later date.SequelTonight Gerry and I attended a lecture given by Robert Kennedy Jr. at ASUas part of the Jonathan & Maxine Marshall distinguished lecture series. Youmay have heard of the John Marshall Wilderness in Montana.RFK Jr. has been a resolute defender of the environment and was quiteimpressive.My kind of guy!He is responsible for a litany of successful legal actions, includingprosecuting governments and companies for polluting the Hudson River andLong Island Sound.He has worked on environmental issues across the Americas and has assistedseveral indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in negotiatingtreaties protecting their traditional homelands He also is credited withleading the fight to protect New York City's water supply. He establishedthe "River Keepers" and has provided legal representation for poorfishermen, against the nation's most notorious corporate polluters. Heappears to be much like his father, always fighting for the down trodden.During the lecture El Lobo reflected on the ugly tequila bottle incidentand hung his head.
Subject: Horsetail Falls/Desolation Wilderness trip report (Embedded image moved to file: pic24482.jpg)Fellow Veteran Cosmic Travelers,In documenting the adventures of a well travelled Lobo, my trip reportshavehad the same theme whenever Gerry is not my companion:-We climb-We do adventure-We pass wind-We drink beer-WE ARE MEN-WE ARE STUDSWhen Gerry is along the report usually reflects the beauty, serenity, andsimplicity of our original natural environment or the cultural andartisticwonders of our civilization.The female gender is clearly the more healthy of our species.This trip includes all the macho aspects of adventure but I will try tofocuson the raw and dramatic Wilderness-Desolation Wilderness.Desolation Wilderness lies above the jewel of the Sierras-Lake Tahoe. Youcanfind over 130 Alpine lakes packed into 100 miles of mountain scenery. ThePacific Crest trail crosses the heart of this granatic rock environmentthatincorporates the best features found in the high Sierra. As much time as Ihave spent in this compact Wonderland, I have yet to visit all the lakes.My old friend and roomate Hannu Haarma picked me up from the train stationin Hillsdale after work on Friday. I used to commute to the city on Caltrainand was delighted to see that the old mean witch of a train was still onthe5:40.Hannu is a champion orienteer and we were able to find our way to theRoseville residence of friend James Cabanas with whom I had shared a GrandCanyon adventure last week.That evening we went to the great eating establishment of ex 49er DannyBunz-"The Tackle", referring to his famous tackle in the Cincinnati SuperBowl. Pitchers of Sierra Nevadas were liberally shared.The next morning we started up a steeply slabbed trail to Horsetail Fall,roaring as it plunged 100 feet into a pool. The route was basically crosscountry, boulder hopping 1700 ft up to Avalanche lake. We then climbed toPitt and Ropi lakes.James had backpacked into this area the past summer. This is the quickestaccess into the Desolation Wilderness.The temperature was unseasonably warm, you could have spent the day on thebeach at Tahoe.This hike is rated a 9.5. It was a refreshing change from the harsh GrandCanyon habitat.The afternoon was spent at Apple Hill and El Dorado wine country.We alsotook a tour of our property and both James and Hannu agreed that weshouldbuild at the top of the lot and take advantage of the Majestic SierraNevadaview. We startled several small deer that were bedded down in the tallgrass.We stayed at James's beautiful new home that night and returned to theEastBay the next afternoon for a flight out of Oakland. Ger and Lucy picked meup at the airport and we arrived home in time for the trick or treatersthatnever came.Next weekend- Ger and I will take in Lake Quinalt and Kaloch Lodges-OlympicNational Park Washington and Vancouver Island/Victoria before returning toSeattle for the week.
This trip got off to a delayed start, due to our hometown airline (AW)havingone of their mission critical systems down for 12 hours on Thursday. It wastotal caos at the airport, all flights were cancelled and over 1000 peoplespent the night enjoying the Phoenix airport. I was supposed to interview agentlemen in San Francisco whom had flown in that afternoon. I missed him,he spent the night in a nice hotel and enjoyed a great fish dinner-all onAmerican Golf.I was able to get out the next morning and met my old buddy Rey Javier fromWorldCom for lunch at the M&M taven and Grill. It was great seeing Rey andpaying for his lunch.That evening I took Cal train down the penninsula and met my friend HannuHaarma. Beer and popcorn made for a more enjoyable train ride. We had aniceevening at the Elephant Bar & Grill in Burlingame.The 30 oz. Sierra Nevadas that Hannu poured down me put me to sleep overtheSan Mateo bridge while the great orienteer guided us home to San Ramone.The next morning we picked up my old friend and roomate Eric Redmond inHalfMoon Bay and drove the coast to Santa Cruz and stopped at Niesen Mark statepark for a 13 mile hike in the Redwoods. This is a beautiful park. We hikedto a spot where we had excellent views of Monterey Bay.After returning to the Redmond Estate we were treated to San Miguel beersandsnacks. Joal Redmond recommended Ketch Joann's casual (hole in the wall)seafront restaraunt and we were quite pleased with her recommendation. Thefood and atmosphere was excellent. It was a fun place; however not everyone in the restaraunt wanted to have fun:For some reason, one of the waitresses objected to my mode ofcommunicationsand lectured me on the rudeness of a barking gesture.When I explained to her that it was a friendly bark and that barking was anexcellent way to communicate she again repeated '"you know that a barkinggesture is rude".I then explained to her that we should all respect other species besidesthehuman species and their mode of communications. She again repeated thatbarking is a rude communications gesture. My only option at this point wastoalso get on my high horse and explain that good customer service andpracticing tolerance meant acceptance of a customer that barked. She heldfast. Another waitress intervened and said that she would be delighted toserve barking customers. Sooo we continued to try to have fun when anotheruptight lady in the booth next to us leaned over and interupted Hannu'srapiddescription of the scenery on Venice beach with "Sir, you are very loud andscaring my little boy"! The little spoiled brat didn't look scared to me?Hannu is a gentle soul, how could he scare anyone?In spite of these rude people's behavior we had a great dinner and numerousNegro Modello cervezas.Hannu again navigated us over the bridge to safety.