Buzzard's Highline Route

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.

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